I mainly play clarinet and sax, but I'd like to pick up a bit of trumpet to be able to play all the big band instruments (albeit quite badly for some of them). However, I've heard that playing brass instruments can damage your woodwind embouchure, which I really don't want.

I'm not sure how true this is, as I know someone who doubles sax and trumpet, and someone who doubles clarinet and trombone, and they seem to manage. I've also dabbled in trombone myself, and that's not seemed to affect embouchure for other instruments, but I think that trumpet might since the few times I've played one the smaller mouthpiece made it more stressful on my lips (although that could have been poor technique).

2 Answers 2


I play (with varying degrees of success) basically all of the winds. It may take some time to get used to switching between the two, but ultimately this shouldn't be a problem. The one thing that will change is that as you get better at trumpet, your embouchure will get stronger, so you'll have to relax more for single reeds. However, this will be a very gradual process so as long as you continue to practice both with some regularity, you should be completely fine.


This really depends upon how proficient you want to be at the clarinet and saxophone or trumpet. The problem is tonal consistency. If you play clarinet and saxophone well you can mess up your tone by switching back and forth. Mainly because you are training muscle groups to act together. This would be one of those examples of the "Jack of all trades" sayings. If you want to master the development of the sax and clarinet together you need to focus on that embouchure.

  • Welcome to Music.SE, Sean! Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:41

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