What Pros, Students, and Teachers are saying:

(click below to choose comments about your specific instrument or situation)

Double Reeds

Band Student

Band DirectorPart-time performer
Injury, Surgery, Bell's Palsy FluteClarinetSaxophone

Tim Morrison, International Soloist, former Principal Boston Pops-

"A great tool for developing embouchure strength!"

Jeff Curnow, Philadelphia Orchestra-

"A clever combination of 'Ghitalla Wisdom' and mechanical science,
Chop-Sticks is a super efficient way to target and develop embouchure

Ronald Romm, Univ. of Illinois, founding member of the Canadian Brass-

"I'm a follower and fan."

Ramón Parcells, Principal Trumpet, Detroit Symphony-

"I use it frequently. It's a great supplemental tool for developing
embouchure strength, aperture focus, and over-all stability. It's also the
best tool I've yet seen for strengthening the weaker sides of the
embouchure that most players experience at some point in their development."

Marc Reese, Empire Brass-

"A valuable teaching tool and the logical extension of the pedagogical principles advocated by Armando Ghitalla."

Pat Wristen, jazz musician; trumpet-

"I've been using lip isometrics for quite a while, having picked up the concept from some lessons with Vince DiMartino at the Skidmore Jazz Institute. Quite recently, I've been using the 'pencil exercise' concept. When I learned of your CHOP-STICKS™, it sounded like a logical extension of the 'pencil' concept. I had already started to wonder about the pencil technique's limitations. After a couple days of use, I am very pleased with the concept and ease and comfort of use...the theory behind the concept makes total sense to me, and I also appreciated the information in the booklet (also, the case is so well designed, I think I'm going to order a couple of extras!) I believe I'm going to see some good results in the areas of endurance and intonation with continued use of this amazing tool."

Military Musician, trumpet-

"...I find the biggest improvement in reducing mouthpiece pressure, and intonation. I feel I can play more relaxed, keeping the corners firm and letting the air do the work...if you work into using them SLOWLY they WILL improve your playing. Also, you must give it a good 8 weeks, at first you will feel very stiff when you play (first week or so) but be patient, it will be worth it."

J.P., trumpet hobbiest-

"I am mainly using CHOP-STICKS™ to retain muscle tone when I'm not able to play...I have road time* before and after work to use CHOP-STICKS™."

Horn/Injury/Bell's Palsy
J.S., Horn Player, Bell's Palsy, Arkansas-

"I got back on the horn for the first time about three months ago"... (after leaving a Masters Degree program in Horn at Indiana because of an 8-month bout with Bell's Palsy) "... and during my first lesson with him, he recommended that I get a set of Chop-Sticks... and so my dad bought my set of Chop-Sticks and the Musician's Lip Butter. Both the Chop-Sticks and the Lip Butter have been so helpful in my recuperation, even more so than six months' of speech therapy and electrotherapy--and finally being able to come back to my horn has been the best emotional therapy of all."

Leslie, Surgery, Horn Player, NY-

"I am an amateur horn player in the NY area. I have had to have several
surgeries over the past 2 years to remove a bone infection in my face.
After each surgery, I would have to stop playing for up to 6 weeks and it
would take my horn playing months to recover. Since I got your chop
sticks, I am able to recover much faster, playing long rehearsals and high C's
within two weeks of going back to playing. Everyone is amazed - they think
I'm a genius - ha!

R.W., Injured Horn Player, California-

"I have found my Chop-Sticks very useful...I'm quite pleased
with them, especially since I'm just returning to the horn after
recovering from an injury. It's great to build up my muscles without
putting any stress on them! What a brilliant idea..."

Bart Brady Ciampa, Ph.D., Recording Artist, Surgery, Trumpet-

"Approximately 8 months ago I was told by my opthamologist that I needed to
have eye surgery and wouldn't be able to play the trumpet for several
In anticipation of the surgery which took place on July 29, 2004, I
purchased a set of Chop-Sticks from your company. As it turned out, following the surgery, my eye surgeon told me that I'd have to refrain from playing the horn for three weeks to avoid the risk of permanent damage to my vision in my right eye. During that three week period I used the ChopSticks regularly and was very pleased to find that when I returned to my regular daily practice schedule, it took a very short period of time to regain my embouchure.
Thanks so much for a fine product and an effective concept."

Double Reed
Lisa Timm, DMA Bassoon-

"Chop-Sticks™ has been a wonderful strengthening tool for me. I recently won the state level MTNA competition but struggled with my endurance throughout the entire program. I needed to improve this problem for the regional level to come next. I noticed right away that Chop-Sticks™ targeted the muscles needed to keep a solid embouchure and am very pleased with the results. This is a very good tool for double reed players."

Update: Lisa won the regionals in January and became a National Finalist.

Gene Zika, recording artist (flute, trpt., trb), author and composer-

"I have noticed that my flute embouchure and my aperture are stronger, more focused, and I have more control in all registers of the flute through the use of Chop-Sticks™."

[Note from Liemartech: the benefits for flute players have not been thoroughly tested, though if you have a relaxed embouchure Chop-Sticks might not be for you. Those that play multiple instruments may have similar results to Gene's who reported improvements on flute and trombone within 1 week of use]

[Note from Liemartech: the benefits for clarinet players have not been thoroughly tested, though Liemartech believes that Chop-Sticks could be beneficial based on initial feedback]

[Note from Liemartech: the benefits for saxophone players have not been thoroughly tested, though based on initial feedback Chop-Sticks™ might not be for you unless you play a 2nd instrument that is a good fit for Chop-Sticks™]

Tom Slothower, freelancer; trombone-

"I finished 2 hours with power and strength, hitting high C's regularly when I shouldn't be able to. I'm having more fun playing than ever. I have such strength!"

J.M., trombone-

"It has increased my strength dramatically...overall I give your product a high score, and I would recommend CHOP-STICKS™ to anyone that wants more strength and endurance."

Dr. Jim Fox, trombone-

"I have found that Chop-Sticks™ has helped me tremendously. I tend to play off center and have lots of air leakage when I don't have time to play a lot. Those problems seemed to have dissappeared. My high range has improved. I feel stronger and better, even without a tremendous amount of practice time." Dr. Jim Fox from the former site now with

Professional Symphony Player; trombone-

"Where I have found them to be of great benefit, is when I'm on holiday and I want to keep some semblance of an embouchure...I also find that the isometrics involved, using the weights helps point out which of the main muscles are used in the correct formation of an embouchure...I think the 10-week weight program that you've outlined is very thorough."

SPC Adachi, Tubist
300th Army Band,
Sierra Wind Symphony

"After a year off the horn and in the books, six months of mouthpiece searching, and an air leak in the right corner that wouldn't quit, I finally got myself a set of chop-sticks. I couldn't be happier. I used to practice for hours and hours trying to make my sound better(and make that leak go away). It took so much time away from learning my part, and refining it for performance. Now I'm hearing day to day results, and I can devote much more practice time to learning the music. There's a darker, richer tone (throughout the range of the horn), increased volume levels (without the break up of sound), and my range has become more solid and dependable: giving me two Bb's below the staff and one up above it that I can play through every time. I've only been using mine for about three weeks. Impressive is the word of the day."

Chris Barnes, tuba-

"Why use Chop-Sticks™ anyway? Because your corners are the foundation of the embouchure. This is what gets tired first when doing the exercises. Many people have apparently found an increase in the high register, but I am also seeing a strength in the pedal tones. If one thinks of the corners of the mouth as the 2 anchor
points of a "string" (the lips), similar to the pegs and bridge of a string instrument, than the goal is to allow the lips ("string") in between to freely vibrate. On tuba, the only way to get the pedal tones is to really let the lips go free. To do this and still produce sound, one needs strong anchors, namely the corners. Without these firm corners, the lips retain too much tension and are restricted to the point of having less vibration than what is necessary for quality sound to be produced. So...the Chop-Sticks™, by strengthening the corners, help free the area of the lips
responsible for the tone.

I have also found that my embouchure has somewhat spontaneously moved to the center after over 40 years of being off center. This felt strange initially, but produced a better quality of sound than I had ever had. I am not advocating that everyone needs to play in the center, but in my experience, the Chop-Sticks™ facilitated this movement naturally and I play with more accurate tone placement that I did before."

Band Director, Part-Time Performer
Jim Popham, Band Director & Part-time Performer- Bay City, TX

"I am a high school band director (so that means part-time trumpet player). A friend sent me some information about Chop-Sticks and I bought a set. So far it seems to be a god send for me. My chops feel much stronger and better toned (despite not having a great deal of time to practice). Recently, our school put on a production of "Anything Goes", which I played for. I felt pretty strong, even at the end of the 2 1/2 hour production. Thanks heaven for Chop-Sticks!!!"

Band Director
Jeff, El Paso, Tx

"I am a band director that only has about an hour a day to practice but needs more "chops" than that can supply. I have used them for a week and the results are totally positive so far! Thanks again!"

Band Student
Susan, mom of a band student from Australia-

"My son is really enjoying the challenge of improving the time he can hold the Chop-Sticks™ and it's perfect for days when he's too tired to do much serious practice.
Thank you again for your help."

*For safety reasons, Liemar Technologies LLC does not advocate the use of CHOP-STICKS™ while in motion. Keep out of the hands of small children. Liemar is not responsible for overuse - use responsibly and at your own risk.


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