Mute issues

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nickenator, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. nickenator

    nickenator Pianissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    An embarrassing thing .. my mute keeps falling out of my trumpet. The mute is relatively new, and is a combo straight/cup. I have a raw brass Harrelson (don't know if that matters). Last night during rehearsal it fell out during the middle of a piece (I cursed but luckily no one heard me during the fort part of a piece). I pushed it a bit too hard and one of the corks fell off. HELP please.
  2. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    I have found that gently breathing onto the surface of the bell where the corks of the mute are to mate, causing a haze of moisture in the mouth of the bell helps a lot in keeping mute corks from slipping. This is especially so with mutes that have full enclosure sheet cork for a seal to the bell of the trumpet. An example is the Harmon type mutes.

  3. nickenator

    nickenator Pianissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    I tried breathing in the trumpet to no avail.
  4. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
    If the bell taper and mute taper is very different
    you can adjust the corks by using a file, knife or other
    grinding device to make the horn and mute fit together.

    Cut/grind small amounts and test until the mute fits.

    Use a sand paper to do the final adjustment.

    Trumpet bells come in various "sizes" so the mute corks are often
    oversized and you need to adjust them to the horn.
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    rough up the cork a little and then breath on the bell like oldlou said and once the mute is in, give it the smallest twist to lock it in. Sometimes the cork gets smooth and gets a glazed look to it. The smoothness makes it hard for the mute to stay in.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It may sound gross, but I have always licked my corks before inserting them in the bell. Never had a problem with them falling out.
  7. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    sometimes the mute corks have to be sanded down a bit. Breathing into the bell does help. If the mute corks are too thick, only a small portion of the cork will meet the bell ( the end that's inserted first). You end up with just a small bit of the cork touching. Sand the corks down to where more of the cork surface meets the bell. If you do this it should stay in with minimal compression.
  8. walldaja

    walldaja Pianissimo User

    Feb 25, 2008
    Kokomo, IN
    Often the cork is dry and I've found applying a very light coating of slide (cork) grease on the corks helps do two things--it prevents squeaking and allows for a better fit. Of course, Harmon's especially like the blowing in the bell. If there's a short passage without ample time to blow into the bell I usually plan to hold it in with my left hand.
  9. clamem

    clamem New Friend

    Jul 30, 2009
    I just ordered a Harrelson Summit with the 5.25 inch bell and was concerned that my mutes might not fit. I asked Jason about it and he said that it is sometimes necessary to add cork to the mute. I have not received my horn yet, so I have not tried it, but that was the advice I received.

    Let me know if it helps.

  10. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Try borrowing a spray bottle from a trombone player friend and spay your mute's cork at the beginning of play. It may help you.

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