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Best practice mutes?


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TheAidanAU
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Joined: 27 Apr 2021
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Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 3:19 pm    Post subject: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

One of my main problems for playing trumpet is not being able to practice enough. Currently, I only play around 20-30 minutes a day. I would like to play for around 1 hour twice a day, but I live with my parents currently, and they tend to get a bit annoyed when I play.. (Its really loud for them). I currently have a practice mute, but it's not the greatest. It costed about 6 dollars off of amazon, and it does well if I have my door closed and everything, but I would like something near silent. I saw an electronic "silent" mute by Yamaha on Amazon, but I was not completely convinced. It has good reviews saying the item is good and sounds realistic with headphones, but again, I am not 100 percent sure. If anyone has any recommendations, that would be greatly appreciated. (The silent electronic mute that I mentioned earlier is called the Yamaha SILENT Brass Trumpet Mute SB7X-2 in case anyone would like to see it.)
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J.D. Heckathorn
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

TheAidanAU wrote:
Hello everyone,

One of my main problems for playing trumpet is not being able to practice enough. Currently, I only play around 20-30 minutes a day. I would like to play for around 1 hour twice a day, but I live with my parents currently, and they tend to get a bit annoyed when I play.. (Its really loud for them). I currently have a practice mute, but it's not the greatest. It costed about 6 dollars off of amazon, and it does well if I have my door closed and everything, but I would like something near silent. I saw an electronic "silent" mute by Yamaha on Amazon, but I was not completely convinced. It has good reviews saying the item is good and sounds realistic with headphones, but again, I am not 100 percent sure. If anyone has any recommendations, that would be greatly appreciated. (The silent electronic mute that I mentioned earlier is called the Yamaha SILENT Brass Trumpet Mute SB7X-2 in case anyone would like to see it.)


When I lived in a condo I had a similar problem with neighbors so I got the same model Yamaha Silent Brass to get more practicing in. I would practice with just the mute at night in the room adjacent to my wife in the other room sleeping and never had an issue. I would advise still playing open as much as possible for real tuning feedback as you will find you may tend to “push” to try and hear yourself but if you start out softly and get a good sound with as little air as possible you will adjust fine.

There’s a perception it is taboo to practice with practice mutes, and given a consistent perfect practice location I might agree but if it gets you playing it’s better than not playing and not stimulating the muscles at all.

The added benefit I discovered with the silent brass is the ability to record using it. I recorded the trumpet (And bass trumpet using a trombone silent brass mute) parts for my entire debut album on the silent brass running the headphone out into an audio interface. I recorded one of the recording sessions here to get an idea of what you can do to mess around:

https://youtu.be/knfIIAI75M0


It’s pricey but if you have no interest in recording you can purchase the mute separately as well which i think is a great practice mute in its own right. Good luck!
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giakara
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice with mute for long time is not good for you , a good old trick is to practice in the closet, put a chair in front of a open closet , move the clothes half in left side and half in right side and put in the gap a small music stand (and if needed a light) put your bell in the closet and that's it , your sound volume it will reduce it to 30% to 40% , sorry for my terrible English.

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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice mutes aren't great because they change how the horns sounds and blows or feels. Thus, practicing on a practice mute can change how you play due to your feedback - both with the air and what you hear - and not in a good way.

The Yamaha Silent Brass tries to address the sound feedback by giving you a better sound you hear and you can add reverb. I don't think they're great on the stuffiness department. I have the first generation Silent Brass somewhere. I haven't used it in about a decade and more.

Others try to be better blowing but you're still stuck with the mediocre sound of the mute. Eh.

Might be worth looking at this list. I was going to buy the Faxx, but never got around to it - just for warming up backstage once in a while.

I have an ancient H&B Manny Klein mute. It's fine, it's stuffy, it sounds like there's a sock in your bell, I've probably played on it for an hour or two total in the last decade - which is ideal (basically 2-5 minute chunks ever once in a while).

https://everythingtrumpet.com/practice-mute-comparison-survey-by-bill-dishman
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silent Brass are very good.. and can be a good practice tool. With headphones on (and I generally go with a better quality headphone/ over ear style) you'll find you don't push against the practice mute as much reducing the stuffy feel a bit.
An added benefit is that you are hearing yourself from the bell end of the trumpet - a different perspective.
I used one often in hotels and backstage while touring - very little room noise made.

For my own practice at home, I also like a cup mute with added stuffing (cotton balls, felt, foam, or chrotched ring).. At one time Jo_Ral cup mutes came with a felt or foam ring to soften the tone at times. This doesn't add too much back pressure, and softens the sound quite a bit.

Best Brass Nano is another great option. Designed to put in the end of your Harmon / Bubble mute.. and is a mouthpiece buzzing tool as well. Easy to carry on gigs too - you're likely to have a harmon with you anyway.

Then you could cheaply build a practice drum. A five gallon bucket from Home Depot/Lowe's, lined with acoustic / egg foam - cut a piece to cover the bottom of the bucket and line the sides. Fashion a way to hang this on a stand, then when you play, put the bell in the bucket partway.
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gregplo
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Silent Brass system (older electronics) with both the new style mute - PM7X, and the old style as well. I find them both to play with far too much resistance to play for any length of time. I've tried several other practice mutes as well, and find most of them to have too much resistance.

My favorite practice mutes are the Divitt Practice Mute (bought from Austin Custom Brass), which is a little louder than some practice mutes, but doesn't introduce as much resistance AND plays in tune, and a Dennis Wick Adjustable Cup Mute with the cup almost closed against the bell, which is a bit louder still, but produces the least resistance.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to mention the mute I make, but gregplo best me to it.

There Is a nice comparison of my mute vs other mutes done by my good friend Trent Austin. You can watch it below

https://youtu.be/7w4UbIPzZzU
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trombahonker
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

TheAidanAU wrote:
…I live with my parents currently, and they tend to get a bit annoyed when I play.. (Its really loud for them).


As an aside, this is something that needs to be addressed with your parents. If you want to get good, and want to learn to play the trumpet really well, you need to be able to practice open so you can hear yourself properly. That either means being able to do it at home, or your parents helping you to find a place where you can do it. Have a conversation, find a way, maybe some scheduled time where they go for a walk, or to the grocery, or whatever. If none of that is possible, maybe buy a couple sets of sound canceling headphones for them for the periods that you need to practice.

Stifling yourself with a mute is not the answer in the long-term. Also, low-dynamic practice is good for you sometimes and should be a negotiation item for some times!

-a
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Satchel
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My teacher recommended the Wallace Practice Studio, and I have to say it's very impressively quiet, yet playable for practice

https://www.thomann.de/fr/wallace_twc_m17_trpt_practice_studio.htm

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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was young most of my practice was loud. and I don't doubt that I annoyed absolutely everybody within an earshot. Over the years I've learned that there's very little need for high volume practice. I get much more out of low and moderate volume practice. And it might buy some goodwill if you incorporate some more musical-sounding etudes into your routine. I've actually had neighbors mention liking it when they hear me practice.
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Satchel
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1. I'm really practicing my piano/pianissimo control, alternate with practicing with mute. Before I played trumpet, if a neighbour had started to learn making the noises I made at the beginning, I would have been quite mad.
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JPHB
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Divitt practice mute (bought mine from Landress Brass in NYC) is the best I've tried so far (and it looks very cool - I have the bright blue one). I also have an old Yamaha Silent Brass system, for really late night practicing, but if I back off, the Divitt can be very quiet. Without these two mutes my practicing would be less than half of what it is now. I must say, I got in a practice session the other day with no mute at all and it was such a pleasure, and felt very different. It took me 5-10 minutes to adjust to the blow and openness of the horn, etc. Anyway - try the Divitt, you won't be disappointed.
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cplt
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just piling on the praise for the Divitt practice mute. It's astonishingly in tune, way better than my Bremner Shhhhhmute (which isn't half bad itself). And it's pretty affordable -- you might just have to pre-order and wait for it to arrive.

One question, though, while the Divitt mutes are getting praise: is it pronounced "DI-vit" or "di-VIT"? When I picked mine up (also from J. Landress Brass!) I was too embarrassed to pronounce it.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We say it like the golf fault "divot" with no real emphasis on either syllable.
I'm of Scottish descent, although most tend to pronounce it as if it were Italian or French.


I'm doing my best to keep J Landress and Austin Custom Brass stocked, but people buy them quicker than I can make them!
It takes 8.5 hours to print each one!
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone should be practicing with a practice mute for more than 15 minutes here and there. Doesn't matter how great the practice mute is.
You need to be able to practice open horn with a full and resonant sound. That is very important. Maybe there's a safe place outside you can go play?
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improver
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brass spa practice mute is cheap and most playable. Small and compact and produces good sound.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

trombahonker wrote:
TheAidanAU wrote:
…I live with my parents currently, and they tend to get a bit annoyed when I play.. (Its really loud for them).


As an aside, this is something that needs to be addressed with your parents. If you want to get good, and want to learn to play the trumpet really well, you need to be able to practice open so you can hear yourself properly. That either means being able to do it at home, or your parents helping you to find a place where you can do it. Have a conversation, find a way, maybe some scheduled time where they go for a walk, or to the grocery, or whatever. If none of that is possible, maybe buy a couple sets of sound canceling headphones for them for the periods that you need to practice.

Stifling yourself with a mute is not the answer in the long-term. Also, low-dynamic practice is good for you sometimes and should be a negotiation item for some times!

-a


THIS!!!! ☝️

In a music store where I was teaching lessons, I once had a parent ask me about mutes, because she “….can’t stand listening to him practice.” Right in front of the kid who was standing there.

I wanted to slap her.😡

Brad
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:
In a music store where I was teaching lessons, I once had a parent ask me about mutes, because she “….can’t stand listening to him practice.” Right in front of the kid who was standing there.

I wanted to slap her.😡

Brad

While the parent in your post used the wording you quoted, then yes, it was inappropriate and I agree with your urge.

However, when my daughter was starting to learn the piccolo flute the whole family struggled with the literally ear piercing sounds coming from the instrument. My daughter used ear plugs when practicing until she could produce the notes at a quieter level.

The rest of us found it challenging being in another room with the door closed on her practice room. Since I have mysophobia and struggle with high pitch noises it was especially hard to endure.

Fortunately the time was short as she was already an accomplished flautist and was studying with professional players and teachers outside of the school.
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Grits Burgh
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Best practice mutes? Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
Brad361 wrote:
In a music store where I was teaching lessons, I once had a parent ask me about mutes, because she “….can’t stand listening to him practice.” Right in front of the kid who was standing there.

I wanted to slap her.😡

Brad

While the parent in your post used the wording you quoted, then yes, it was inappropriate and I agree with your urge.

However, when my daughter was starting to learn the piccolo flute the whole family struggled with the literally ear piercing sounds coming from the instrument. My daughter used ear plugs when practicing until she could produce the notes at a quieter level.

The rest of us found it challenging being in another room with the door closed on her practice room. Since I have mysophobia and struggle with high pitch noises it was especially hard to endure.

Fortunately the time was short as she was already an accomplished flautist and was studying with professional players and teachers outside of the school.


Yeah, but that was a flute! Brad was talking about a trumpet!!!
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EricV
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shssss mute by Bremner is great, intonation good and very quiet

check out the web site www.sshhmute.com

well worth a look

Cheers

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