Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

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quiethorn
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Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by quiethorn » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:03 am

In the last few years, I've found that playing anything 6.5AL or smaller (I think officially this is 25.4mm?) causes discomfort on my lower front gums, right around where the mouthpiece sits. But the discomfort isn't during playing so much as later on throughout the day and night. So if I play even just 30-60 mins in the morning, later on in the day I'll start getting discomfort. I don't know what else to call it. It's not pain; it's more like light pressure on my lower front gums, I guess.

I've been playing a Wick 4AL for the last couple years, have no issues, and I wondered if I'd still have his gum thing. So I tried a Wick 6AL that I got on the forum a while ago but never used, and sure enough, after a couple days on it, my gums are feeling weird all evening. The cup depth and rims shape on these seem the same, so I can only think it's the rim width.

Has anyone had anything like this? I used to be able to play on smaller stuff when I was younger... 6.5AL, 7C, 11C, no issues. But now I feel like I'm doomed to a large mouthpiece forever. I'm wondering if I can get down to something 5G-sized, but who knows.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:05 am

Do you need something that small? If you need a smaller mouthpiece on a small horn, try a Bach no letter (5, 4, etc) or a DE.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:30 am

"doomed to a large mouthpiece forever."

Interesting way to put it.
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Matt K
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by Matt K » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:17 am

I had the opposite experience in the sense that I started on small stuff and then when I finally switched to something larger, the sensation went away. I had no idea you could play the horn without experiencing some discomfort after playing until that point.
baileyman
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by baileyman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:59 am

Wow, what a pain! Does this mean excess pressure? It's hard for me to imagine enough pressure to cause gum pain without some problem with the gum itself. My lip would hurt first. Perhaps there is a dental issue?

Then again, some pains are meaningless. A part hurts just because it hurts, not indicating actual physical cause. Athletes frequently deal with that.
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Matt K
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by Matt K » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:39 am

baileyman wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:59 am
Wow, what a pain! Does this mean excess pressure? It's hard for me to imagine enough pressure to cause gum pain without some problem with the gum itself. My lip would hurt first. Perhaps there is a dental issue?

Then again, some pains are meaningless. A part hurts just because it hurts, not indicating actual physical cause. Athletes frequently deal with that.
Well, in my case it wasn't pain. ANd maybe discomfort isn't even the right word. But I don't notice any sensation after playing on a rim size that I normally play with now whereas I did when I played on smaller things.

Bear in mind this is also possibly an embouchure placement "issue" in the sense that where you place the rim relative to your oral cavity is going to change depending on your physiology. So someone like myself (and Alessi!) who plays with the top of the rim almost near the nose is going to have a lot more surface area touching the bottom lip near where the gumline is because the bottom of the circle rests there. Similarly, someone like Trombone Shorty who plays the extreme opposite is going to have mostly the rim touching their upper gums with relatively little even coming close to the lower gums. And then I also play off slightly to the left so if the left side of my teeth are differently shaped than the right side, there will be asymetrical pressure applied to one side than the other, etc. etc.
quiethorn
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by quiethorn » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:19 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:30 am
"doomed to a large mouthpiece forever."

Interesting way to put it.
Thanks, I chuckled when I wrote that :D
Rusty
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Re: Anything 6.5AL or smaller == gum discomfort

Post by Rusty » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:05 pm

I’ve found a similar thing, not of a certain sized rim but a certain rim contour. Anything with a sharper inner rim edge like some Schilke style rims or a Greg Black 7c, or a sharper rim contour in general will give me this sort of discomfort.

I’ve found the Doug Elliot rims to be very comfy for me.
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