Unexpected effects from mutes

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Andrew Stringer, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. Andrew Stringer

    Andrew Stringer New Member

    West Yorkshire
    My wife plays 2nd/3rd cornet in the same bands as me, she often uses a practice mute at home to avoid annoying the neighbours. She bought me a Denis Wick baritone mute for my birthday, in the hope that it would enable me to practice quietly. However I soon discovered that if you put plenty of air through it, particularly in the higher register, it reverberates producing a tremendous rasp like a trombone. I hasten to add that I usually practice when the neighbours are out. She now regrets her purchase - I most certainly don't! Have other readers experienced interesting or unexpected effects from mutes?
  2. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    To be honest, you don't want to be doing that...

    It's basically overblowing and can really mess you up when it comes to unmuted playing.

    Personally I'm not a huge fan of practice mutes aside from very occasional use, and I prefer the electronic (Yamaha or bestbrass) ones because the feedback removes yth temptation to overblow... Even then, mutes increase resistance and tend to affect intonation (practice mutes moreso, the Wick I had was particularly bad for it).
    J. Jericho likes this.
  3. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho New Member

    +1. I use a practice mute when I travel, and I use the time to pay softly-to-medium softly. If you try to match volume with that of an unmuted horn, you'll have a harder time readjusting to playing open. I ignore intonation with the practice mute and just focus on resonance; that way I don't have to relearn the intonation on my horn when I play it unmuted again.

    As for sound effects, yes, a practice mute can produce a muted rasp. I suppose you could find an occasion to feature this sound; just don't accustom yourself to it on a regular basis. And remember... there's no harm in playing softly.
    Slider1 likes this.
  4. QubaMan

    QubaMan New Member

    I always use a practice mute at home and tbh it has given my playing a 'bigger' (not necessarilly louder) sound - yes there is a rasping sound on certain notes, usually yop Fs but on Tuba it's not really not such a problem.
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