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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Getting Braces Off in the General forums; I had been wearing braces on top and bottom for about a year (maybe a little more), and today I ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Blazing Asian's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    Getting Braces Off

    I had been wearing braces on top and bottom for about a year (maybe a little more), and today I just got them off. This is probably a question that has been asked and answered here many times but...I really need some advice on how to get make my chops. I a little more than a month I am going to be in marching band as section leader and I need some strong chops for that >>. Also, if it means anything while I had braces, I switched over to a shallow V-Cup mouthpiece.

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    Bach Stradivarius Bb 37
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  2. #2
    Pianissimo User
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    Jan 2007
    Lansing, MI

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    Only about a year! Lucky you!
    I had to wear mine for almost three!

    As someone who has gone throught the braces thing, I know that it is frustrating when the braces come off, I sounded like I had never played trumpet in my life.

    But, what I did everyday was PRACTICE everyday. At first don't go above a middle C. Take it easy, and be patient, don't force anything, do lots of long tones.

    Hopefully someone else will have something more to add.....

    Good Luck!!
    "Oy with the poodles already!"-Loreli Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

    Bach Stradivarius Bb 43
    Bach 5C

  3. #3
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    The fastest way to get your chops up and running is to NOT BEAT THEM UP. If you get anxious and try and get back everything in the first week, you probably will not succeed!
    A 4 week plan will work! Make sure that you ALWAYS take a relaxed DEEP breath. Buzz with the mouthpiece (this strengthens the face muscles needed to play) then play the same thing on the horn. Take a break when you get tired! Lip slurs (builds coordination), quiet long tones (builds a focussed tone), scales - and of course your normal program. You can play high, but if you get tired - take a break! Minimize the pressure especially on the top lip! Do not try to "squeeze" out single high notes - use scales and lip slurs to get there! Keep the sound full and flowing!
    On band rehearsal days, do not try and blow the band away! You have 4 weeks to build - use them all. Talk to the band director so that you get cut some slack for the first couple of weeks!
    Now, take a very deep relaxed breath and go do the right thing!!!!

    If the shallow V mouthpiece works, stick with it for the marching gig. You probably will need more time to get used to something deeper and that will be one less thing that you need to adjust for! Switch during summer vacation when you have time and no pressure!
    Last edited by rowuk; 06-01-2007 at 05:38 AM.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  4. #4
    Mezzo Piano User Siegtrmpt's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    Often players who have or have had braces have very constricted mouths when playing. Braces are a lot like those invisible electric dog fences that give you a shock when you get too close to the line. After a few years you may have learned not to move your facial muscles as much because it hurts. Practice without the trumpet yawning and stretching your mouth and facial muscles throughout the full range of motion and be sure to get a good breath through your (unconstricted) mouth when playing.
    Bill S.- NY and Mt. Vernon Bach trumpets, Bach "C" cornet, NY Bach trombone 6vii, Schilke G and Yamaha Eb, Bb/A and flugelhorn. Warburton and Monette mouthpieces.

  5. #5
    Pianissimo User Young Trumpeter's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    about a year ago i got my braces off. i had them for two and a half years. i had two weeks off of school for finals which left me with a lot of downtime to practice. i pretty much did whatever my teacher told me to do. he was the professional after all. what helped me was long tones, soft and in the lower and middle registers. after a few days i added lip slurs (still not going very high and keeping them simple). a few days after that i added scales. by the time those two weeks were up i was able to play competently (i needed to for band camp) but i don't think i really got the point where i was caught up and could continue progressing until the end of the summer. an important thing my teacher told me was that every player is different and will get different results.

    good luck to you and congrats on getting the braces off

  6. #6
    Mezzo Forte User mchs3d's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Provo, UT

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    I remember my experience a year ago. About this exact same time last year I got my braces off. Playing was so tough. Two months later I moved to a new school. The marching band was a lot more hard core than my last one, and unfortunately I still could not play! I was so mad because I had been on 1st the year before but now I was going to be put on 3rd. The only way I solved this problem was by finding a true expert to be my teacher. I learned an entirely new embouchure. I'm afraid that, for some people, that's the only option (although I hope that you don't have to go to such extremes). The best advice is to work it out with a private teacher.

  7. #7
    New Friend barato's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Somewhere in Ohio

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    Congratulations on getting your braces off! I have had mine on for about 5 months now. Always ask your band director on how you can get back to working condition or just listen to the people on this site. Everyone here has good advice to give you, just listen and the advice given into your daily routine. Good luck with your recovery.

  8. #8
    Forte User stchasking's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Getting Braces Off

    I agree with everybody. I would be interested in the book offered on the Stoneback sisters web site. If you buy it and use it let us know how it works out for you.

    "I was performing professionally at age 17 and have never had a real job." Allen Vizzutti

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