I have recently had braces put on, and it has changed my tone and everything completely. I think I sound funny and everyone’s like ,”You sound fine.” I don’t know what to do. I change how much my throat is open, I change how firm my embouchure is, and I change my air. When I finally sound on the note I was tring to sound better on, all my other notes sound weird. I don’t know if my problem is my playing or my instrument and accessories. I am playing on a Buffet R-13 with the silver plated keys and 3 1/2 silver box Vandoren reeds. The instrument was used like for two years before I purchased it. I have only been playing for 2 1/2 years.
———————————————————————Hi, and thank you for your note.
I can tell you without a doubt that it is only the braces that are making everything seem and seem to sound funny.
You do not and are quite probably just getting used to the braces, and that is all.
It is very true that braces in the mouth along with the clarinet seem like an unwanted guest.
There can be rubbing, which can be a discomfort or even a pain.
Most dentists don’t extend their compassion to players of woodwind instruments because they are being paid to straighten your teeth.
So, if nothing else, please try to relax and understand that the braces are doing two jobs: one is straightening your teeth, and the other is to create a disomfort in your mouth.
I would suggest strongly that you continue with your clarinet playing and practise, especially if you really love the instrument and your study. It is just going to take some getting used to the braces.
Try to remain calm and you will do just fine, I know.
I have had many students with the same problem and I have had a lifetime of disturbances in my mouth due to teeth, root canals, abcesses, everything you can think of and I have never given up.
That is because I love the clarinet, just as you.
best wishes and…..courage.