ARE CHOP-STICKS JUST FOR BRASS PLAYERS?
CHOP-STICKS were designed ALL wind instrumental players; however after testing it was determined that brass, double reeds and clarinet would benefit most. The facial muscles that are strengthened with the exercise program incorporate all of the muscles that surround the embouchure. This means more strength and endurance from a program that is highly intensive, yet convenient and flexible. Brass and Double reed players, especially can benefit from the different sizes used, as they will help to strengthen in a concentric fashion, while strengthening the corners - reducing squeaks, and increasing endurance. CHOP-STICKS has been shown to maintain proper embouchure formation the best with brass and double reed instruments.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO NOTICE RESULTS?
This is very individualistic, but people have reported dramatic changes within a couple weeks. By the end of the 10-week program, most will notice increased strength. Improvements should continue beyond that, as well. This is dependent upon the person's strength in the beginning and the amount of use of CHOP-STICKS.
IS IT EASY TO HOLD?
Yes. Some have difficulty holding the largest weight, so just start with a smaller weight and work your way up. Some children that were tested were able to hold the smaller weights easily.
HOW BIG ARE THE CHOP-STICKS?
The weights together are the size of a pack of gum. The bag is about the size of a deck of cards.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES THE ROUTINE TAKE?
The regular routine takes about 15 minutes. The advanced routine will take about 20 minutes to complete. This should be done approximately 3 times per week with at least one day off between workouts. Once you get a feel for the system, you can make up your own routine.
WILL THIS REDUCE MY PRACTICE TIME?
CHOP-STICKS will not replace your practice time. It will, however supplement your practice efforts. A portion of your practice time should be devoted to increasing your strength. CHOP-STICKS will allow you to do some of this strengthening away from the instrument, and since it is hands-free you can read, watch TV, or work on the computer while you strengthen.
I PLAY OFF-CENTER, WILL CHOP-STICKS MESS UP MY EMBOUCHURE?
Everyone has a different setup, so everyone will hold it slightly different. It is recommended that you hold the CHOP-STICKS in the center of your face in order to strengthen the muscles evenly. If you play off-center, you should hold the weights where you play, unless you want to make an embouchure change to the center. In other words, place the weight in the center of your playing aperture.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHOPS FEEL STIFF THE NEXT DAY?
Muscles that are overworked tend to contract. If you are repeating the sets too many times, you should simply cut back and see how it feels. To help your muscles, make sure you are stretching your chops between exercises, and end each session with a few minutes of lip or mouthpiece buzzing. This will get more blood into the stressed muscles so that they will heal faster. The nice thing about this kind of strengthening, is that you don't injure lip tissue.
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