Practice mute...

Discussion in 'Wise Talk!' started by butxifxnot, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    (Since I read the thread started by Mr. Wise about how many blasted mutes he has, I figure I'd ask him.)

    I have a practice mute, and I used it quite a lot. A former director told me that the added pressure is good for younger players because it "makes you blow". Well, an interesting thing: certain aspects of my playing seems to be better with the added pressure of the mute now. IE range is more flexable, I can actually hit a pedal C without cheating (bending the G down...) While I'm sure the mute has helped me by getting me to use air, I'm kind of unnerved that some of my playing sounds better with that mute...
    Can I transfer that effect of the added pressure (or fool my mind into imagining it) to my playing without the mute (or without the pressure, whichever's better)?

    BTW, when I say pressure, you do know that I mean "back-pressure" and not lip pressure. :-)
     
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    3,418
    375
    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    Hmmmmmm........I never would encourage a young player to use a practice mute for anything other than an occasional practice session, certainly not every day use. I am really old school, not one of my teachers even mentioned pedals and I have never used them. I believe in playing pianissimo open. A player will get a greater sense of control of air and chops when playing the trumpet unmuted. Take the Arban Studies on slurring starting on page 39 and play these open and quietly. Concentrate on feeling the interaction of the inhale, attack/release of air. Work on getting that feeling of absolute ease in producing your sound. The Arban studies are the first step.
    Wilmer
     
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    3,418
    375
    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    I confess.......I have acquired my mute collection over a number of years.
    I have had to, on occasion, buy mutes because I left home without the right ones. It's great to be in a town where you can run to the local store and buy any mute you need :oops:
    Wilmer
     
  4. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    Well, it wasn't everyday usage, but it turned out that way. :roll: My fault.
    :-) Thank you for the reply and the specific application ideas. :cool:
     
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Age:
    43
    1,144
    3
    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Wilmer, I apologise now for introducing a trombone player's thoughts into your forum, but in this case it is very relevant (I hope you agree).

    Yesterday I was chatting to Denis Wick (yes, him of the mouthpieces and mutes) and we were talking about various teaching and practice techniques. He was talking about how he gets his trombone students playing with a full sound.
    Low notes, fairly loud, not forced, with a practice mute in.
    His logic behind this is that the slight increase in air pressure needed allows the throat to open slightly, allowing more air through the instrument.

    Knowing his pedigree as both a player (35 years as principal trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra) and as a teacher (his students are spread all over the world, filling principal positions in many orchestras), there might be something in this.

    He does add, however, that practice mutes should not be used for all practising. He uses them for this specific purpose. The only other time they come out is when needed - late night hotel practising etc.


    We now return you to trumpet thoughts.
     
  6. Sol

    Sol Pianissimo User

    225
    36
    Jan 25, 2004
    Denis Wick Practice Mute

    Trumpetmike,

    The next time you run into Mr. Wick, would you mind mentioning to him that the trumpet practice mute works better (IMO) if one of the two holes gets plugged. Try it with a piece of tape and see. I ended up plugging one of the holes permanently with epoxy.
     
  7. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

    286
    62
    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    Practice Mutes

    I actually go the other way with the Wick PM's. I open up one of the holes to reduce back pressure and make the mute more open feeling.

    On Jim Donaldson's Trumpet Gearhead website there is my comparison / contrast study on many of the various brands of practice mutes I have used over the years.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
     
  8. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    1,097
    1
    Nov 2, 2003
    If done the right way and in limited amounts it can help with some things, though i do not recommend it to a high school student.

    you might get better results by flutter tounging a passage, instead of playing it with a mute.
     
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Age:
    43
    1,144
    3
    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Re: Denis Wick Practice Mute

    I imagine that this is why there are two holes - so you have the option of taping one (or both) up.

    I have an old model one that has both holes taped over. The newer version doesn't seem to need it.
     

Share This Page