Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by High School Trumpet, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. High School Trumpet

    High School Trumpet New Friend

    Jul 15, 2010
    Well since i'm in high school I got braces.

    I've practiced hard to get more endurance and to play to g (barely above the staff...). Any advice how I can wow my friends by playing high c and above?

    Or should I keep doing the "same ol" scales, lip slurs, and long tones...

    Also I don't want any wax or bumper things. I just want to play like i would normally would with out braces.

  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    How long have you had them? It takes several weeks to make the transition to braces. By that I mean it takes about two weeks for your embochure to adjust to the braces. While players have made good progress with braces, it will not be the same as playing without them. You have to be careful as there are some bad habits that players get into with the braces. Usually by being impatient. I strongly recommend a good trumpet teacher who has a record of success working with students with braces. remember the braces have changed your embochure.
  3. High School Trumpet

    High School Trumpet New Friend

    Jul 15, 2010
    I've had braces for about a year. I know you said two weeks but being in high school I am lazy... But in spite of my laziness I have gotten a trumpet teacher who does have other students who have braces, and since then I have greatly improved.

    But is there any thing that will help me play longer/higher notes?

    Or is it best just to leave all the "worrying" for my teacher?
  4. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    intelligent practice and not rushing anything. Even after a year - because braces get adjusted constantly (I had mine adjusted 2 weeks before a concert once - my playing was still off). Range comes when it comes - concentrate on breathing. Lots of breathing - with good support and not forcing anything.
  5. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    I can't tell you what to do but I can tell you what not to do: don't mess around with the placement of the mouthpiece on your lips to "discover" an easier way to play high. Students who wear braces are #1 candidates for developing two embouchures (a setting for low and a setting for high) with no ability to play a musical line that goes from low to high (or high to low) without stopping and physically resetting their lips. This is such a tough habit to correct so just don't start.

    The platform against which your lips rest (aka your teeth) has gone from smooth to rough and pointy. Many students find the use of the 'brace guard' products helpful - my son the trombonist used the Morgan Bumper to good effect. This is not an endorsement of the product just a fact. Personally, I used the paraffin wax given to me by the orthodontist. Once the inside of your lips adjusts (sort of like forming a callous), step 1 is complete.

    Step 2, the incessant adjustments (tightenings) are another issue. With the help of a knowledgeable teacher, you will learn to understand how the embouchure works so that you're thinking of the 'destination'. General buzzing, longtones, lip slurs and scales are a great start. Use your air, not your biceps. The pinky hook is not an octave key - pressure doesn't work. Think about how it works in general rather than how do I play this song or drill. If I "aim" my car west, I may get to California but is it more likely that I'll end up in my neighbor's pool. Understanding how things work help you get through the every-six-week-new-embouchure syndrome.

    Rome wasn't built in a day (but it did burn in two weeks). Progress is sometimes painfully slow so, be patient. Trust your teacher and in the system and this will all work out.
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Why not get removable braces?
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That might not even be a possiblity. I bumped into a girl the other day whose bottom "row" of front teeth actually looked like about 4 separate rows right in front - it's the most severe case of screwed up teeth I think that I have ever seen, and I don't think something like "Invisilign" would work for someone like her.

    When my sister had braces in middle school, she just dealt with it - she used wax strips on her teeth and braces for when she was playing, and just rolled with it - it was a setback, but only a minor one. I should call her and ask her about it sometime.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If wowing your friends is the goal, forget high notes and start practicing double and triple tonguing. Students with this type of attitude easily end up messing their faces up because they lost music as the reason to practice instead only want to show off. Pressure becomes the tool and everything goes south.

    Prove that YOU are more intelligent. Get the range that you do have musically awesome.

    You cannot play as you did before. You have braces in your mouth, they are sharp and can severely damage the inner lip tissue. I recommend wax. A stupid attitude will reflect itself in your playing.
  9. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    It is a good though but I can think of two reasons:
    1) They are not for all sorts of orthodontic situations and;
    2) They are not reimbursed by many insurance plans.

    I know that there are kids who dive into the garbage pails at school to retrieve lost retainers. I can only imagine the factor by which you would multiply in order to fetch those missing Invisaligns!! Yuck.

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  10. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    I played with braces for over two years and it always SUCKED! The good news is that you will be in line for a major improvement in comfort and matching improvement in ability when they come off. Your improved smile will glow as you grow in ability. Be patient and keep plugging away. No trumpet player has a quick fix for being a monster player and those who make meaningful progress have built on years of good work ethic. You got braces to improve your teeth, Im sure they will improve your playing too...eventually.

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