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Top 10 Gadgets for Brass Players.

 

I decided to take a wander around the shop to see what we had here, that I personally thought was a great gadget/contraption for any brass player to keep close to them/in their case.

 

These are my top 10 (in no particular order), and I would love for you to let me know your top gadgets, however big or small, silly or sensible or just plain crazy!!

 

1) K&M drinks holder

In my eyes, a must have for musicians, especially brass players. I think it’s common knowledge that brass players enjoy a beverage or 3, so imagine being able to keep that pint of ‘water’ attached to your stand, and then whilst in a few bars rest, enjoying a quick refreshing sip.

16020 000 55

2) Mouthpiece Pouches

For such a small amount of metal, mouthpieces are not cheap by any means. Why would we not want to look after them and ensure that they last for as long as possible. I personally keep all of mouthpieces in pouches to protect them from drops, dinks, dents and other accessories laying around in my case.

DWA211L

3) Hercules Mute Holder

One for the trumpet players. The Hercules Mute holder is ideal for keeping up to four mutes in an easy to reach and safe position during performances or just practising. The foam coated rings eliminate that embarrassing 'clunk' when storing mutes on this wonderful new stand attachment. It fits most music stands, and will allow players to change mutes quickly and efficiently.

HA100 copy

4) B.E.R.P

One of my favourite tools, and something that stays on my instrument at all times. The BERP is the ultimate embouchure trainer! Great for practising without disturbing the neighbours. The BERP is the most efficient tool you can use to help you become a better brass player. It is designed to allow you to buzz your mouthpiece while holding the instrument in the regular playing position. The BERP also lets you press your instrument’s valves or move the slide to match the pitches you’re buzzing, so you gain ear-training benefits through reinforcing the connection between buzzing the mouthpiece and playing.

Berp

5) Pencil Clip /  Stand Attachment

Again, something that stays on my instrument at all times. Usually, you would find a clip like this on a stand, but I have found that it fits perfectly onto a tuning slide (they are available in different sizes for different instruments). Having a pencil with you at all times is key meaning that you can alter and edit anything on the music in front of you.

K&M Pencil Holder (Large)

6) Stratos

This high-quality practice aid is attached to your instrument while you play or practise. It helps you improve and adapt your embouchure and, by reducing mouthpiece pressure and ensuring a good jaw position, can help to solve many embouchure problems, as well as improving your power, range, tone, stamina and general ease of playing. I am yet to try this, but it is high up on my list of things to experience. All I know is that I’ve heard amazing things about this product, and in my opinion, looks like a proper cool gadget.

Stratos1

7) Mouthpiece Boosters

Looking for a bigger sound, or a or fatter tone? Some players may think that it’s all in the head and it doesn’t affect it at all, but I think differently. Being a tuba player, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mouthpiece booster that fits a tuba mouthpiece (again, please show me if there is such a thing), but I do play on a Bach MegaTone mouthpiece, which personally, I think it does make a big different.

More commonly found on trumpet mouthpieces, boosters not only look cool, but will add something extra to your playing. Have a look at the KGU mouthpiece boosters, or the Denis Wick mouthpiece boosters.

DW French Horn Booster

8) Flexi Cleaners / Brushes

After speaking to the workshop, it’s fair to say that brass players can be, let’s say, lazy when it comes to keeping their instruments clean. It’s always a good idea to keep a mouthpiece brush in your case, just to keep it squeaky clean. Having a good amount of cleaning equipment at home is always something that I would recommend, as the more that you clean and look after the instrument, the longer you’ll be able to keep using it. I think it’s strange how we spend a large amount of our hard earned cash on an instrument, and then not spend a small bit of time on maintaining it.

Mouthpiece Brush MAIN IMAGE 1

9) Pacato Hearing Protection

There is nothing better than hearing brass instruments, being played to their extremes. A massive orchestral fanfare or a challenging test piece for a brass band – there will most probably be an enormously loud section. I think it’s incredibly important to keep our ears protected, firstly, to allow us to keep playing for as long as possible, but also, as we all know, they are hugely important. I personally only wear hearing protection, if I’m sat directly in front of the percussion section, but would recommend it to anyone who plays regularly and often loudly, to really consider hearing protection.

208929 Daddario hearing aid protection

10) Vibrass

Something that is slightly new to me, but I would highly consider trying this as a regular feature of my playing. The Vibrass is a massage device for your lips, suitable for brass and double reed players. It has eight different mouthpiece adapters allowing it to be used with mouthpieces ranging from cornet all the way down to tuba. Vibrass is a fantastic new product designed to increase playing capability by massaging the lips. Can be used anywhere to restore your tired lips to playing freshness.

Lip Massager copy

 

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