Our playing is based on what our bodies feel, our minds think and ears hear. Developing sound, endurance and technique depend on very close intergration of all of these factors. Once we have developed a "superior" sound, we can branch off into additional techniques. If our ears get used to "wimpy" that is what our brains expectation is, and what the muscles get told to do.
I have posted hundreds of times that we can't just change one thing and expect results. Brains and ears ALWAYS are attached to the hardware when making music!
Mute is "ADDITIONAL". I recommend as much open horn as possible, except when we are building specific sonic techniques where we need a "healthy" mix.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
I'll defer to the expert with all the years of experience. Rowuk must be right here ..... With the mute, it's really a different instrument, and maybe not a lot of practice will carrry over to open horn playing. Even with my guitar playing, it's not really like "ankle weights" (playing the acoustic, then the electric). They're similar, but different enough to need different approaches, and actually, I feel I'm losing my edge with the electric because I've been ignoring it.
It sure gives your face a workout when you do long tones and lip slurs with the Harmon in.
Last edited by turtlejimmy; 05-20-2012 at 08:59 AM.
I use my harmon mute without the stem to practise when I can't make a lot of noise, but I do feel this is somehow detrimental to my tone quality as after I've had to do this for a number of days (when in hotel rooms for example) I find myself overblowing when I play without the mute in. Normally I would only use the mute for the pieces the mute is intended for.
And how are my lips holding up under the strain of 24/7 Harmon playing, you may be wondering .....
Just ine ...... no ro le s at all .... they eel al ost nor al.
Well gosh Batman, good thing I came back to this post. Turtle says YES YES YES last week, so this weekend I practice yes yes yes. Now this week Rowuk says NO NO NO. If I practice no no no now, I'll bet another vet like Bob Grier will come back with YES YES YES. Holy Fork in the Road!
bah do dweeeee bah do bleep blop
I'm holding out for MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE!
That could be dangerous because you have to make it louder to play on a harmon and when you switch back, it will be extremely loud. but other than that you are good to go!
Satchmo, sorry to disappoint but I concur with Rowuk. There can be problems with continued practicing with any mute. One is that we lose sense of how loud we are playing. Our ears hear a soft sound and we unconsciously play louder without realizing it. Over time this can lead to a rigid embouchure. Loss of range, a strident sound. Been there done that. Took me a month to get my chops back. There are other drawbacks. You may lose the center of your sound. Now what I'm talking about is playing on the mute ALL the time. No playing on the open horn at all. Playing with a mute won't hurt as long as you spend equal or more time on the open horn.
If you want to get use to a Harmon, just play some scales and tunes on it for say 5 to 10 minutes a day.
I do use a mute to warm up when it's needed
Last edited by Bob Grier; 05-21-2012 at 08:46 PM.
Bob Grier, An Old Pro
Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons
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