Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Chris P, Jan 13, 2012.
Does practicing with a mute every day effect embouchure?
As with most areas of practise, it depends on how you go about it. It'll do wonders for your production and air support. Are you experiencing any problems with your embouchure at present?
Personally I find my embouchure is only affected by practising with a mute in the higher register (in treble clef terms, the top of the stave upwards), when it seems to 'collapse' more easily, possibly due to the higher resistance - but of course everyone is different...
I think the key thing in the OP's question is "every day". Practice mutes are a useful element of a balanced practice routine, but I would hesitate to advise playing one every day. My own experience is that if I practice too much on a mute, it adversely affects projection, in particular, as well as other things. As you say though, everyone is different ...
Hi Jack, I've started using the Silent Brass mute for every day practice out of respect for my neighbours - as a beginner it can't be nice for them. I find when I go to band rehearsals with the local brass band, I lack control: it's loud and lacks finesse. In fact "finesse" is something I am struggling with! I wondered if it might be due to too much mute practice.
I play 2nd cornet btw.
Play quietly in to no mute or into a cup mute (as this makes little difference to the resistance of the instrument compared to a practice mute). If you can play quietly you can play loudly as its just more of the same, but if you only practice loudly with overblowing then you will probably never be able to play quietly. Its all about control. The main problem with practice mutes is that they train you to play against a much higher resistance than the instrument on its own.
I live in a flat and practice on mouthpiece (with the end partly covered by my finger to mimic the resistance of the instrument. Then I play quietly with a cup mute in or with no mute. Its no louder than my TV so the neighbours would struggle to complain and never have.
Thank you Gordon, that's great advice. I'll give quiet practice a try.
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