It's going to take some adjustment, but just remind him to keep at it. All of the above suggestions are great. I've had several students go through the braces thing and it does vary for each individual. The key thing here is that the braces won't last forever. The most important thing is to keep practicing and not lose the progress he has already made. It will be another adjustment when they come off, as his mouthpiece placement may well have shifted. Just let it happen.
I suggest playing without any aids, but have wax available in his case if needed. I use wax on my bottom teeth if they start to cut my lip a little if I'm playing a lot. It doesn't affect my playing. I had a student with braces. He made first chair in his high school wind ensemble with braces !
1949 Martin Committee Deluxe
Schilke 13a4a ( 80% )
Bach 7C ( 15% )
Bach 5V ( 5% )
I was really frustrated when I first got braces because I couldn't even make a sound but I kept practicing and became first chair in my middle school band. In 9th grade I decided to go to baritone my freshman year in high school and I quickly became their best baritone player. In 10th grade I went back to trumpet and was still able to play well enough to get a solo in our half time show, that year in September I got my braces off and quickly became 1st chair. Don't be discouraged by the hardships that braces bring to trumpet playing. They will make you a better player!
Yamaha YTR 2335(Received as a gift in 1998 in 8th grade)
Yamaha YTR 8335 Xeno(Received as a gift in 2004 in 11th grade)
Euphonium: Mack Brass Compensating Euphonium(MACK-EU1150)
"Let thy food be thy medicine, and the medicine be thy food"- Hippocrates
I should have a horn for him by this weekend. He's actually looking forward to getting it. I was thinking just to get him used to playing, practicing with only the mouthpiece. This way he doesn't have to put as much pressure against the braces at first.
PS it's a cool Horn- circa 1930 Cleveland. Has an out of round 1st valve that a local tech says he can fix. The tech was excited just to see such a cool horn, let alone work on it. Got it for nothing to boot.
An update. Picked up the horn on Friday. They did a fine job on the repair and cleaning(see pix in Vintage Eye Candy thread). Plays beautifully. We tried a few different mouthpieces 10-1\2c, 3C, 5C etc... He was most comfortable with the 3C. He said it doesn't really hurt much. In fact his mouthpiece positioning looks better than when he was using a 7C. In fact I find it easier as well. Thanks for all the advice. It really gave us a place to start.
Thanks for the update!
Bach Stradivarius 43* (1974), Bach 3C Mouthpiece.
Getzen 896 Eterna Flugelhorn (1974), Curry 3FL Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, and Besson horns.
I went through the whole braces deal in high school. I used these plastic bumpers that worked. They just fit over the edges of the braces and gave me a smoother surface to play on. It was definitely an adjustmenet period though. I went from 2nd overall chair as a freshman to 3rd overall as a sophomore with braces. It's important to not be discourages, because once he gets his braces off, he will shoot up. That's what I've heard of other peopl as well. Bumpers aren't for everyone, but they are worth it to try. By the way, the wax the orthodontist gives out is not a good idea to use. It gets incredibly annoying hen it gets stuck in between braces
Bach Strad 37
Bach 1 C
Bach 1 1/4 C
Bach 1 1/2 C
Bach 3 C
Doug Meeuwsen 645 L1 W
Straight - Tom Crown
No pain no gain! I got my braces on a little over a year ago. At the end of my 8th grade year in band. I got them on right before a chamber concert I had to do a solo in (Oh the agonizing pain). I had a tough time adjusting and it took a lot of practice, concentration, and patience. I'm on chuck's side with this. No aids would be best, but if needed use wax. I only had to use wax on my braces once and that was for MPA that year where I was horrified of messing up since I was the only one playing the part I was on. I'm more worried about getting my ambrochure adjusted AFTER the braces are taken off. It all gets easier though, but you have to build the calluses on your lips first. If it's getting to the point that his braces are cutting his lips and they're bleeding (I can personally say that has only happened to me the first of my braces). Then he can use use wax. Those brace guard products aren't going to do anything that wax cannot. Good luck! The first month was the hardest for me, and the constantly changing ambrochure will help in the long in the way I see it.
1964 Olds Ambassador (big sally)
1960 Conn Director 17B with coprion bell (old betty)
Yes I name my horns.
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