First of all, I want to thank you for your lessons. I really find your courses helpful!
But here is my problem.
When I play long phrases (especially high notes) on the bassoon, My cheeks begin to hurt. right now I am working on a piece called “Tarantella” by Ludwig Milde, where I have problems playing the piece because my cheeks start to hurt.
I think it is because I have developed a wrong embouchure, where I tighten my cheeks to reach the high notes. It is actually really annoying, and I want to fix that.
I have already seen your videos about embouchure, but I was wondering if I could get some advice to avoid tighten your cheeks while playing, and also some tips to improve my embouchure?
I really hope somebody can help me
P.S. I have a attached a file, to highlight where my problem is
Greetings from Denmark,
How are you, my friend? I hope well…
Sorry, your question was hidden here on the website waiting for an “approval”… I don’t know why… but now we can read it, it’s fixed!
About your question: actually it would be better if you make a short video or at least a picture of your embouchure.
BUT maybe the problem is not in your mouth, maybe the problem is in the reed. Maybe your reed is too hard? The reed’s opening (in the tip) is more than 1,5 mm?
Let’s keep this conversation open, and please if is possible give me more details, so we can find where the problem is!
I don’t think the problem is in the reed. I don’t make my reeds myself, because I have a very sweet teacher that makes that for me. I have checked my reeds to be sure, and all my reeds are under 1,5 mm.
My cheeks don’t hurt when I play high notes for a short amount of time. The problem is when I play for a long time, and my cheeks begin to hurt. I think it’s because I use my cheeks to help me reach the high notes.
Right now I have braces on my teeth. maybe that could be a factor?
My teacher also says it has to do with how much air I use when I play and using my stomach to support my airflow.
I have a link to an album on Google photos, so you can see how I play, and how my embouchure looks:
I hope you’re doing good!
Greetings from Alvin
Thank you for your amazing guidance. Your tips helped a lot, but I finally found what my problem is.
Because I was so frustrated about my embouchure, I rewatched one of your “embouchure lessons”. While watching, I realized I was doing something wrong.
I don’t lean my upper lip on the reed at all. Instead, my lower lip did all the work, and for some reason, it causes a lot of pain in my cheeks when I play high notes, etc. It is a problem I have struggled with for some years, and I have discussed it many times with my teacher.
So I just wanna thank you, and I am very grateful for your wonderful lessons!
P.S. How long have you been playing bassoon, and how old are you? I am by the way 16 years old!
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