new student with open jaw problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ronnantMB6, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. ronnantMB6

    ronnantMB6 New Friend

    Feb 15, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I have a beginning trumpet student whose teeth do not close all the way when he bites. There is about 4-6 centimeters space between his top and bottom teeth. I don't want to take the parents money if this is a situation where he will never be able to develop his embochure properly esp. the upper register. I am thinking of telling the parents that he should play another instrument but am not sure. I don't want to encourage him or his parents if his problem would hinder his progress too much. I would appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you,
    Ron Turner
  2. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    According to Trumpeting By Nature by Jeanne Pocius playing with a closed jaw is not necessarily a good thing. As a matter of fact, she starts off her students ( comeback, not kids) with a quarter inch piece of cork between the rear molars to insure an open jaw
  3. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Do you mean millimeters? Four to six millimeters is not a problem. He'll figure it out.

    If you really did mean four to six centimeters he has a serious problem.
  4. Rick14A4A

    Rick14A4A New Friend

    Jul 29, 2008
    I think you are talking about an overbite with this student. I had the same situation with my teeth when I started playing and I just learned to play. I got braces for my teeth in HS and certainly had to relearn some things but lived through it. It's sort of like a golf swing though. The way I do it may not be the best way for someone else. There are standards sure, but I see people with all kinds of positioning with the maouthpiece and they play well with it. If the student is just starting out, let him work with it for a while would be my suggestion. If he can't get over the hump, then suggest a sax or a trombone with the larger diameter mouthpiece. The basics of music are all the same and the time spent is not a total waste. I'd say give it a go and see if he can adapt.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I wish I had a penny for all of negative prognosis that I have heard in my lifetime. Inside of a couple of weeks, it becomes apparent if there is any hope, funny enough, there ALWAYS is and the chances with non standard are as great as with picture perfect. Teach the kid to blow. Don't worry about any physical requirements. Get him breathing big, into long tones and slurs and most of all TUNES. Forget your prejudices about his jaw formation, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Look around at what works: fat lips, skinny lips, braces, high pressure, low pressure, 50/50%, 33/66%, wet, dry, TCE, pivot, intelligent, stupid and countless other FUNCTIONAL variations.

    The only danger is the self fulfilling prophesy.
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  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Have the student push his lower jaw forward so the mouthpiece setting is as even (flat?) as he can get it. He dosn`t have to be perfectly even just use more lower jaw support. Reinhardt`s jaw retention drill is a good exercise for this.
  7. Joe N.

    Joe N. New Friend

    Mar 22, 2007
    NO, don't tell him to switch!

    Take a look at the book "The Balanced Embouchure" by Jeff Smiley
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The biggest danger of all time.

    Teach your student. If, for whatever reason, he can't play, then he's learned at least how hard it is to play trumpet.

    If he can't play, he'll learn about dedcation, hard work, all that stuff. I suspect, though, that he'll have some success in getting some tones out of the trumpet.

    It is your job to turn him into a good trumpet player!

    We are made, not born.
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  9. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    They told me the same thing 40 years ago....teeth not good for trumpet playing. I learned, got a good high range and still have all the same teeth....well close.....down to 31:cool:
  10. ronnantMB6

    ronnantMB6 New Friend

    Feb 15, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    i appreciate all the replys. It is indeed 4-6 centimeters his teeth are apart when his back teeth are clenched. He also has a small upper lip and a large lower lip. I got him to play a C scale but the middle C was hard for him. I will see how he does tomorrow.
    I will teach him the fundamentals and see how he progresses in the next few weeks. I agree that it is my job to teach him.
    I also am of the belief that each of us has a unique talent but that some of us never find out what that talent is.
    I have seen guys out there that would be world class bodybuilders with their structure but have never touched a weight. The next superstar is someone who either finds what it is he is great at and is a natural or works so hard that he will succeed. However, it is also my job to tell them the truth if his physical characteristics would truly hinder his progress. For example, I tore my rotator cuff and will never be able to do bench presses again. I want to but cannot. I can work around it though and still get a great workout. Maybe he could be the next Chet Baker. You never know.
    Thanks again

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