Practice Mutes

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bagpuss, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    I'm after some advice really. Can anyone advise me on a practice mute that I can get hold of for Trombone? I used to play trombone some years ago and would like to get at least as good as I was (take note Mr. Thorne), only problem is that I have neighbours!!!! I've heard silent brass are good but may not be right for me as I'm 're-starting' to play. Any advice gratefully received.

  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I have a Denis Wick pm, which is good for keeping the neighbours happy, and also helps to work your breathing a bit, and helps to open your throat. However you have to make sure you're not pushing too hard on the mouthpiece, and it's good to get some time to play unmuted.

    I don't know a huge amount about the Yamaha thing, but it is expensive! It might be better if you're not going to get a chance to play unmuted, as I think it gives less back pressure, and also you can work on your tone through the headphones.
  3. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I would definately suggest making sure that the majority of your practice is unmuted, however, if this isn't possible, remember that any practice mute or 'silent' brass system does make you play slightly sharp or flat, and this will obviously affect your ears and slide positions. when I don't use the headphones with my silent brass, it is about a quarter tone sharp I think, however, I have not tried comparing this with the headphones. But it is worth bearing in mind.
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    If you're going to be doing most of your blowing with the pm in, I'd go for the basic metal Denis Wick - the feedback/buzz can help to work on your sound & stamina.
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Sorry this is a bit "after the event" but have a look at this:

    As far as I know "Wallace Collection" mutes are no longer in production, however there are good copies being manufactured under the "Don Maslet" label. These are sold by Phil Parker Ltd. in London; don't know about elsewhere. As well as trombone PM's they also do Trumpet/Cornet Practice Mutes; don't know about other instruments.

    I use a Don Maslet trumpet PM, and would agree with all the points made in the article. I switched to it in preference to the Wick PM primarily because it doesn't sharpen the lower register as much.

    Hope this is of interest.

  6. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I got one of those 'shhhhhhhmutes' by teveor bremner for Christmas last year and it is the only practice mute I have.

    I think it is really good- easy blowing and fairly good on tuning. Better than the old wick ones I tried out previously.

    Dont know if they do it for other instruments though.

  7. Don Maslet

    Don Maslet New Member

    Don Maslet Mutes

    I have only just come across this correspondence and wish to put the record straight concerning my mutes. They are not copies as I made the original red Wallace Collection mutes. In retrospect, I should have included my name on the label, however, John agreed to endorse them at the time and I was happy with that arrangement. All of this can be verified by talking to anyone at Phil Parkers who were the sole UK distributors of the Wallace Mute. All good things invariable come to an end and I felt it was a good opportunity to market the mutes under my own name and make a clean break....DM
  8. Sharpy

    Sharpy Member

    If I remember rightly from County band Bagpuss then a padded cell will be the only way to stop your nieghbours from hearing you, even with a mute in it!!!! Only joking!!!! :D

    Are Adam and Alan still at Wem then?

    Back to the thread! I use a Denis Wick PM mute at home to keep the neighbours happy. Seems to work!
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    What I ordered originally was a Wallace Collection PM and a Don Maslet (in black) was delivered. Pricey at £150 (about 2 years ago) but well worth it. Fits nicely inside bell, so can be carried inside gig-bag.
  10. lister89

    lister89 Member

    I've got a silent brass and although it was probably pricey (got it from a friend) I think its worth it. It makes you work harder so when you practice without it your sound is even better but I think maybe thats true of all practice mutes.
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Only weakness in the Don Maslet/Wallace mute is the polystyrene ring that seals the bell. It's a little flimsy and can move out of position affecting tuning esp. at outer ranges. If it tears and splits, I hope I can easily get a replacement.
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  13. amgray

    amgray Member

    Surely this is only a problem in 2 scenarios:

    1/ Only certain harmonics are affected (not in my experience of both Wick and Yamaha practice mutes)
    2/ You have perfect pitch (in which case adjust the tuning slide!!)

    Most players (myself included) have relative pitch, 2nd position notes will still be the same distance from 1st they have always been, only the baseline has moved. The only problem with practice mutes on trombone I have found is that you need to make sure that you breathe properly, otherwise they give a false sense of "support" that evaporates when you have to play "Au Naturel".
  14. tootnbuzz

    tootnbuzz Member

    I have had a good luck with the Spivak MC160 Trumpet Whispa-Mute.

    I guess the Spivak MC161 Trombone Whispa-Mute is also good.

    These are easily found in the US but I don't know if stores in the UK carry them.

    Anyway, there it is.
  15. Sharpy

    Sharpy Member

    At work we have Jo-Ral mutes and to be honest they are expensive and not worth it. Certain notes wont even sound when you use the mute. Wouldn't mind trying a silent brass though.

    Just had a thought, why not get a thick heavy curtain and put it up against the wall of the room you practice in. Then play into the curtain and it should soak up a lot of the sound. One of my mates has done that with his practice room at home. Or egg box the whole room!
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Apologies for my error.

  17. Don Maslet

    Don Maslet New Member

    Don Maslet Tuba Practice Mute

    I'm surprised you paid that much Phil Parker retails them at about £127 and you can now buy online (
    PS I made the original Wallace mutes .....Don Maslet
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I was made aware that you made them when it arrived. I suppose I paid the (recommended retail) price for getting a good deal on the instrument at that time. Mute's top-notch quality except for my worry about the sealing ring if it breaks!
  19. Don Maslet

    Don Maslet New Member

    I've not heard of one that has but if there is a problem let me know and I'll fix it..........DM
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It was one day that I found that the mute wasn't sitting securely in the bell. I noticed that the green seal had somehow partially slipped from the outer ring. Looking at the mute (at this moment) I see that no batch or id number is attached ... only two gold stickers (one for your company logo and another with an e-mail address and stating that it is the original red Wallace mute ... even though mine is black!). Not used it in a while as I like to practice with an open bell but it is the best practice mute I have seen to date. The sealing ring seems to be locked in position now as well, so no hurry to send it down to you. Any more feedback regarding the soprano mutes?