Harmon mute stem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by deepthought4200, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. deepthought4200

    deepthought4200 New Friend

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Hi,
    I have a relatively new harmon mute, but when I play it, the stem invariably falls out. My teacher mentioned that there was some sort of red gunk I could apply to tighten it, but I didn't quite catch where I could get it and what it was. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Hi,
    When I use a harmon, I almost never use the stem at all. The stem gives you a little more volume, and "buzz", but I never use mine.

    Use whatever you and your teacher agree on, this is simply my opinion

    cheers
     
  3. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User

    Hi,

    The "red gunk" is probably Selmer slide grease. Its very gooey and will grip the Harmon stem in place. Most players usually leave the stem out and insert it only when specifically called for in the music.

    Other "red gunk" could include automobile transmission fluid or STP.

    FWIW,

    Brian
     
  4. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

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    I had a director tell me once to throw the stem away that it would never be used. It may be a bit of an over statement but i have found I use it so rarely he is almost right.
    JR
     
  5. ARTIE RULES

    ARTIE RULES Pianissimo User

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    To solve your problem I would not use any gunk. It just makes a mess of your case. Either take the mute to an instrument repair person who can put an expander in the stem and increase the diameter slightly OR apply some pressure to the stem to make it a bit elliptical instead of round - just enough so it stays in place.

    Do not throw the stem away. Not only is it required from time to time, but it also gives you more range of colors to work with!
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Brooklyn,NY
    Unless you're Miles Davis, the harmon stem is always in the mute. The arranger will usually indicate when the stem is to be removed. Have you ever seen a harmon muted section notated like this ++00+0+?
    Keep your stem in!
    Wilmer
     
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    Wilmer,

    I find it very difficult to disagree with anything you write,

    however, in all my years of playing big bnad music I have never seen harmon mute marking with ++0++0.

    The plunger marking are done this way, but not harmon.

    Our band has original charts from Sy Oliver, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Finnegan, etc. I've never seen harmon marking like that.


    -cw-
     
  9. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    I played Thomas Ades' opera "Powder Her Face," that used those marking and also indicated stem extended half with plunger. I used three harmons with stems extended various lengths for this piece. I used about 8 mutes on this piece!
    Have you ever seen e.t. on a part? It means to extend the tube.
    Lots of composers love to do things with mutes.
    Wilmer
     
  10. deepthought4200

    deepthought4200 New Friend

    3
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    Jun 20, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. I've heard a lot of people say that the stem is almost never used, but since it is part of the mute I think it's worth keeping. I bought a bottle of Selmer cork/slide grease and applied a very thin layer (not enough to make a mess). It worked very well; the stem stays in now and the grease is barely noticeable.
     

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