Every music teacher knows that the prerequisite of becoming a good sounding brass player is being able to buzz your lips accurately and with a good tone.  Buzzing on a mouthpiece alone is the easiest and most straightforward method, but more goes into playing a trumpet, trombone, or tuba than just buzzing alone.  There are these annoying things called fingerings that require almost as much attention as the buzzing. That’s where the Buzz Extension and Resistance Piece (BERP) comes in.  The BERP lets a brass student practice buzzing at the same time as they work their fingerings.

For dozens (hundreds?) of years brass teachers have told students to both practice buzzing and fingerings during their practice routine, but unless you are playing the trumpet buzzing separately while also doing fingerings is awkward or all but impossible.  The BERP attaches to the mouthpiece receiver on the instrument and allows the user to switch back and forth between buzzing into the instrument and buzzing alone.  There are other brass mouthpiece buzzing tools available on the market like the Buzzard, but the BERP is the only one I have found that physically attaches to the instrument.  Since it is attached to the instrument it goes one better than buzz only tools because it allows the user to hold the instrument normally and finger the notes appropriately, exercising both the aural and kinesthetic aspects of playing at the same time.  

In general the BERP is just a simple little device made from a small amount of black plastic but when used as a part of a regular practice routine it can make a big difference in tone and technique by encouraging young trumpet, trombone, or tuba students to buzz more often and listen more closely to their sound at the same time. It’s one of the items I try my best to have my students purchase right off the bat when they start playing in 5th grade.  Give it a try and see how much it can help your students improve as competent brass musicians.

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