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Practice Aids

P.E.T.E. - Embouchure Training System

berp-a.jpg BERP for Brass Instruments
In 1986, Los Angeles Philharmonic trumpeter Mario Guarneri developed the Buzz Extension and Resistance Piece (B.E.R.P.) for brass instruments---a dynamic advancement in brass pedagogy. The creation of the BERP grew out of the concept of mouthpiece buzzing which has been used for many years as a teaching technique for brass players. One of the leading proponents of buzzing the mouthpiece was James Stamp. He asked his students to add some resistance to the mouthpiece when buzzing by placing their little finger over the end. By learning to blow into resistance, which in fact happens when you play the instrument, you become more aware of the undesirable creation of resistance in your body, and thus avoid it by using proper breath support. He also asked his students to finger the valves of their instruments while buzzing the mouthpiece, to create an awareness of the connection between the fingers and the brain’s perception of pitch.

By putting the two ideas together---buzzing against resistance, and fingering (or moving the slide), to the corresponding pitch---the BERP maximizes the benefit of mouthpiece buzzing practice. Adjustable resistance dial slides over four holes to let you tune the BERP to any resistance you want. Side-by-side design lets you switch between playing and buzzing instantly. New adjustable clamp fits around the receiver opening of any brand or model of instrument. If you play a brass instrument, there's a BERP for you.
CSAS.jpg Chop-Sticks Advanced™ in Stainless Steel
CHOP-STICKS ADVANCED™: includes all 5 weights, Deluxe bag, and 16-page Methodology Booklet.

Please choose a bag color
CSASNP.jpg Chop-Sticks Advanced™ Nickel Plated
includes all 5 weights, Deluxe bag, and 16-page Methodology Booklet.

Please choose a bag color
csps.jpg Chop-Sticks Pro™
CHOP-STICKS PRO™: includes all 5 Stainless Steel weights, Deluxe Bag, Methodology Booklet, and 3 Removable Clamp-On Supplemental Weights for extreme conditioning that allows for flexible positioning with movable torque. Recommended for those that play at least 1.5 hours per day.
csstarter.jpg Chop-Sticks™ Starter Kit
CHOP-STICKS™ STARTER KIT: includes Deluxe bag, 16-page Methodology booklet, and one medium-sized #3 Stainless Steel weight. CHOP-STICKS™ is a specialized exercise program designed to strengthen the embouchure muscles. This is to be used in conjunction with practicing, and can be especially helpful when practicing is not an option (illness, injury, vacation).

Please choose a bag color
cssc.jpg Chop-Sticks™ Starter Kit Completer
CHOP-STICKS™ STARTER KIT COMPLETER: includes weights #1, #2, #4, #5 in stainless steel, to complete your Starter Kit. In other words, if you combine this with the Starter Kit it equals the Advanced Stainless Steel Set. (bag and booklet not included with the Completer).
The Brass Buzzer Buzz-aid

The Brass Buzzer buzz-aid consists of a lead pipe shank connected to a ring that holds the mouthpiece off the horn. The brass player can then buzz on their mouthpiece while holding the horn and playing along with their own mouthpiece buzzing.

yamahasilentbrasstrumpet Yamaha SB79 Silent Brass System for Trumpet

The Yamaha Silent Brass system is a complete portable and soundproof system, and could be the most innovative product for brass instruments since the valve. With Silent Brass, you'll hear a sound inside the earphones so rich and full you'll think you are standing on a concert hall stage. The Yamaha Silent Brass system lets you play your horn anywhere you want, anytime you want, and with just the kind of ambiance you feel like. You can mix into the sounds of a CD player, a Silent Piano, an electronic keyboard or other Silent Brass, and output your playing into a tape deck or even an amp with speakers. Never again will you have to search for a practice room, have to 'stop because it's getting late'.

The Yamaha Silent Brass system for trumpet and cornet includes the ST9 Personal Studio, PM7 Pickup mute, and earphones. Separate Pickup Mutes are also available.

The Silent brass trumpet pickup mute is made of lightweight plastic, with a unique rubber sealer to hold it securely in the bell. When used with the Silent Brass system, it has none of that stuffy restricted feeling of conventional practice mutes. In fact, it blows so close to a natural open horn that you simply won't believe it until you actually experience it for yourself. Play high or low, loud or soft, and your pitch will remain true and centered. A special microphone inside the mute relays your sound to the Personal Studio

staccatorsmall.jpg Staccator - Articulation Tool
In order to play in a staccato style, brass and woodwind players have to be able to play fast and clear notes that are not only initiated by the finger technique of the player, but that are also initiated by the tonguing technique of the player. In this respect, in order to play fast and clear notes initiated by the tonguing technique, a player must be able to blow the air out of his mouth using the tongue. To blow the air accurately, the player needs to strengthen his/her tongue muscle and learn to control his/her tongue so as to blow the air with different speeds and at different frequencies. Presently, brass and wind players have to practice the staccato technique using their musical instruments. In this respect, particular tongue exercises have been designed specifically for bras and wood wind instrumentalists for practicing this technique. However, practicing the staccato technique using a brass or a woodwind instrument is difficult as the instrument’s mouthpiece exerts pressure on the lips of the player, and this pressure causes the player to flex multiple mouth muscles, which are unnecessary for practicing the tonguing technique used for staccato style of playing. Consequently, when these multiple mouth muscles are flexed, the player has a difficulty perfecting his/her staccato technique. The Staccator works by concentrating solely on isolating the tongue muscle, in order to build its strength and so the player may learn to control their tongue muscle better.
Bach Trumpet Mouthpiece Visualizer
Every brass instrument teacher should use a visualizer to help set a pupil's embouchure correctly during the very first lesson. It shows at a glance when the mouthpiece is too high or too low on the lips, whether the lower jaw recedes, whether the tongue protrudes during the attack, and many other embouchure faults.