The Musician Sound Through His Embouchure
The instrument of the woodwind player really appears to behave as his megaphone, thanks to his embouchure.
Get Your Mask Down !
Your mouth / mouthpiece / reed / ligature set defines your global embouchure : this configuration may vary between players, closely combining your morphology and the gear you use.
Your inner resonance propagates to the reed, which should easily vibrate, opposing a low resistance, hence a not too hard reed is recommended in order to be able to master the depth of the sound, shaped up at the bottom of the air column (Peter King had told me once how he had bee surprised to see that Cannonball Adderley was playing a really weak reed, when he substituted him in England in the 70’s).
This way, you define the best mouthpiece/reed combination for your sound control : this compromise depend on several factors, but you must know how to adjust it, mainly by selecting another reed, on your usual mouthpiece. And if you need a softer reed to ease out your playing, then you would be able to modulate your reed strength later on, bringing full balance and self-confidence : through your mentally visualizing that your emission remains centered on the sound source, you avoid unnecessary contractions above your diaphragm (which would be triggered by too hard a reed), following the recommendations of Alfred Tomatis in The Ear And The Voice.
By focusing on the opening of his sound column backward and downward, the player forgets about his real trunk and his mouth, thus ensuring that his throat remains free of contractions.
Think Your Sound, But No Pressing
The wind player sets up his vibrating attitude by rooting his air column in his heels, and moreover pictures his embouchure at the sound source, down to the bottom of his diaphragm : then, letting the relaxation down, his inner vibration gently takes off from the root of the air column, to feed the instrument through this embouchure.
Dominique Hoppenot describes how the violon player lets his vibration propage to the violon body through his clavicle.
Once your posture is set up and stabilized, your instrument naturally gets seized by your hands (entering your mouth if you are a wind player), to amplify the sound prepared in advance ; then your flexible and relaxed embouchure, which you actually forget, since you are focussed on the air column bottom, comes into play : it links you, as the sender (the instrumentist’s body), to the amplifier (the instrument body). The projected sound gets now worked out by your fingers, and your tongue (if relevant).