Harmful aspects of practice mute use

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by latinjazzcat, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. latinjazzcat

    latinjazzcat Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    West Virginia
    Since this was related to the affect it would have on playing, I posted it here.......

    I've decided that perhaps I could get in some playing in the mornings (at the very least a warm-up). However, I would have to use a practice mute (my time frame being 5-6:30 AM, lol). Playing without one is not an option at this hour. I'm curious as to what the majority opinion is on how it would affect my playing. Would it be valuable to do my warm-up routine like this? If so, could I get away with possibly more playing like this? I'm worried about the potential harm to my playing, but intrigued at the aspect of fitting in more practice time. Thanks in advance for the input.
  2. MPM

    MPM Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Use Of A Practive Mute

    This thread might better have been started down a bit , on the thread about mutes. However, here is cool too I guess.

    The thing you have to realize is that the "feel" when using a mute is going to be a bit differnt than playing "open". Just as on a gig, cup mute, st. mute, harmon, bucket .... they all 'feel' a bit different but you know where to relate the 'feeling' to open playing ... dig?

    There are ... a shit load of practice mutes avalible, and I have tried every one, inluding practicing / warming up with a harmon, cup etc ... The best one as far as the "feel" to playing open, is the "BRASS SPA" practice mute. You can find it on, www.bobreeves.com ... click on the "V-Raptor" and it'lll take you to an area on the site where you can read about it!

    BRASS SPA - Practice mute is ... $20 +/- ... and is the closest "feel" to playing open.

  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Some of the experienced teachers might have a better "take" on this one. Personally, I find that the mute helps the higher notes "speak" easier (which implies that extended use of a mute may give one a false sense of their playing range). At the same time (and maybe the cause of the above?), the impedence is increased which forces one to use more air pressure. I guess this could be good (more AIR is never a bad thing) or bad (you can get used to using more air than is needed and develop an unfamiliar "feeling" on the horn that you would seldom use in performance).

    One thing I do believe and that is that if you are using mutes in performance you DO have to practice at least those parts with them. I like to put the Harmon mute on (stem removed or not) and work through some of Real Books from time to time.
  4. Welk

    Welk New Friend

    Jan 8, 2004
    Montréal, Canada
    I use a Denis Wick practice mute and I really find that it help my playing to become more and more free blowing when playing open. My tone gets clearer too! I love it...and I can practice at any time!

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