Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rapiscrap10g10, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. rapiscrap10g10

    rapiscrap10g10 New Friend

    Nov 22, 2006
    Hello everyone, I just registered and I'm looking to see if anyone else has any advice/exercises/stories associated with playing trumpet with braces. I'm a freshman in high school, and I've had them on for a couple months, but i was just wondering if anyone had any advice to give.

  2. tm_webmaster

    tm_webmaster Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2006
    MA, USA
    I got braces in 9th grade, and learned the hard way a few important things about playing trumpet.

    1. To play high, do NOT use pressure... (many a cut lip later)
    2. Use air (lots of it) to play high notes... (after learning that cut lips all the time can be a pain)
    3. Lots of long tones, focus on your tone (do not worry about your range)
    4. Keep doing 1,2,3 above...

    Finally, got my braces off in 11th grade, and guess what? Because I had focused on "fast air", long tones, etc. and not pressure; I ended up with a high range, great tone, and good breathing techniques...

    Take the time to learn to play correct, and it will really pay off when you get your braces off...

    Good luck, all else fails put dental wax on your braces that will cut down the cuts on the inside of your lip.

    Good luck!
  3. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    one thing i have thought about with what do others think? in addition to the above have the student play on a larger cup (B or no letter in Bach speak) but in the 5/3 range, which using more then contact pressure, everything will shut down so using the equipment to help the student play correctly.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have had 3 students with braces. We got dental wax immediately to cover the braces while playing. I feel the prospect of pain can demotivate all but the most dedicated players - so we just avoided it!
    I focussed more on technique and flexibility than on high range during that time. One of the three was still able to play to G above high C. The other 2 had strong C and D (actually enough). No mouthpiece changes (they were playing Schilke18-Bach 1 1/4 sized mouthpieces before). Actually, as a teacher, I tried to keep the students mind on what was coming out of the bell - not concentrating on his face. They all got through this as if nothing had happened. Air is the key regardless of braces or not. The wax helps a lot!
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    my reccomendation of the 3/5 range was that they were still on 7c
  6. trumpet520

    trumpet520 Pianissimo User

    Oct 25, 2006
    I sympathise,
    i am a sophmore and i have my braces off now, but i had them all through freshmen year. Concentrate on mataining you amisher(spelling?) with out using pressure because what you will figure out is that sometimes you'll play and you will sound completely diffrent. Just try to put the mouthpeice in the same place everytime.Hopefully the right place.
  7. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    There are a number of products out there that are designed to help keep the braces from cutting into the lips. None are great, but they all seem to help. I don't think I've ever had a student who found wax to be very helpful. I'm currently planning on buying some Morgan Bumpers to try with my brace kids. Some of the brace kids do seem to do better using nothing at all. After a while they develop callouses and learn to use less pressure.
  8. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I have had a large number of students experience the "joy" of braces and it doesn't usually affect two people the same way. I have had one who didn't experience any changes between pre-brace, brace and post-brace. His range stayed the same, his tone didn't change, it was easy. On the other hand, I have had a student whose playing was destroyed by the brace - he couldn't produce a good sound and his range was reduced to about an octave (when he had been on over two). He wasn't a "pressure" player, it was just that the brace placement matched perfectly with his embouchure.
    When dealing with cases such as the second, I have found that if the trumpet mouthpiece is not working out very well, try a euphonium. If you are reading treble clef then the valves are the same, much of the music is the same and you can usually find places in the same band. They then have the option of sticking with the new instrument or returning to trumpet when the brace is all finished with, depending whether your embouchure works as well on the new instrumnet or better on the latter.
    I have had some stick and some swap back. The only person who has had real problems was a young lady whose parents desperately wanted her to be a cornet player. Her cornet playing was reasonable, nothing more - a nice tone, but real range problems. She had braces and swapped to euphonium (under my advice, with her parents not at all happy). She was a stunningly good euphonium player, an absolute natural, and achieved good placement in the local bands. When the brace came off, Mummy and Daddy insisted she returned to cornet. That was the end of her playing. She wasn't able to match her euphonium playing standard, got very frustrated and has since given up. A real shame, she would have been a first class euphonium player.

    I am not saying that you should give up the trumpet, but it is another option to consider, especially if you find that the brace is causing problems.

    I have tried a number of braceguard/wax type coverings and have yet to have any student who finds that these work well.

    Basically - keep an open mind and be prepared for whatever happens. If another solution presents itself it might be worth trying it out.
  9. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

    Jun 1, 2006
    I had braces when I was a kid and had a product called "brace relief" it was a rubber shield you put over the braces and the front was flat like your teeth so it really felt like you didn't have braces at all when you played. It was easily 1000 times better than any other product for the same purpose that I've every seen or had tried. Unfortunately I've never been able to find the product since then (I used it in the early 90's). I believe I ordered it from somewhere in Texas, if you want to hunt for it. Woodwind Brass wind has a product called Jet Tone lip protector ( which is similar to what I used but not quite as good. I have some students who use it now and it is alot better than nothing. Speaking from experience I think you should definitely use something to put over your braces. Try the Jet tone protector...


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