Practice with a mute bad?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by GuyMcPerson, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. GuyMcPerson

    GuyMcPerson New Friend

    Dec 29, 2008
    Hey all, beginner here again. I recently bought a wah mute, partly because my roommates were getting pissed at me playing the trumpet so much, partly because I really like the sound.

    Anyways, since I've been playing now for about a week and half, my highest consistent note is the D in the upper area of the staff. But it seems like the high notes come out easier on the mute.

    Also, I know it is true for guitar that it is not recommended to practice too quietly, or in the case of an electric guitar, with distortion because it makes mistakes less noticeable.

    So basically, the short version is: Does anyone think mostly practicing with a mute is bad?
  2. limbo

    limbo New Friend

    Aug 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  3. johnMak

    johnMak Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2008
    Ridgecrest CA
    If the only reason we use the mute is to keep peace with room mates or the neighbors...we should try and find a place to practice unhindered. The trumpet, cornet is intended to be played freely.

    I drive to Death valley often and I'm considering taking the cornet with me and playing out there. No one to be bothered at all. but I do have a place I can go and freely toot my own horn.

    that should be our goal. If you want the "Wha Wha Wha" sound that some mutes add to the style of playing then practice with the mute. but being the peacemaker should be supplimented with free playing with nothing held back or muted in any way.

    Just my experiences I'm sharing.
  4. HSOtrumpet1

    HSOtrumpet1 Pianissimo User

    Nov 28, 2008
    A mute does change the pitch. Don't hold me to this, but I think that it makes the tone sharp. Also, nothing can be a substitute for a practice room with an open horn. A wah mute can't, a Silent Brass system can't, nothing can. I have had people tell me that their tone quality has decreased after long periods of time after using a mute, and as my instructor puts it, you just aren't getting the full value of your practice time while you use a mute. To keep up your tone, I would recommend not using a mute for most of the time, however if you really can't avoid it,try to at least get in maybe, say, three hours a week without a mute. -HSO
  5. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    You got to tune your horn when you put the mute in. You can reach higher notes with the mute in because the mute makes the horn sharp. So you got to pull the tuning slide out a bit...
    As for practicing w/ a mute, do a search on here, their are probably many threads.
  6. GoodMusic@PA

    [email protected] Piano User

    Aug 7, 2008
    If you are a beginner, try not to use a mute everytime you practice. You need to know the true sound of the horn and some mutes make the trumpet lean forward and that can cause bad posture. And most mutes make the trumpet sharp so pull out the tuning slide out about 3/4 of an inch than what you are regularly in tune at(all trumpets are different). good luck:-):play:
  7. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    If you've only been playing the trumpet for a week I would very much advise AGAINST using the mute. In the absolute beginning of learning the trumpet it is so important to develop your sound (sans mute) more than anything else (imo).

    You say you have roommates? Are you at a college or university that may have a music building that you can go practice at? Or you can wait until the roommates are not in. Either way you have to find a time and place to play without the mute.

    Mutes are for changing the sound of the horn depending on what the composer/arranger (or performer in jazz etc) wants. It's super important to know what the main sound should be first.
  8. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    I think on reason it is easier to play with a mute is because it creates more back pressure and reflected energy both reinforceing the embouchure almost like what would happen if you pressed the mouthpiece against the lips harder. I only let my son use his practice mute once in a while. While I like it quite some times I too think that it is not the best habit to get into.
  9. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I use a Bach practice mute almost every day. Some mornings I start playing at 6 AM. Without a mute, playing a trumpet at that hour gives New Yorkers license to kill:-)
    It's called a practice mute for a reason. You can't hurt yourself using this mute with discretion.
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY need a teacher!

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