My teeth are changing position :(

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by froman, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. froman

    froman Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Mr. Laureano,
    I've played trumpet for almost 30 years, and always had a good high register. About three years ago, I had to get a couple of crowns on my central and lateral incisors on the right hand side. That screwed me up horribly for a couple of years, but I fought back to where I could play high Fs again at least. Then, about 1 1/2 months ago, something happened to where I'm playing off to the side of those crowns. I think it's because I grind my teeth at night. Now I have almost no "real" teeth in the middle of my embouchure, and I'm back to the sound cutting off above high C. I've really buckled down since then to try to lick the problem, but I only get to practice about 1.5 hours a night, in one sitting, in a Silent Brass. My flexibility is now awesome, and I'm playing pedal tones better than I ever have, but the range is not budging. If I really relax and don't force things, I can play Gs and As. But that's the not the type of playing I do. I play swing, jazz, and funk music in several bands, so I need to be able to attack the high notes with some volume and punch. I've worked to get rid of throat tension (I think the Silent Brass actually helps in that regard), and it seems like I'm breathing OK, although that's never been my strong point. But I've always played with pressure, and now my new embouchure can't seem to take it. I'm 39 years old now, and I'm wondering if there comes a point when you just can't make the muscles stronger anymore. I know without listening and waching me play there's not a whole lot you can recommend, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The only thing that ocurs to me is the following:

    Is the place that you've decided on to play the only place? How much around your face can you produce a good sound? I was doing that just for fun the other day, moving my mouthpiece around and seeing how long it took me to get my normal sound. It took me about 30 seconds in each place. I'm just asking you to consider that where you've selected to play may not be the only place.

    What I've noticed is that there's a fine line between what is uncomfortable and what is merely unfamiliar. Uncomfortable is not good, unfamiliar has potential.

    Good luck,

  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    No kidding. If you get a chance, watch the DVD by the German Brass on "Bach for Brass". Take a look at that one trumpet player... it looks as if his trumpet is about 30 degrees over to the right side of his chops. Sure doesn't seem to affect his playing though!

    (Maybe it's one way for him to keep the bell out of his line of sight?) :D
  4. froman

    froman Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    i've tried moving it back to the old position w/o much sucess. maybe I should keep looking around for the sweet spot. I have noticed something strange. While playing in front of a mirror, it looks like my bottom lip and top lip are not contacting the mouthpiece in the same relattive position to each other. When taking the horn of my face, looking at the little ring that appears briefly after lifting the mouthpice off the lips bears this out. The ring is closer to the center of my face on the botton lip than on the top lip. That probably explains the strange double buzz I get sometimes when playing in the high register. What is the best strategy to eliminate this? More practice? Lay off for a while?

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