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?
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 mouthpieceexpress.com? (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.