recovery from getting braces removed

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet, May 29, 2008.

  1. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 5, 2008
    ok so you have probably seen the other posts ive made about playing with braces. I just recently had them removed and i can barely play anything. Anyone know the best ways to get back into playing shape?
  2. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    The same way a person gets his embouchure into shape in the first place, practicing the same materials you practiced before, such as scales and slurs and long tones and...

    Play with minimal mouthpiece pressure.
    Too much pressure and too little pressure are bad.
    Very gentle mouthpiece pressure is best.

    Stop playing when your embouchure is tired.
    If you continue to play after your embouchure gets tired you will just end up distorting your embouchure into an un-natural shape in order to keep on going, and then you will develop a habit of using a screwed-up embouchure.
    Knowing when to rest is just as important as knowing when to practice.

    The only difference with braces and without braces:
    Without braces there will be a subtle difference in your embouchure.
    You will be the same embouchure type, but your lips might protrude into the mouthpiece cup slightly more (or slightly less),
    you might find that you need to slightly adjust the tilt of your trumpet from what it was before,
    a subtle irregularity in the shape and position of your bare front teeth might require that you make a subtle change in mouthpiece position on your embouchure,
    your mouthpiece might feel a completely different size now without the braces between you and the mouthpiece so that you either have to get used to it all over again, or you might need to get a different diameter mouthpiece.
    But *if* you do have to make those slight adjustments (and you might not have to), they are so slight that you shouldn't have any trouble.

    Did you play trumpet before you got braces?
    If so, then you know what mouthpiece you used before the braces so you know what mouthpiece works for you without braces.
    If you started trumpet after the braces were put on, then you are entering uncharted waters regarding mouthpieces without braces.
    Best to stick with what you have been using, though, and only change if you feel a real need rather than change mouthpieces just for the sake of changing.

    I'm just an amateur with a dozen years experience.
    Others here are much more qualified to answer your question, but they might not be around for the few hours that you post appears on the Trumpet Master home page, then by the time they check out the posts here, your post might be buried and hidden on a back page where they might not see it.
    So I figured I'd post an answer to keep your post appearing on the site's home page until other better-qualified people see it and answer.

    - Morris
  3. trumpet520

    trumpet520 Pianissimo User

    Oct 25, 2006
    When ever i got my braces off my freshmen year. After a few days of the normal routine i was just about back to where i was. and after a few weeks i was better than i was before.
  4. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    Patience and proper practice. You are going to want to pratice in small incraments at first, try 3 or 4 sessions at 15 to 20 min each... then increase as you feel your chops adjusting. This is a great time to add a proper breathing routine to your practice! Good luck!!
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    It sounds like you've already started playing again, but if it's only been a day or two and you feel really messed up, you might want to just take a week or so completely off and let your face get used to how it feel not to have all that metal in your mouth.

    Do you have a teacher? Now is a good time to check in with a good teacher to make sure your starting out with the mouthpiece in a suitable spot. When your lips and mouth are still feeling weird, sometime you can end up with the mpc really high or low or something without realizing it. I know I did...

    You can use your time off to practice breathing excercizes, ear training and such. It's a great time to do some listening, breathing in time along with your favorite recordings.

    Once you get embouchure happening consistantly, your practice can begin to return to normal, but don't get in a hurry to "get it back." You don't want to start doing weird things, adding tension, pushing to hard, etc, just to try to get your upper register back. If you're playing in the mid register with good fundamentals, the upper will follow in time.

    Some people have no trouble at all after the braces come off...but for every one of those, there's someone else who has a harder time and need to come back a little more slowly. Right now you may not get the results you want, but if you keep going at it with good habits, the results will be there pretty soon. Don't sacrifice good habits for an extra third of range with a screwy embouchure!

    Good Luck!

    One more thing...Spend a few minutes at the begining of your practice sessions playing easy tunes (stepwise...not big leaps) on the mouthpiece. It's a good way to breathe and play in time, with your new excellent embouchure, without having to worry about how it sounds.
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  6. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
  7. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 5, 2008
    thanks for the info
  8. note360

    note360 Piano User

    Oct 16, 2006
    In a room in a house
    Ahh, Well it takes, I would say 1/4th of a year to 1 year to get re used to no braces. This depends on many variables.

    1) How long you had the braces?
    2) How much you practice?
    3) Retainer usage. Use it. If your te3th start shifting its gonna throw off everythign again.
    4) Other random things

    One thign I would be wary of is pressure. I noticed I developed a bad habbit of to much pressure. Why? because I could use pressure agian withotu pain. I am now breaking the habbit, but jazz band is killing me as is marching band (two things that are hard to avoid face jamming sometimes, esp when your jazz band teacher doenst understand what range is and what the kids in the band can hit comfortably. No one is above a high Eb (Eb6 I beleive would be the proper term seeign as middle C is C4 then the C on the staff is C5)).
  9. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    This subject interests me greatly, as I have moved a 13 year old girl with braces from third trumpet, up to play next to me on first in a good sized community concert band. The kid has braces. She told me when I moved her up that she could not play anything above the staff, because of her "railroad tracks". I got her to play long pedal tones as softly as she could in her home practice sessions and two weeks later she was easily playing up to high C on one chart and high Bb's many times on another. Having never had to wear braces, I have no personal experience on this, but, I am quite concerned about little 'Becca' when she gets to shuck her 'railroad tracks'. She has a great amount of talent and has worked very hard to get where she is as a trumpeter. She is the only female in our 8 trumpet section and is also the youngest member of this band. Almost all of us are senior citizens. If she loses any of her ability when the braces come off, I fear that she might become discouraged. I certainly hope not.

  10. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

    Jan 17, 2008
    For me, getting my braces off was entirely positive. The day I got them off I began playing I noticed a change, but a positive one. As time went on (in weeks), I had a better tone and range than ever.

    I'm sure that 'Becca' will (maybe a week or two after getting them off) will see tremendous progress after they are off. Most of the improvements I made with braces on didn't show up until I got them off. However, I started about 2 years before I got them off, I really don't know if they would be a different and what it would be if someone started playing with braces, that could be entirely different if you started playing with braces. I think you will be surprised how much of an improvement you will see after the braces are off, maybe not instantly though.

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