Help for the injured?

#1
I became obsessed with the sax around 1982. I played so much that by 1985 I had nerve damage in my mouth, roots of my teeth, and lip. Can still play but very little endurance and inconsistent tone and pitch. Doctor and dentist suggested laying off for awhile. Tried that a lot and it didn't work. Now I'm learning to play out of the side of my mouth since the damage is primarily in the center and that does help some. Also learned the embouchure method of just laying the reed against the lip and that may help too. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

Keep Blowing

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#2
I became obsessed with the sax around 1982. I played so much that by 1985 I had nerve damage in my mouth, roots of my teeth, and lip. Can still play but very little endurance and inconsistent tone and pitch. Doctor and dentist suggested laying off for awhile. Tried that a lot and it didn't work. Now I'm learning to play out of the side of my mouth since the damage is primarily in the center and that does help some. Also learned the embouchure method of just laying the reed against the lip and that may help too. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
I can't play in the centre of my mouth due to problems with my teeth, I have got used to it. A guy I know uses a thing similar to a gum shield, it was made by his dentist and slots over his top four teeth, maybe worth investigating. I hope you find a solution. I have also switched to Alto, it is easier on the mouth than a Tenor
 
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kevgermany

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#3
From the start I couldn't stand the vibration through my teeth, so played double lip, much to the disgust of some traditionalists. I wonder if kennyg has the same issues as you, he plays from the side of his mouth.

No idea how to help, but we do have some medical members who may chime in with advice.
 
#5
I can't play in the centre of my mouth due to problems with my teeth, I have got used to it. A guy I know uses a thing similar to a gum shield, it was made by his dentist and slots over his top four teeth, maybe worth investigating. I hope you find a solution. I have also switched to Alto, it is easier on the mouth than a Tenor
Thank you Keep Blowing. I have tried a shield over my teeth, but it didn't stop the pain.
 
#6
From the start I couldn't stand the vibration through my teeth, so played double lip, much to the disgust of some traditionalists. I wonder if kennyg has the same issues as you, he plays from the side of his mouth.

No idea how to help, but we do have some medical members who may chime in with advice.
thank you Kevgermany. I did try turning the mouthpiece upside down with upper lip over teeth instead of vice versa. It didn't work to well, but thanks to your encouragement, I think it is worth another try since my upper lip is healthier.
 
#7
Have you looked into playing an Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI)?
Thank you jbtsax. Wonderful suggestion. I have considered an EWI, but with rare exception, these just don't do it for me like a saxophone. However, I am starting to realize that since they are MIDI instruments their capability is pretty heavy duty. Also, my disapointment with them might have more to do with how they were played when I heard them. May buy one yet.
 

kevgermany

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#8
thank you Kevgermany. I did try turning the mouthpiece upside down with upper lip over teeth instead of vice versa. It didn't work to well, but thanks to your encouragement, I think it is worth another try since my upper lip is healthier.
Not quite what I meant. Mouthpiece normal way up. Lips in front of teeth providing all mouthpiece contact.
 
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#9
It's not completely clear to me what your problem is. Is it just that you have pain when you put your lip over your teeth? Or is there nerve damage so that you can’t control your embouchure?
When I started in the “Jazz and light music” section of our music academy my teacher told me to use a different embouchure. No lip over the bottom teeth, just support the reed with the lip itself. That way there is no pain from the teeth pushing/cutting into the lip. But it is rather demanding on the lip muscles.
Not sure that would work for you, but it is worth a try I guess.
 
#10
Not quite what I meant. Mouthpiece normal way up. Lips in front of teeth providing all mouthpiece contact.
I understood what you meant. Guess I didn't make myself clear. You're talking about no contact of the teeth with the mouthpiece at all. The majority of the problem with my playing is in my lower 4 middle teeth, the middle of my lower lip, and the area just below my lower lip in the middle - it has been numb since 1985. However the pain and some numbness radiate outward from these areas. It's just worse in the middle. I thought the embouchure you suggested is a great idea for some but it wouldn't help me with the lower teeth, lip, and mouth. That's why if I turned the mouthpiece upside down and moved it to the side a bit I would be using my upper lip to control the reed where there is not so much damage, and maybe the lower areas wouldn't hurt so much because of being a little to the side.
 
#11
It's not completely clear to me what your problem is. Is it just that you have pain when you put your lip over your teeth? Or is there nerve damage so that you can’t control your embouchure?
When I started in the “Jazz and light music” section of our music academy my teacher told me to use a different embouchure. No lip over the bottom teeth, just support the reed with the lip itself. That way there is no pain from the teeth pushing/cutting into the lip. But it is rather demanding on the lip muscles.
Not sure that would work for you, but it is worth a try I guess.
Great idea Wonko. I did learn the embouchure where you just lay the reed against the lip, but unfortunately the nerve damage makes it so that I can't control my embouchure, at least not like I need. Twenty percent of the time I think it sounds pretty darn good. T
 
#12
Not sure that last post went through. Boy this can get frustrating, but I'll get it. I've noticed the little eye icon to the left of Replies? Forums-Playing-Normal threads. I assume it means watched, but just confused over how that exactly works. Do I need to remove that, and how?
 
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