Playing with braces. Tips please!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Learningon, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Learningon

    Learningon New Friend

    Dec 10, 2009
    My parents have decided that I need to get braces this summer. :( I've been playing for 6+ years and will start HS this in the fall. I've also been taking lessons from a Dr. at a local collage. So, all in all I LOVE trumpet. But, I'm terrified of what braces will do to my playing. My band director is gonna kill me since I'm the lead trumpet.

    Does anyone have any tips or advice on what to do over the summer to improve my braces playing? Any advice or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

  2. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    well after the 1st month of your mouth being hamburger meat ,as mine was, your tone is affected along with range and endurance, one of my friends learned through my errors, become more efficient with slotting notes and range via the tongue not the chops, this will help your tone, plus when you get out of your braces your tongue is great, and when you use your chops you're range is alot better from when you left it before. my friend learned through my mistakes
  3. RandyTx

    RandyTx Pianissimo User

    Mar 26, 2010
    Central Texas
    I just tripped over a device today on some music equipment site (sorry, can't remember which one) for this. It was a plastic strip that was molded to "snap" on over braces on one side, and smooth/rounded on the other. Basically advertised as a lip protector for brass players wearing braces.

    I have no idea if it works or not, but it might be worth looking into.

    I went through this, but way back in the late 70s. I hear now they have braces that mount on the inside of the teeth instead of the outside, no telling what other changes.

    For me, it was a real problem, mainly with range while I had them on. About the best thing I found (and it was a weak solution) was putting a wax over the wires before playing. Problem is, after it was on for a short while, body heat would warm it up and make it too soft.

    This device, if it actually works, could potentially be a lot better. I suspect though that no matter how you slice it, while the braces are on, you're going to suffer, unless something like that plastic feature I saw today actually works.
  4. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    Feb 23, 2008
    Braces are a consistent issue with high schoolers... I would know being one myself :p Generally the first priority is to prevent the metal from tearing up the inside of your mouth. Your dentist should provide wax for you. I have also heard of THIS although I cannot vouch for it's usefulness as I haven't used it myself.

    Braces affect everybody individually and everyone will have to make their own slight adjustments to maintain their playability. Things will probably get worse before they get better but with enough willpower and hard work (practicing every day) anybody can make a great rebound if they really want to.

    Good in theory however I have heard that the normal pain caused by this sort of installation is much more painful than if it were up front. I think this sort of deal is more for singers or other famous peoples who need to have normal teeth in their photo shoots.

    PS I got an aardvark message conspicuously near the time of this being posted. Coincidence?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  5. TrumpetBoi808

    TrumpetBoi808 New Friend

    Apr 18, 2010
    I have had my braces on for two years now and can say i honestly do not have many problems that hold my braces at fault. If you truly love playing the trumpet then you will spend this summer practicing so you can adjust to your braces. It is a painful and grueling process but it needs to be done and once you do adjust i know you'll be satisfied. It is true however that your progress as a player will be slower than you like, but just work through it and the day your braces come off will make an even sweeter victory knowing all the obstacles you had to overcome.
    Jurandr likes this.
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    White teflon plumbers tape, folded over (to be a little thicker) and cut to fit over the front brackets (top and bottom, at least when I had braces).
  7. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    HI, guys!

    I'm one who played through the pain with braces a long time ago. I tried a number of aides, including wax, and teflon tape, to no avial. What I found DID work extremely well was a material called "Parafilm-M" It's a plastic sheet that comes in rolls and is typically used in laboratories for covering test tubes. It's stretchy, somewhat self-adhesive,and tasteless. It comes on a roll with a piece of waxpaper marked in squares. I found that cutting the material into these squares produced pieces just the right size for use with braces.

    I just did a web search and found a number of sources. Here's just one:

    Parafilm M | WARD'S Natural Science

    The way I used it was to fold the square twice to make a strip that I could then Stretch over my front braces. Being stretchy, it tended to get hung up on the parts that the wire went through, and stayed in place. I didn't press through it like I did with wax. It wasn't so thick that it further messed up my embrouchure.

    I lived through all of eigth grade and most of freshman year with braces and Parafilm, and kept up a busy playing schedule at the same time.

    My wife got braces a year or so after we were married, and was concerned about her cornet playing (she was principal cornet in the Illinois Brass Band at this point, having taken it away from me! ;-) ) I found a few pieces I still had of my Parafilm, and she also found it worked great. She bought a roll and used some of it while she had her braces. Neither of us had significant problems getting used to playing without braces, which I attribute to the thinness of the parafilm.

    Hope this helps!!

    Guy Clark
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Playing the trumpet should NEVER be painful. There's no need for it. I helped many students adjust to braces with no pain or problems. I use a device called braceguard but it takes some experience to make it work. There is a device called Morgan Bumpers that may work for you. The biggest peoblem is the transition to playing with the braces. It takes my students anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to be back where they were befor the braces were installed. If do correctly it is not a problem. Youe teacher should be able to help you with this. REMEMBER: playing should NEVER hurt!!

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