Alternatives to Plunger Mutes

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 4thmandown, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    Forgive my ignorance, but are there any more cost effective alternatives to forking out £20+ for something I might only use a couple of times (an optimistic estimate!) a year? Especially if the piece in question requires most of the cornet section to have one.

    (No condescending replies please!!!!!)
  2. just a regular sink plunger would work fine surely? shouldnt cost more than a few quid each! :)
  3. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    Yep... Thats what we use in the Big Band.
    My last one was given to me by our seasoned trumpet player who sadly passed away recently.

    A Original

    Croydex ....

    Just Google 'Croydex Plunger' :wink:

    Nice though the Croydex was, it was starting to perish badly so I invested in a new one from Tesco, which im working in at the moment.

    Its all in the wrist ;)
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    As has been said - regular sink plunger from a hardware shop will work as well (if not better) than the overpriced plunger "mutes" in music shops. The challenge is finding the size that works best for you, with your instrument - some people prefer smaller, some larger.
    I have a habit of going into small hardware shops (usually the smaller independent ones have better selections than the larger chain stores) and if they have a good size plunger I will buy all of them, then sell them on to students. You get some very odd looks and questions when you go up to the cashier with 10 sink plungers, lol.
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I recommend you remove the handle first before trying.
  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, I forgot the best bit about getting a proper sink plunger - you get a free stick to play with as well :)
  7. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    The small metal sundae dishes make excellent plungers - a different sound but worth experimenting with
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Some people like to drill a small hole in the end of said sink plunger so as not to stop the sound and air so completely when you cover the bell up. I personally haven't bothered.
  9. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Whilst "Jamming" with a Blues Band in Goa earlier this year I used a small toy watering can to great effect !!
    I have also, recently, seen a top British Jazzer using a Christmas pudding pot (individual NOT family size).
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Wine glasses (emptied) or even pint glasses (also emptied) can be used for some interesting results (made even more interesting if you do the emptying yourself immediately prior to playing.

    Other things I have seen used include the car red noses - perfect size for trombones and a dustbin lid (used on a tuba!)
  11. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    ... Or something to sell onto the percussion section ;-)
  12. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    For many percussionists you throw the stick and say "fetch" - can keep them amused for hours

    (with apologies to my percussion playing friends who might read this)
  13. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Now your being silly. Percussionist and read, as if.
  14. euphalogy

    euphalogy Member

    Yoghurt Pots...............
  15. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    tuba mute.jpg
  16. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    The Made for purpose mutes have a couple of small holes in them.
  17. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Some do, some don't.
  18. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Fair enough, although I don't know how you know, seeing as you prefer the pikey option. :D
  19. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I use a sink plunger, doesn't mean I don't own a few others (both forms of H&B and a Wick). I prefer the sound of the real sink plunger.
  20. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    what a plunger does is to get in the way of what your expensive instrument does.
    Its still a expensive instrument, your simply using something to channel and modify its output. your hand on its own can work well if you just need a subtle effect.

    personal technique is important when using a plunger of any type... unlike a stick in mute where you usually play as normal, using a plunder of any type requires a bit more player input.

    sink plungers are more or less perfect ergonomically, sonically and finantially.

    don't rule out a half coconut shell, I have one of those in my mute bag as well as a bowler hat.
    Whatever works for the sound (and visual impact in more cases than not)
    Sometimes we use a midget mute inside the bell whilst also using a plunger over the top, so a larger plunger is better in this event.

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