Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I'm 14 years old and practice 2.5- 3 hours a day alone and probably 2 hours at various practices. Every so often maybe ounce every one or two months I get a sore on my lower lip that occasionally bleeds and makes it very difficult to play without pain. I usually take a day of and use tons of Orasol that numbs and heals it which usually works. I've switched up my embouchure lately which has helped this occur less but it still happens occasionally. This week I was playing with my teacher and we were playing some altissimo notes (I got to altissimo D!) I i hurt my lip again. I took a day of a used tons of Orasol but it still hurts today. I have a huge concert with the district jazz band on Monday and another on Tuesday that I really need to be at my best for. What is the quickest way that I can heal my lip? Should I take Sunday of also? I only played an hour today so i didn't over do it but i still got some exercises in. If you have any recommendations of how I can heal my lip by Monday I would really appreciate that. Thank you
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
Joined
·
7,560 Posts
There are tooth guards you can put over your lower teeth. I've seen a few players here in LA use them. It sounds like your bottom teeth are sharp, or there is one tooth that sticks up above the others. You can ask your dentist to make them smoother or even grind down the top a little. i had that done to my top teeth because they were making big grooves in the mouthpiece. The amount of tooth the dentist took off was very small but it made a huge difference. Don't play any altissimo until the lip heels.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
In the short term, the best way to deal with this is to let your lip rest with minimal, if any, playing along with your ointment to allow your lower lip to heal. In the long term, you are probably biting. Type in "biting" in the search box and you will find plenty of discussions on how to combat it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
In addition to what's mentioned above, use "lip savers". They are sold commercially but anything that folds over the bottom teeth will do. I used to play the Ringling Bros Circus which meant 9 hours of blowing when there were 3 shows in one day. I used EZO, could be wrong about the name, but it is a bendable wax material sold in pharmacies for false teeth. Cut a strip and fold it over the teeth. As it gets wet it conforms to the shape. I've seen others use florist tape and even notebook paper folded over 3 times. The key is to use it from the beginning so the lip never gets sore in the first place. Once it's sore, not much you can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone for the help. I should be good Monday I hope. Sometimes I fold a piece of printer paper and that seems to work pretty well but last time I spent a while doing that my saxophone was full of paper scraps ha ha. If worst comes to worst I can do that for the concert. Well there was one good thing that came out of this which is my new nickname my friends gave me, Bloody Lip Dugan ha ha. Thank you again for your help everyone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
With all due respect for the suggestions regarding prosthetic devices, using them only treats the symptoms of biting and not the cause. You should work on using your facial muscles as opposed to your jaw muscles in developing your embouchure. Ultimately, that will increase your endurance and prevent the issue that you're having now. You also might want to look at the reed strength and tip opening you are using, which may be too hard or open for you current stage of development, causing you to bite down in order to facilitate playing.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
+1 for EZO. I take the horseshoe-shaped strip, cut it into thirds, round off the pointed edges, and keep one in each of my cases. I store it in an empty bassoon reed case and reuse it until the wax has dissolved. I'm still on the same box I bought almost 10 years ago.

With all due respect for the suggestions regarding prosthetic devices, using them only treats the symptoms of biting and not the cause.
I would agree to an extent. But if you have extremely jagged bottom teeth with crowding and gaps, as I do, you will eventually shred your lower lip no matter what. And I think in this specific case that a prosthetic is an acceptable way to overcome what is essentially a physical limitation. And with the prosthetic, you need to bring your jaw down more anyway to account for the extra height of your bottom teeth.

I usually don't use the prosthetic for sax, since I play it with fairly low pressure. Only on longer jobs or when I have a lot of gigs with no down time.

But I always use it when I'm playing clarinet. I did two pretty long orchestra gigs today, playing principal clarinet. Lots of high notes and exposed solo passages. No way I could have done it without the EZO. And right now my lip feels pretty good, which will be a nice thing when I play sax tomorrow morning.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
You can ask your dentist to make them smoother or even grind down the top a little. i had that done to my top teeth because they were making big grooves in the mouthpiece. The amount of tooth the dentist took off was very small but it made a huge difference.
You brought back a great memory from when I was on the road with Buddy Morrow. He had some work done on his teeth right before the tour started and apparently it was not agreeing with his embouchure. He was sandpapering his teeth in between sets for the whole night! Finally he got it where he wanted it.

Big disclaimer: I don't recommend or endorse this as a DIY solution...but it was amusing to watch. :mrgreen:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
I got serrated bottom teeth.

As long as I had my bottom lip over my teeth I would bleed.

Learn to play without having your lip over your teeth.

That is what I did.

Put your thumb in your mouth as if you were sucking your thumb.

Replace your thumb with mpc.

Blow.

If you start now, by fall you will have a new embouchure that works and does not hurt you.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top