Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser
About a month ago I was given the Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser (P.E.T.E.) challenge here at The Music Place. For those of you who don’t already know, the P.E.T.E. is produced by the Warburton Company – famous for their world-class mouthpieces.
I was asked to try out the product and give my opinion on whether it is a useful addition to a brass/woodwind player’s bag of tricks.
I have always practised by playing my trumpet or at the very least buzzed my lips or mouthpiece, so the concept of practising with (what looks like) a plastic mutant golf tee seemed quite unnatural to me. However, years of traditional practice methods have not ascended me to the dizzy heights of Guru Trumpet Virtuoso so I agreed to give the P.E.T.E. a try.
A month later after using the P.E.T.E. surprise, surprise I am still NOT a Guru Trumpet Virtuoso! BUT I did find the P.E.T.E. to be useful.
There are periods in life when regular practice time is simply not available. Over the last month I have not been able to keep up my regular time on the horn, so I used the P.E.T.E. as a substitute. I found the times when I was driving to be particularly good for doing the prescribed exercises on the P.E.T.E. Maybe the poor young lad who copped that hefty fine for practising his trumpet in the car on the Westgate bridge should have popped into The Music Place for a P.E.T.E.!
So, what were the results?
I felt as though the P.E.T.E. helped to keep my embouchure muscles toned. This meant that when I was able to find time to play my trumpet I didn’t feel like I was starting from scratch, as is usually the case for me after I take a few days off.
For me, that’s a real time saver and has allowed me to be thinking of things like music and sound rather than how bad my chops felt.
With more than 20 years experience, Shane Gillard is the resident brass guru at The Music Place.