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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Sep 11, 2009.
Would having braces affect my trumpet playing in any way?
Okay take this from someone who got them last year, its not that bad. There is a period where you get used to playing with them, ill admit its annoying, difficult, and personally painful. But after that warming period, for me, my playing was back to normal, and I just kept getting better like they weren't even there. But other then the first week, your playing will be fine if your embouchere is correct now. My range, never affected, and my tone, never affected.
I don't know your level of playing now. I have a student who after less than six months as a beginner he got braces. It has definitely caused a slower development as to his range, but we have worked on some very technical things in the meantime. Once they are off and after he has adjusted to no braces, we can hopefully move forward at a little quicker rate.
As a private teacher I can tell you that whatever anybody else's experience may be, yours will be unique, just as each person's is. My son got braces many years and and with a week was playing as well as he ever did, and continued to play wonderfully with the braces. Other students of mine have essentially had to start over again to redevelop their embouchure with the hardware on their teeth. Yet other students have actually sounded better practically overnight with the braces.
No two people have the same teeth misalignment forcing the use of braces, so you just have to go through with it and see what happens to your playing. Think positively and keep working even though it may be frustrating and you'll be just fine. I've never had a student whose braces has forced them to quit playing, and for many of them making the adjustment forced them to rethink a lot of things and to work a bit harder and it turned them into much better musicians and trumpet players ultimately.
Good luck to you with your braces -- and don't use the wax they may try to give you to help ease the discomfort for your lips. It just gets soft and pushes out of the way leaving the lips exposed to metal braces anyway, so practice in small amounts of time at first, several times a day, then gradually expand the length of each practice session until you can play for your normal practice sessions without discomfort from the braces.
I had braces in junior high. It definitely affected my playing, but after I got used to it it wasn't that bad.
Practice playing VERY softly with minimal pressure on your lips. Long tones, lip slurs, scales, etc. VERY softly. This will help you to train for minimal pressure so you won't tear up your lips (and it's good for you even if you don't have braces).
The short answer is yes.
The embouchures are made up of the combination of Teeth, Lips, and Jaw. Your going to be changing teeth when you do braces. It will effect your playing.
In my case, it was almost fatal to my music performance. I had no one who could understand the physiology that was changing and who could help me deal with it.
I did not find someone who could assist me with the changes that were made until almost 10 years after they were taken off and I finished college with my music degree.
I have a very extensive paper on playing with braces that I think will answer a lot of your questions. It was written by Jim Donaldson. If you will e mail me I will send you a copy.
In my experience, braces cause different issues for everyone. Some people get more messed up when they get them on, some people have issues once they're taken off.
Two very, very excellent trumpet players I've known have gotten braces. Both didn't have much issue adjusting to braces; they DID, however, have massive problems with flexibility, range, sound, and endurance upon getting them removed.
And of course there's another guy who was ruined by getting them on but is slowly coming back after getting them off.
Anything could happen. Good luck!
Some players have little problem, others get knocked down seriously (I have students in both camps). Getting braces needs a really good teacher that can patiently keep your development moving forward by concentrating on the things good for you and keeping the frustrating things minimized.
There is no "system" that guarantees minimal impact. The truth is that your face geometry changes quite significantly.
Listen to RHS