Nobody likes going to the dentist, but any brass player can tell you how debilitating it can be- to your playing, your income or your art. I recently had to have a rear molar extracted due to a build up of bacteria in the roots of a botched root canal (that’s another story). In recent years I practiced trombone regularly to maintain my technique, but I focused mostly on developing my compositional voice and the performative capabilities of my Max/MSP instrument. In the past few months though, I’d been practicing trombone quite diligently and trying to break through to some new expressive sounds, which do require my technique and embouchure strength to be in peak condition. I had to stop practicing for a week or so while I heal (although I did make it through a gig the day after), and now I’m hoping it won’t be too difficult to return to where I was. My mouth, my embouchure, and my playing hurt and feel very awkward, it’s difficult to eat. Fortunately (I suppose), I don’t make a living as a working trombone player, so my income wasn’t terribly effected, although I will now need a VERY expensive tooth implant, (without the aid of insurance). Oooh, those dental blues hurt in so many ways.