Cheapest, quickest, most ingenious plunger mute

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by trumpeterb, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. trumpeterb

    trumpeterb Pianissimo User

    Nov 16, 2003
    Check this out...I was on a gig the other day, and the music called for a plunger mute. It was a legit gig, not a jazz gig, so I didn't bother bringing my plunger with me, as I didn't think I would need it. I got the music at the rehearsal only 2 hours before the performance, and it called for plunger. Needing to do something, had to think of something. I was drinking a bottle of gatorade on my way to the rehearsal, and I remembered that I had the bottle in my truck. I took the plastic bottle and a pen knife. I cut the top portion of the bottle off, and used it for a plunger mute. The funny thing is that it worked better than my normal plunger mute, and you can even take the lid off the bottle to get different sounds. Has anyone else ever done this? I am keeping the gatorate mute and using it from now on instead of my plunger.

    Just thought I would share this story with you....


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Until I got to the end of the story, I thought you were head to the restroom to get a "real" plunger out of the cleaning closet. :shock:

  3. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Gentlemen, Please tell me the difference between a "real plunger" that I can by at the hardware store for less than six bucks or the other kind that cost twice or three times that amount. The one I bought for less than six bucks came or a stick too.
  4. Liberty Lips

    Liberty Lips Pianissimo User

    Dec 7, 2003
    The difference is about twelve bucks.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    At least one from the hardware store would be new and clean ....

    Some of the "commercial" plungers are sized a bit different and may have a ring or bigger knob to hold on to. Is that worth $12? I got a pretty blue one at Ace Hardware for $3. Does the trick just fine.

  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I bought mine at the Commissary on Fort Meade for about $1.50. I threw the stick away. :)

    The difference? Personally, I think that the real plungers sound better than the actual plunger mutes. One other thing that I have noticed is that with real plunges, if you cut a hole out in the middle where the stick goes, it sounds MUCH better than if you leave it intact. Some of the actual plunger mutes have a ring right there to hold on to so you wouldn't want to go chopping a hole in one of those.

    Save your money. Go to the hardware store and get a real plunger. (small size) The ONLY time I ever used anything else was when I was an Army Bandsman and one was issued to me.
  7. JohnL

    JohnL Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2004
    One night I didn't have my plunger handy so I grabbed a glass off a nearby table. It worked great and caused quite a stir among the guys in the band.
  8. BPhelmet

    BPhelmet New Friend

    Nov 6, 2004
    in my school, our pluger has "aquaforce" on it,
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I have four plungers that I carry with me (excessive, but they do all sound different). Two are the H&B plunger mutes (one rubber, one solid) and two are true sink plungers, without the stick.

    I prefer the larger of the two real sink plungers and the rubber H&B, but all four produce a decent plunger effect.

    One of the youth bands I work with was doing a piece that required the whole trumpet section to use a plunger mute - I went into the local hardward store, found ones the were suitable and purchased 15 of them! The guy in the shop couldn't believe it when I told him they were for musicians!!
    He joked that he should charge me more, but I was having none of that!

    I have also used a large wine glass (I was doing an impromptu small jazz gig (something I NEVER do) and my mute bag was still on the tour bus) and loved the sound. There is nothing quite like it, but I'm not sure I can justify always carrying a wine glass with me.
  10. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    Not quite a plunger mute, but I created a homemade bucket mute by taking an old butterbowl out of the cabinet, that happened to fit perfectly on my bell -- just clipped right on, and cut a hole in the middle of it. I experimented with putting cloths and things inside the "bucket." Had a pretty neat affect.

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