Verifying a metal allergy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Okay, here's the deal... I'm more-or-less convinced I am allergic to the metal on my mouthpiece because even when I play very, very lightly (and yes, with minimal pressure) my lips turn red in like 5 minutes. When I start playing heavily they often start to hurt, too, despite doing my best to make minimizing lip pressure. My mouthpiece is a gold-rimmed Yamaha 16C4.

    The problem started like a year ago when I started moving from a light playing schedule to a heavy one....using a B2 Monette that had most of the gold plating worn off...(hence, raw brass, most likely). I haven't played on it for months and I still have the same problem.

    But I still don't know for sure IF it is truly an allergy.... and I cannot afford to see a doctor for that. So, what's the best way to do this? :grouphug:

    Should I test playing on a plastic mouthpiece? Or a waxed, wooden mouthpiece that I remember somebody talking about? Or...some other way?

    And I don't know anyone with either of types of mouthpieces.... so if you know of a way I can either buy them cheap, or maybe there's a way to either rent them or purchase/return them for the sake of testing, like how its done on (I could also check the local music stores....though I'm doubtful about the variety in the state of Utah.)

    Thanks for ANY help you can give.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I was thinking about trying one of these out so that I could seem how far my lips protrude, while I play certain parts, but they might work for you.

    Glastex Model G Cornet Mouthpiece - eBay (item 190556415039 end time Aug-16-11 17:30:03 PDT)
  3. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    You don't hear of allergies to silver plating nearly as much as to raw brass, but it's certainly possible to be allergic to just about any substance. For alternative mouthpiece materials or platings, my choices would be gold plating, stainless steel (G&W, for example), titanium, plastic - in that order, with gold being the first choice for a good feel on the chops as well as very rarely figuring in allergic reactions.
  4. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    It's a gold-plated rim (16C4), actually.

    When the problem started occuring, I was playing a lot on a worn-out Monette B2, and it makes me wonder if I got exposed to the raw brass.... hence allergies. But that still wouldn't explain my problems with the 16C4... I haven't played my Monette in many months! However, I haven't played the Monette.... I suppose I could play on it a couple days and see if it feels worse.
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Is your health and playing ability not worth the small investment in seeing a doctor?
    turtlejimmy likes this.
  6. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I would confirm if you're allergic to gold or silver or anything else. Put a gold ring against your lips for a few minutes and see if any reaction. I have a clear plastic mouthpiece if you want it ( free ). I would think the gold plated would be the ticket for not having allergic reactions.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This is a good idea, or alternatively, do try playing a waxed wooden mouthpiece, but I am very supportive of the advice given above that it appears it is way past time to see a doctor, at least from my unbiased and humble opinion.
  8. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    An allergy such as you describe is usually an allergy to nickel. The outer plating of mouthpieces often contain trace amounts of nickel, and brass itself may contain trace amounts. If you have a reaction to cheap costume jewelry it is likely a nickel allergy. If I were you I would buy non metallic mouthpiece such as those made by Kelly and others. If the redness does not occur then you have a nickel allergy. And such a reaction may result in an inability to use metallic mouthpieces.
  9. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I would definately try the Kelly mouth piece that is close to the size you normally play, if that helps there are several top mouth piece makers that will make a m.p. to fit you that uses a lexan rim and cup. I believe that Trent Austin went this route for a while and you might want to contact him for advice. Good Luck
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  10. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    See a Doc to confirm the allergy, then follow the advice above.

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