The BERP is a little plastic device you can fix to your lead pipe. It comes in various sizes to fit all brass instruments. You put your mouthpiece in and play as normal. If you don't know your piece well, it'll immediately show so you'll have to make an effort to hear your music better in your head. It's also very good to practice your buzzing. It has an adjustable slide to increase the resistance when you play so it feels easier when you put your mouthpiece back in the lead pipe.
I personally use it quite a lot to build endurance.
You can find it in some music stores or on the BERP website (see link bellow).
Musical Enterprises Berps & Bags
You'll also find some exercises to do on "how to berp".
You can now download the first 4 lessons of the Progressive Method for French Horn vol. 1 for free!
It's on the "french horn method" page. Check it out!
Practicing with metronome is very useful to keep a steady tempo. You can also use it to learn difficult passages by playing slowly at first and gradually increasing the speed. Since there isn't much difference between let's say 60 and 64, you won't feel you are actually playing faster. Once you're good at 64 then try 68 and so on until you reach the desired tempo. You'll be amazed how quickly you can learn hard passages this way.
You will achieve a lot more by dividing your pieces or etudes in small sections and practicing each small part individually. Your brain will develop the right reflexes faster by repeating the same passage many times until it gets it right just like a martial artist repeats the same movement over and over again until he/she doesn't have to think about it. You can put all the bits together afterwards once you've thoroughly worked on them separately.
"A school that makes active children sit at a desk studying mostly useless subjects is a bad school. It is a good school only for those who believe in such a school, for those uncreative citizens who want docile, uncreative children who will fit into a civilization whose standard of success is money"
Creativity, leadership, curiosity, initiative, self confidence and the ability to think outside of the box are the things you really need in life. Even if you're a genius at maths and science, you'll go nowhere if all you can do is to regurgitate the useless things force fed into your brain on a piece of paper.
You will soon or later be asked by a conductor to play at an uncomfortably soft dynamic. It may be because you are accompanying the strings in the orchestra or simply because he/she wants it that soft. It can be a very unpleasant experience if you aren't prepared for it.
To avoid the embarrassment of not being able to play a very simple passage in front of everyone just because the conductor wants it too soft, you have to take a few minutes once in a while to practice at a ridiculously soft dynamic. Play a scales in whole notes very slow as soft as you can even if the sound stops sometimes. You can also do some simple etudes ppppp for a few minutes. Long tones are also good.
I know it's not the most exciting thing to practice but it will save you a lot of trouble some day. Also consider that the softer you can play your pianissimo, the louder your fortissimo will sound because of the contrast you'll be able to create. So it is musically very useful to have that "trick" in reserve. Practicing soft is also very good to relax your chops when they're tired after a day of playing.
I am associate principal horn of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the author of the progressive methods. I'm happy to share my experience as a horn player and teacher with you.