Playing with Braces

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by blw2, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. blw2

    blw2 New Friend

    May 20, 2015
    My son is playing his second year i school band, 5th grade now.

    Over the summer, he had braces put on his teeth, and it has affected his playing. He's practiced some over the summer, but not very intensely and I haven't pushed him too hard.

    Anyway, he was a little open to the idea of switching to low brass on the baritone or euphonium.... partially because he thought the bigger mouthpiece might be better...
    Now it seems he want to stick with his trumpet....

    I'm ok with it, he playing the Olds Special horn I played through middle and high school.

    So my questions:
    any suggestions to help him along with braces?
    any mouthpieces might be better for him to try? (I think it's a 7C he's playing now)

    We tried wax, and we tried the Morgan Lip Bumper..... he didn't feel like either helped him all that much, and in fact prefered without either.
  2. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 22, 2009
    Newcastle-Upon-Tyne UK
    YES! The Greg Black BP mouthpiece. Here is the blurb: [TABLE][TR][TD][​IMG][/TD][/TR][/TABLE]
    The only trumpet mouthpiece designed for players who wear braces. Designed by trumpet player Rich Szabo and Greg Black, the new BP Mouthpiece takes away the frustration of playing with braces.​
    Reduce cut lips, improve sound and range! The BP Mouthpiece has a comfortable cushion rim and a v-cup to reduce back pressure.​
    "I wanted to let you what a difference the BP mouthpiece made for one of my students who has braces. Previously, his tone quality, range, and endurance was poor. He is now able to play with a typical trumpet tone quality for at least 30 minutes and his now hitting a high F when he could not even reach a high C. The change is shocking. His mom thought somebody else was playing his trumpet when he first tried it out and could not believe the immediate improvement. This young man's eyes are now bright with the excitement of being able to play well! Thank you!" - Ruth Petersen"My son noticed the difference immediately in his sound quality. It has taken away the airy sound. He was so frustrated when he got braces put on. I'm glad his band teacher suggested we get a new mouthpiece, one made for braces. I didn't even know they were available. Anyhow, my son is very happy now and that's what matters most. Thank you so much."- Dianne Wise
  3. blw2

    blw2 New Friend

    May 20, 2015
    Hey, thanks for the tip and for the fast response!
    I'll look into that and seriously consider it!

    Do you have first hand experience with it?

    Also, I see that various throat options are available.... that is beyond my level of expertise so I'll need to look into that to....
  4. fuzzyhaze

    fuzzyhaze Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 22, 2009
    Newcastle-Upon-Tyne UK
    Yes I played one for quite a while and liked it so much that I then had Greg Black make me a custom version of it, a smaller inside diameter and a shallower cup - I still use it! He is a really nice person, if you are on Face Book you could friend him there and message him - he is very busy but will make the time for you!
  5. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    He needs a private instructor. Yes, he's young, but it will eliminate the frustration that is sure to come.
    I would not recommend a larger mouthpiece unless he felt the 7C was a problem.
    Wax only does so much, but it does help the transition.
    He needs to play with less pressure and playing the first three clarke studies a couple of days a week while keeping the pressure just enough to seal. Its going to be two months or more before he's feeling "normal".
    Expect the same trials when he finally gets them off.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    IMO, as a tutor and player in both clefs, there isn't a whole lot that can improve the misery of braces that the orthodontist put in ... and the type s/he put in. I can still recall the wires and metal pads I had in my youth. The simplest thought I currently have is that the youth's embouchure and mind are not yet hardened enough to endure the misery.

    Gunshowtickets above pointed to the primary culprit that aggravates such misery, vis pressure as a consequence of being exerted by the left elbow/arm ... a factor that 99% plus youthful beginners seem to utilize ... erroneously. Many adults do also! Low brass isn't an answer. I've never acquired Clarke's studies, having been initially taught by another Sousa cornetist, but I'd say any studies should be consistent on a daily basis, even for a shorter duration.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    My sister had braces in middle school while maintaining her 1st chair placement in band. It wasn't easy - I know initially she used wax, but eventually I think she just learned to play with less pressure. She's one of the few people I've known who were solid players going into braces and maintained their chops coming out of them.

    It's kind of an interesting thing - the dentist/orthodontist will tell you that you HAVE to get those pesky teeth straightened, but the teeth play such a crucial role in the embouchure that looking at it now, it's the last thing you'd want to mess with if the young, aspiring player is excelling with their current dentistry.

    For me, it made a difference even when it wasn't a front tooth. I lost a left lower molar a few years back - to make a long story short, it needed a root canal, so I got that, then got an temp filling prior to getting the on-lay I was supposed to get the following week. That Sunday I was eating a cracker and the whole tooth broke, all the way to the root. The only option I had to was to have it pulled. I could have gotten a partial, but the doc suggested I go with an implant. The time I spent with a hole on that side waiting for things to heal up so they could do the implant, there was a definite difference in how things felt for my chops. Then, when I finally got the implant, there was another shift - not major, but perceptible. That was a back tooth - imaging what jacking the front teeth around are going to do.
  8. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

    Mar 31, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    I had the unpleasant experience of playing with braces for a couple of years as a youngster. I tried the wax. Not good.

    The best thing I found was to cut small "pads" from synthetic sponge material that were about 2 inches long by 1/2" high by 1/8" thick. These fit between the braces and the upper lip. I would make up a number of them, carry them around in the trumpet case, and wash them out as necessary. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than wax and better than nothing. It worked.

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