Generally, the goal of the clarinetist when producing a sound is to make as much of the reed vibrate as feasible, making the sound fuller, warmer, and doubtlessly louder. The lip position and pressure, shaping of the vocal tract, selection of reed and mouthpiece, amount of air force created, and evenness of the airflow account for many of the clarinetist's potential to handle the tone of a clarinet. A highly skilled clarinetist will supply the ideal lip and air pressure for each frequency note being produced. They could have an embouchure which places a fair pressure across the reed by carefully controlling their lip muscle tissue. The airflow will also be cautiously managed through
the use of the strong abdomen muscles as opposed to the weaker and erratic chest muscles and they will use the diaphragm to oppose the abdomen muscular tissues to obtain a tone softer than a forte in place of weakening the abdomen muscle anxiety to lower air pressure. Their vocal tract may be shaped to resonate at frequencies associated with
the tone being produced. Most instruments overblow at twice the rate of the fundamental frequency the octave, but as the clarinet acts as a closed pipe system, the reed cannot vibrate at twice its customary speed as it could be creating a 'puff' of air at the time the old 'puff' is returning as a rarefaction. This means it cannot be strengthened and so would die away. The chalumeau register plays fundamentals, whereas the clarion check in, aided by the sign in key, plays third harmonics a perfect 12th higher than the fundamentals. The first a couple of notes of the altissimo range, aided by the check in key and venting with the first left hand hole, play fifth harmonics a major seventeenth, an ideal twelfth plus a tremendous sixth, above the basics. The clarinet is therefore said to overblow at the 12th and, when moving to the altissimo sign in, 17th.