Does practicing with a mute increase range?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    If you've seen all my other posts about my lip injuries, this is unrelated and I'm fine now. :thumbsup:

    What I noticed, however, when thinking about ways to increase my range permanently now, I remembered the 3 times that I went an extended period of time practicing only with a mute, when I had to stay in hotels. During all 3 of these periods (each were about a week) I remember gaining a LOT of range, and then losing it rather quickly when I returned to practicing without a mute. At the time I just attributed the loss to over-playing and didn't think much of it.

    But is there a correlation here? I've heard some people say that practicing with the extra resistance of a mute helps them gain more strength for when they play without a mute. This could very well have been the case with me, but would that explain why I lost the range I had gained when I went back to practicing without a mute? Anyone with experience on this, please elaborate.
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi Trumpeter3197. I don't know the answer to your question. But let me add another take on it.

    During the extended times you were practicing with a mute, you may also have been playing on the soft side. If so, could the soft playing have contributed to your development?

  3. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    I considered that too. I'm pretty sure that isn't the case for me, because I was playing my range exercises at a normal mf-f volume, also I've had lots of experience practicing softly and while it did help my tone, it didn't increase my lip strength like the mute did.
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Practising with mute helps with volume, not range. Practise generally is what increases range.
  5. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I've found that using mutes in decreasing levels of resistance (practice, harmon, cup, straight, then open) can often help the player find the correct "lane of resistance" when playing open.

    Does it increase range? Highly doubtful..

    Can it teach someone the proper resistance points for certain notes? I think if done in a level of decreasing resistance yes it might just work nicely.
  6. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Sounds plausible.
  7. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

    Jul 26, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Ditto on mute practice increasing power/volume, not range. However because I use a practice mute after the girls have gone to bed, I get much more FaceTime and therefore have an improved range.
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I would read this a one over a few times. It's one of those concepts that is easier to understand after you are doing it properly but tough while you are trying to get there.
  9. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012

    If anything, it may though. If the mute adds resistance, you may like it and be able to go higher.

    Or, I think that maybe you are playing louder with the mute in, but it sounds like you are not playing louder then normal. You will be using more air and high notes take air and air pressure. So that may be another thing helping you out.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    What he says. ^

    This technique also increases positive expiratory pressure on you lungs as well and recruits more lung for more air volume. You may not notice it in your playing, but you will likely keep your FEV1 elevated greater as you go through life, so that you breathe a little easier in your twilight years. A rag in the bell will get you more of this effect; and you will get to learn a little "rag"time.

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