Can Playing The Trumpet Be Bad For You? (Explained)

Beginner trumpet players will find many positive effects from learning trumpet, but they also need to be aware of potential health risks.

Let’s discuss how playing the trumpet could be bad for you:

Here’s How Playing the Trumpet Can Be Bad for You:

Although playing trumpet has many benefits like improving lung capacity, it could cause the movement of teeth, lip fatigue, lung conditions, and other serious physical issues. A good embouchure will prevent the majority of these health risks.

Can Playing the Trumpet Damage Your Teeth?

With an improper embouchure, playing trumpet could damage your teeth.

It’s important to consult your dentist to see how playing an instrument could affect teeth.

Some trumpet players use a lot of pressure on their mouthpieces. They can force high notes by pressing the mouthpiece tight against their lips. When done too often, this pressure could lead to dental problems.

If you already have an overbite, but your trumpet playing shifts your teeth back, it could also benefit your teeth positioning. It all depends on your teeth.

Some instruments, whether woodwind or brass, help positively realign teeth.

However, it’s never a good idea to exert that much pressure on your mouthpiece. A good embouchure should never disrupt your teeth at all.

Often orthodontics affect embouchure, not the other way around. When teenagers get braces, they are forced to adapt to an unusual, painful embouchure while playing the trumpet.

Always tell your orthodontist that you play an instrument. Many people have successfully played the trumpet for years without disrupting the alignment of their teeth.

Your dentist can work with you to find the best solution to this problem.

Can It Ruin Your Lips?

Your lips are extremely delicate and sensitive, and playing the trumpet can injure them.

To play the trumpet well, you have to exert pressure on a metal mouthpiece, often for hours on end. You have to activate muscles that aren’t used in your daily life. This can lead to injuries, especially when you have bad technique.

Trumpet players often experience lip fatigue after a lot of practice time.

Practice consistently, spreading your practice time across several days instead of playing one day for multiple hours.

One possibility for injury is rupturing your lip muscles. Like any other muscle, it’s easy to strain or injure lips if exerted for too long. This is different from lip fatigue and will need a good recovery time away from your instrument.

The most important way to avoid lip injuries is to have a good embouchure. Even though everyone’s mouth is shaped differently, you should generally aim to keep the mouthpiece centered, with both lips equally placed on the mouthpiece.

Don’t use too much pressure. Although you have to have pressure to play the trumpet, you shouldn’t be pushing the mouthpiece too hard on your lips.

Instead of using more pressure to play high notes, use more air.

Take breaks. After you exercise a muscle, it’s important to take time to recover. Lip muscles function the same way. After long periods of practice, take some time off.

This way, you can return to your instrument refreshed and ready to play.

Is Playing the Trumpet Good for Your Lungs?

Although playing a wind instrument usually benefits lung health, it can cause serious issues without proper instrument maintenance.

When a trumpet player doesn’t clean their instrument regularly, they risk developing a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or “bagpipe lung.”

This is rare but can happen. Players of all ages should be careful to clean their instruments after every use. Because wind instruments develop moisture from air and saliva, mold could start to grow.

Although this lung condition is dangerous if not treated, it is easily preventable and has available treatment methods.

You can easily avoid lung conditions by learning how to clean your trumpet. Most trumpet brands will provide free cleaning kits with their instruments. If not, they are available at the nearest music store.

Beginners often forget to clean their trumpets or just become lazy. They should be aware of the dangers of this and should start to clean their instruments daily.

Playing a wind instrument can strengthen your lungs. Brass musicians often claim to have higher lung capacity.

It even has helped some people in lessening the severity of asthma.

Breathing exercises can improve the strength of your core muscles and increase lung capacity. Trumpet players, after years of practice, often have great improvements in lung function.

Does Playing the Trumpet Change Your Face?

With a correct embouchure, trumpet players will face minimal changes to their faces.

However, there are some health risks associated with exerting pressure to play notes.

Occasionally, the strain of playing trumpet can cause laryngoceles. These are masses either inside or outside the larynx that are filled with fluid or air.

They rarely need to be surgically removed but require rest to heal.

Too much pressure around your face could cause pain, cramping, or spasms if there is too much pressure. This is known as dystonias, which can manifest in the tongue or other areas of the face.

If this happens, you’ll need to relearn your embouchure to use less pressure. Generally, too much pressure and too much practice can cause short-term or long-term issues.

It varies from player to player, but each musician needs to know what their body signals while playing the trumpet.

Are There Any Other Negative Effects of Playing the Trumpet?

  • Dizziness and/or blackouts
  • Metal allergy
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Mental exhaustion

Because the trumpet needs large amounts of air and a decent amount of pressure to play, this could lead to dizziness or even blackouts.

Especially when a trumpet player hits high notes, the extra pressure could block blood flowing to their head, dropping their blood pressure.

This is avoidable when you practice slowly, consistently, with a great posture and embouchure. Many trumpet players manage to play healthily because of their diligent practice time.

Since trumpets are made from metal, your skin could be allergic to them. Although there are different finishes, any of these could lead to itching, rashes, or small bumps. This is rare and doesn’t happen to most players.

If you develop allergies to your metal mouthpiece, you could try a plastic one. Notice if the allergic reaction goes away with this change. Consult your doctor if this problem persists.

Playing any instrument requires a lot of practice time, both in ensembles and by yourself. Musicians often face long periods of mental and physical exhaustion because of this.

A trumpet player’s embouchure atrophies very quickly, so they cannot take much time off. This can place too much pressure on them.

Playing the trumpet is a challenging combination of mental and physical effort. You have to read music while simultaneously forming a good embouchure, breathing deeply, and making the correct fingerings.

The music community is a very competitive environment, which can be mentally exhausting for any player. It’s important to pay attention to your mental health, taking rest periods when you need them.

Final Thoughts

Many trumpet players will go through their entire career without experiencing many health risks from playing the trumpet. This being said, some issues can occasionally arise.

Having a good embouchure can successfully avoid the formation of health risks for brass players. It’s important not to exert too much pressure on the mouthpiece.

With unusual amounts of pressure, your teeth could shift, or you could develop abnormal lip fatigue. You could also have spasms in your face or neck. When these problems occur, it’s time to relearn proper embouchure and technique.

Although your lungs could be affected by mold growth in your instrument, you need to clean your instrument daily to keep your lungs healthy.

Because physical and mental exhaustion is a major part of being a musician, players need to rest consistently. You’ll want to continue loving music, so don’t practice so much that you become frustrated!

Sources

The 5 Worst Things When It Comes to Playing Trumpet (and How to Avoid Them!)

Physical Effects of Playing the Trumpet

Playing a Wind Instrument? Beware ‘Bagpipe Lung’