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tooth guard for sax

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tooth guard for sax    19:08 on Sunday, March 13, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Thomas (alto sax))
In the first few years of playing the alto, I noticed that my bottom lip would start to hurt after a long playing session. I thought this was normal, and toughed it out. Later, I learned that your bottom teeth are actually digging into the flesh of your bottom lip when you play. Many sax players develop callouses on the lower lip after many years of playing, but I wanted to find a more permanent, and less painful solution.

When I started taking lessons, I noticed that my teacher used a guard for his bottom teeth. He later told me that he made it out of crazy glue, and cigarette paper. He didn`t recommend that for me, so he suggested molding denture pads over my teeth. I have been doing that for almost two years now, and it works amazingly! I can play for 3 hours straight without feeling any pain at all!

There is a drawback to using denture pads, though. You have to throw them out and cut out new ones every 2 weeks or so, because they start to get moldy and disgusting.

I recently saw something in the trumpet forum, though (the subject line of the post is "High Notes" if anyone wants to look at it). Apparently, many young trumpeters have braces, and this greatly affects their playing ability. Many of these people have developed solutions to the problems of braces, but that involves a lot of low notes, long tones, and pain. Then, someone suggested molding a plastic football mouthpiece over the braces. I thought, hey, this couldn`t be too bad, since I have to throw away my denture pads every two weeks.

So I went to a sporting goods store and bought a plastic football mouthpiece. I then took it home, placed it in boiling water, took it out with tongs, let it cool for a bit, and then molded it over my bottom teeth. I have been using this method for the past 2 weeks or so, and it is a MILLION times better than denture pads! I suggest to any sax player out there who has ever experienced pain while playing to try this method!

There is a more detailed explanation of how to do this on the website below:

http://www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/Braces%20FAQ.html

Happy playing!

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Re: tooth guard for sax    20:43 on Sunday, March 13, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(BleedingGumsMurphy)
After playing sax for a couple hours each day for five years, i have just grown accustomed to it and i don`t feel any pain at all when i play.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    22:50 on Monday, March 14, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(bgm)
YOu should never have to bite your bottom lip. The correct embouchure uses lip MUSCLES- not the teeth pushing up on your lip. You need to find a teacher who does not teach use of the bottom teeth.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    23:11 on Monday, March 14, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Thomas (alto sax))
I find that rather offensive, bgm. I have been playing alto for five years, and I don`t know of any other way of playing other than rolling your bottom lip over your teeth. That`s the only correct way I know of, and if you have another way which you think is correct, than I would be glad to hear a very detailed explanation of how you would pull this off.

By the way, my teacher, Dr. Street, who you just badmouthed, is a professor at my provincial university, and has been playing the sax for more than 35 years. He has won numerous awards, is an internationally recognized saxophone player. He knows more about playing the sax than anyone else I know.

Thank you,

Thomas

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Re: tooth guard for sax    05:26 on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Andier)
Hi~ here`s my point~

for some reasons,it`s not so good ,you have to admit: when using such a thing for your teeth~ 1st,you can`t avoid the change of your tone. it may be softer~ for the vibration is based on a softer lip~... 2ndly between your lower teeth and your lower lip there is a "gap",which will definetly make your mouth and sound less sensitive. 3rdly, it will be hard to talk before draggin it out ... it`s just like playing piano wearing a pair of gloves ,many details will be different.

just personal views, waiting for your correcting.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    18:49 on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Thomas (alto sax))
No, Andier, I do appreciate your input. However, I did neglect to explicitly mention that my sax teacher (Dr. Street) has been using this method too, for more than 30 years. I have adjusted well to it, and I don`t think that it has compromised my tone in any way. In fact, I think it has improved my tone, as well as the various upgrades I have made to my other equipment (mouthpiece, reeds, and sax). I just know that you`re going to say something about altissimo, but my teacher can play higher altissimo notes than anyone else I have heard so far.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    05:57 on Friday, March 18, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Andier)
I think this`s maybe just a personal custom,if you can get used to that,everything will be fine~ anyway, it`s not widely used .But nothing is able to persuade every one except what you play. I mean, when you are doing a very good job with your horn and your "guard", nothing to blame.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    16:07 on Friday, March 18, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(jen)
iN my first year before i developed a proper embrosher, i used to get thet alot.try folding paper over you bottum teeth before playing.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    03:42 on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Scarlett)
It`s funny you should talk about this Thomas because I actually have a permanant imprint of my teeth on my bottom lip, it never goes away because I practise everyday

To the person who said you should not get sore lips, I believe that is not the case. Pick up ANY saxophone book on technique and they will tell you to put your bottom lip over your teeth. I have read countless books on technique explaining that very important detail.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    08:09 on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(SimpsonSaxGal)
When I entered college, my professor suggested getting some of that waterproof medical tape and folding some over itself, and placing it on the bottom teeth. I replace mine after a few hours of playing, and start a new one every time I play. This solution helps me out. It`s easy to talk with it in your mouth, and if you like chewing gum, it`s sorta similar, at least when you`re not playing in the sense that you have something in your mouth and you chew it.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    09:28 on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Andier)
I`ve got an idea ~ why not take a piece of chewing gum instead ...... hehe,kidding.....

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Re: tooth guard for sax    18:47 on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(SimpsonSaxGal)
re: the chewing gum idea

You probably could, but it gets thin over your teeth and would eventually rip through leaving your lip with no protection once again.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    00:02 on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(Thomas (alto sax))
That seems like an effective method, simpsonsaxgal, but don`t you get a bit tired of doing that every single time you play? For me, that would just add on to the already lengthy time it takes to set up. I just keep my tooth cover in a little vial in my case, and I can take it out whenever I need it. Interestingly enough, the other sax players at my school ask me "what is that?" whenever I put it in.

Also, I`m not saying everyone should use this method. I know a few pros who don`t, and they`re perfectly okay with their embouchure. Like Scarlett, they all have permanent imprints in their lower lip. I`m just suggesting to the younger students who have trouble with pain in their lower lip to give this a try. I know it`s worked for me.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    01:28 on Thursday, March 24, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(SimpsonSaxGal)
It does take a bit of time, but not really that much. I do it before I assemble my saxophone and after I begin wetting my reed.

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Re: tooth guard for sax    00:39 on Monday, April 04, 2005 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
(MLE)
hey thomas do you use the mouth gaurd at school if you do don`t u get made fun of? i thinking of trying it even though I`m sure i will get made fun of but hey i`m used to it. oh yah could you get these at like a fred meyer and how much are they about



   

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