Does anyone actually practice with a mute for the purpose of playing with a mute?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Its been a long time since I had private instruction, Dave, but I do not remember ever having received instruction on mute use! It would seem to be a big deal, and apparently an area of neglect for some (certainly me!). Striving to master an instrument without using a full complement of common accessories seems a little silly, perhaps a little like a painter limiting himself to use of primary colors only!

    The only mutes I own today are a couple practice mutes. I have been shopping a little and trying to remember all that I have read about mutes, good and bad. It is a dizzying endeavor! If a straight, cup and harmon represent a basic set (and I am not sure they do), where does one go from there with confidence. There are hundreds to consider!

  2. arlington

    arlington Pianissimo User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Lancaster, OH
    I rarely find myself in a situation when a mute isn't called for because I like to add many colors to my tone, not cut the volume so much. My trumpet has a huge bold sound as a starting point. I then might use a tom crown straight all copper mute or a joral bubble mute when playing jazz as the mood dictates. For a cool jazz coctail hour type of sound I use my denis wick cup mute which is nice because its adjustable to really zero in or a soulo mute (bucket style) to take the edge off. Gives me a really round sonorous tone. Also have a tom crown cup mute I've been fooling around with. Then there's the alessi-vacchiano leblanc straight mute to give me a little brighter sound. And I've always got the natural trumpet tone when I want it. Not one "practice mute" in the bunch. I have, on occasion, had a 3am idea pop in my head and it needs to be ultra quiet. Ill use the denis wick cup mute with the cup pulled into almost touching the bell and that will work for that situation.
  3. arlington

    arlington Pianissimo User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Lancaster, OH
    I have found joral and tom crown mutes suit me the best. As well as the others in my previous post. Expensive, yes. If you're into ebay you can find them used at about 50 perecent of what they retail for. Some great players use humes and berg and the harmon brand. Nostalgia perhaps, or they just got to have that sound. Limitations and all. For the most part you won't get intonation problems if you stick with joral and tom crown no matter what mute you're after (straight, cup, etc.).
  4. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Dave, I do most of my practicing with a practice mute because from roughly 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning are my practice times. Also, I don't want to bug the neighbors.

    What I fancy I gain from lots of muted practice is I feel happy about pushing air through the horn. Also, playing fully seems to be encouraged by the mute.

    My, probably faulty, reasoning is that I can always play less fully easier than the converse.

    What I lose from the mute is some accuracy perhaps: partials aren't off, but I can edge notes for the first few minutes with the horn un-muted. But really, it's not a big thing. The right spots and slots settle in quickly.

    On band rehearsal days, when I'm really bearing down on the literature, the mute comes out when working on that.
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    The only times I've fooled around with a mute at home have been to check the intonation tendencies of a particular mute with a tuner.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    So did the intoing stop when you struck the mute with the tuner. Hopefully that mute is now waking the straight line. But somehow fooling around with someone that cannot scream just doesn't sound right to me. And you know this thread is suppose to be about trumpet equipment, so do try not to stray too much from the tread topic. I am a real stickler at keeping on topic you know.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    do you have a MUTE button??? ROFL ROFL ROFL
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Comeback .. yep you are right where I was thinking... I never had an instructor, band director, .. anyone tell me .. hey son , you better put some time in with that mute... I was wondering if it was something anyone actually did.
    On the mutes.. I picked up quie a few flipping horns and acquiring some really nice ones.. Thomas Crown.. a pro Bach model. I really like the movable cup ones which can almost replicate a bucket mute. I lucked out when I was going to buy a harmon, some guy who had been a working pro just happened to be in the store.. we chatted and he said I ought to check out the Joral (harmon) ... intonation and blow wise it was a solid buy ...
    I appreciate all the comments ... long tones just give me alot of time to come up with random questions ... and what better to chew the fat over it.
  9. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Great info, Dave. I have been wanting to experiment a little with mutes and learn more about what we can do with our instruments, but lacked a sense of direction. Your thread has helped lift some of the "mute-haze".:-)
  10. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    As a previous post said, if I am working with a student (or myself) and trying to get the best and centered tone. Nothing like getting a mute buzzing to practice this.

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