Best straight mute as practice mute

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ttf_Dixieland57
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Dixieland57 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:09 am

Hi everyday, so I try to explain clearly.

I live in an apartment and can't play open, so I've use a bremner and a maslet practice mute but it broke my chops and the sound is thin.

I can manage a lot more volume than when I play with a practice mute, so I've tried my teacher Wick cup, Wick Tom crown and joral straight and found the Tom crown amazing for what I search, very open, have a sound very similar to when I play open.

I would know if someone know an even better straight mute than the Tom crown for my usage.

Thank you
ttf_Matt K
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Matt K » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:28 am

FWIW, I actually prefer my Silent brass to anything else, particularly with the electronics in. I've only been doing it for about a month so we'll see if my opinion of that matter changes!  Just did a jam yesterday and didn't notice antyhing particularly unusual about my playing. 

Problem with other mutes is that they're designed to change your timbre, not just make you softer. You could try the softone mute draped fully over your bell. That is going to be louder for sure though it has an odd feeling to it in my opinion. (Although I love it as a sub for bucket mute!). Incidentally, a bucket mute - particularly the jo-ral - as it has a bucket of cotton at the bottom of it to absorb sound but is still pretty open blowing.  You may also want to try the Wallace practice mute (the bigger of the two). I had one a few years ago and found it to be really open blowing.  Now that I'm practicing more exclusively on a mute, I prefer the Yamaha, but if I recall, the Wallace feels less like you'replaying in a mute and you can adjust the resistance on it.  If you take the stem out it actually doubles as a straight mute as well, although I never used it for that purpose in an ensemble so I can't attest to how effective it is in that regard.
ttf_Dixieland57
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Dixieland57 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:53 am

Yeah my teacher said that when he was young if he doesn't have the choice he prefered play with the silent brass than a straight mute, but I dunno what to do.
ttf_BGuttman
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_BGuttman » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:07 am

Most straight mutes (at lest the 4 I have) make you play a bit sharp.  Also, as Matt has said they change the timbre of your sound.

You are facing a dilemma that most of us who live in apartments face (I live in a private house now, but grew up and spent my early married years in apartments).

Every practice mute I have makes your sound very soft (it's what they are designed to do).  What I liked about the Yamaha Silent Brass and another device called a "Peacemaker" was that you could adjust the sound you hear so you think you are not muted.  That way you don't develop a "blasting" tone because you can't hear yourself with the practice mute.

ttf_Matt K
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Matt K » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:38 am

Quote from: Dixieland57 on Jan 11, 2018, 07:53AMYeah my teacher said that when he was young if he doesn't have the choice he prefered play with the silent brass than a straight mute, but I dunno what to do.

The new silent brass are a lot better than the old ones too. At least in my opinion (you'll find differing ones!)  Unfortunately, the new ones don't support bass trombones so I have an old one now for bass practicing and a flugel one for my alto. Although incidentally, I'm not sure if the flugel is the best choice for alto, though it is what they recomment. It doesn't fully fit in my Wessex, which is surprising to me because they're a rather large slide bore for alto (525/547).  I'm visiting a shop that has silent brass soon, going to see if the trumpet one would fit better.

Like Bruce said, the electronics make a big difference. I immediately threw away the garbatio earbuds they come with and use my Bose headphones.  I have an older pair... Q15s I think.  They don't interfere with the placement of the bell section relative to my ears which is nice.  It lets me practice very quietly and I haven't noticed any intonation quirks doing my normal practicing with drones (which you can feed directly into the electronics as well). 

I can understand why someone not used to it would be reluctant to practice on it but after doing it for a few days I really don't mind it at all.  Again though, we'll see how my opinion changes as I do it more.  Maybe I'll make some recordings if I can find the time.  The setup makes it pretty easy to record and it isn't 100% acoustic sound but it sounds surprisingly good given that you're blocking a huge portion of the acoustic sound and not totally screwing up the overtone series like the best brass and some of the other small, in bell mutes tend to do for me.
ttf_BGuttman
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_BGuttman » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:52 am

I threw away the earbuds from my Silent Brass as well.  I HATE earbuds.  I used a cheap set of headphones from a Sony Walkman Wannabe.  Worked fine.

I was in a rehab hospital with a full time roommate.  I used my SB to practice.  My roommate said it really didn't interfere with his television watching and he actually didn't mind the little bit of sound that came out (especially when I was playing music as opposed to drills).
ttf_Graham Martin
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Graham Martin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:09 pm

I use my SB for practice with a pair of good headphones and Band-in-a-Box playing through the AUX IN for very swinging accompaniment. I also plug a mike into the PLAYER 2 for vocals. But it is true that the SB does not do great things for your lip. The tip someone gave last time we talked about this was to only play softly with the SB, which is a really good one.

Also I find the weight is a bit fatiguing over long sessions of practice. Plus your movement is restricted by the leads.

If your neighbours don't mind something just a bit quieter than playing open, then I would suggest the Soulo SM5712 tenor trombone bucket mute. They also have a bass trombone version. It is very free blowing but nicely dampened by the padding on the inside, which you can increase by adding extra cloth of some kind. You can also use it in conjunction with other mutes in the bell.

I also use the Soulo Cup Mute for practice because it too is very free blowing and very light in weight. Image

https://www.soulomute.com/store/c3/Trombone_Mutes.html
ttf_Matt K
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Matt K » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:09 am

Is that one of the first generation SB mutes you have then?  The second generation of the torpedo shaped ones and the newer PM5s don't have a player 2 port but the pickups are much better. The new PM5 is substantially lighter too and by my estimation a lot more freeblowing.  Might be worth a try but then again its another $200 to blow on something you may not use very frequently.   
ttf_Dixieland57
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Dixieland57 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:26 am

I believe that I am going to try to play open but soft right in front of a closet full of cloths and see if any of my apartment neighbours have any complains.
ttf_Matt K
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Matt K » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:22 am

Quote from: Dixieland57 on Jan 12, 2018, 07:26AMI believe that I am going to try to play open but soft right in front of a closet full of cloths and see if any of my apartment neighbours have any complains.

Double check your lease terms first.  My last apartment both neighbors liked hearing me play AND nothing was written in my lease. In my current lease there is specific terminology forbidding me from being "Suffered to play upon any musical instrument" multiple times actually. The penalty is $50 for the first offense  Image
ttf_Dixieland57
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Dixieland57 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:36 am

You know in my residence no one care of nothing, making noise the whole night, litering in the stars, park motorcycle in the hall...
ttf_Dixieland57
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Dixieland57 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:00 pm

The thing is when I tried cup and straight mute I don't find it so so good for my purpose, but the Tom crown straight had so thick corks that the mute don't go too deep into the bell and allow the sound to go out and the bell to vibrate.
ttf_timothy42b
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:12 pm

Quote from: Matt K on Jan 12, 2018, 08:22AMDouble check your lease terms first.  My last apartment both neighbors liked hearing me play AND nothing was written in my lease. In my current lease there is specific terminology forbidding me from being "Suffered to play upon any musical instrument" multiple times actually. The penalty is $50 for the first offense  Image

And then there was the Mark Twain solution for musical problem neighbors. 

Are you familiar with the story?

Oh, I haven't posted it in a while, maybe it's time:



QuoteA Touching Story of George Washington's Boyhood

By Mark Twain

If it please your neighbor to break the sacred calm of night with the snorting of an unholy trombone, it is your duty to put up with his wretched music and your privilege to pity him for the unhappy instinct that moves him to delight in such discordant sounds. I did not always think thus: this consideration for musical amateurs was born of certain disagreeable personal experiences that once followed the development of a like instinct in myself. Now this infidel over the way, who is learning to play on the trombone, and the slowness of whose progress is almost miraculous, goes on with his harrowing work every night, uncurled by me, but tenderly pitied. Ten years ago, for the same offense, I would have set fire to his house. At that time I was a prey to an amateur violinist for two or three weeks, and the sufferings I endured at his hands are inconceivable. He played "Old Dan Tucker," and he never played any thing else; but he performed that so badly that he could throw me into fits with it if I were awake, or into a nightmare if I were asleep. As long as he confined himself to "Dan Tucker," though, I bore with him and abstained from violence; but when he projected a fresh outrage, and tried to do "Sweet Home," I went over and burnt him out. My next assailant was a wretch who felt a call to play the clarionet. He only played the scale, however, with his distressing instrument, and I let him run the length of his tether, also; but finally, when he branched out into a ghastly tune, I felt my reason deserting me under the exquisite torture, and I sallied forth and burnt him out likewise. During the next two years I burned out an amateur cornet player, a bugler, a bassoon-sophomore, and a barbarian whose talents ran in the base-drum line.

I would certainly have scorched this trombone man if he had moved into my neighborhood in those days. But as I said before, I leave him to his own destruction now, because I have had experience as an amateur myself, and I feel nothing but compassion for that kind of people. Besides, I have learned that there lies dormant in the souls of all men a penchant for some particular musical instrument, and an unsuspected yearning to learn to play on it, that are bound to wake up and demand attention some day. Therefore, you who rail at such as disturb your slumbers with unsuccessful and demoralizing attempts to subjugate a fiddle, beware! for sooner or later your own time will come. It is customary and popular to curse these amateurs when they wrench you out of a pleasant dream at night with a peculiarly diabolical note; but seeing that we are all made alike, and must all develop a distorted talent for music in the fullness of time, it is not right. I am charitable to my trombone maniac; in a moment of inspiration he fetches a snort, sometimes, that brings me to a sitting posture in bed, broad awake and weltering in a cold perspiration. Perhaps my first thought is, that there has been an earthquake; perhaps I hear the trombone, and my next thought is, that suicide and the silence of the grave would be a happy release from this nightly agony; perhaps the old instinct comes strong upon me to go after my matches; but my first cool, collected thought is, that the trombone man's destiny is upon him, and he is working it out in suffering and tribulation; and I banish from me the unworthy instinct that would prompt me to burn him out.

After a long immunity from the dreadful insanity that moves a man to become a musician in defiance of the will of God that he should confine himself to sawing wood, I finally fell a victim to the instrument they call the accordeon. At this day I hate that contrivance as fervently as any man can, but at the time I speak of I suddenly acquired a disgusting and idolatrous affection for it. I got one of powerful capacity, and learned to play "Auld Lang Syne" on it. It seems to me, now, that I must have been gifted with a sort of inspiration to be enabled, in the state of ignorance in which I then was, to select out of the whole range of musical composition the one solitary tune that sounds vilest and most distressing on the accordeon. I do not suppose there is another tune in the world with which I could have inflicted so much anguish upon my race as I did with that one during my short musical career.

After I had been playing "Lang Syne" about a week, I had the vanity to think I could improve the original melody, and I set about adding some little flourishes and variations to it, but with rather indifferent success, I suppose, as it brought my landlady into my presence with an expression about her of being opposed to such desperate enterprises. Said she, "Do you know any other tune but that, Mr. Twain?" I told her, meekly, that I did not. "Well, then," said she, "stick to it just as it is; don't put any variations to it, because it's rough enough on the boarders the way it is now."

The fact is, it was something more than simply "rough enough" on them; it was altogether too rough; half of them left, and the other half would have followed, but Mrs. Jones saved them by discharging me from the premises. 

I only staid one night at my next lodging-house. Mrs. Smith was after me early in the morning. She said, "You can go, sir; I don't want you here; I have had one of your kind before -- a poor lunatic, that played the banjo and danced breakdowns, and jarred the glass all out of the windows. You kept me awake all night, and if you was to do it again, I'd take and mash that thing over your head!" I could see that this woman took no delight in music, and I moved to Mrs. Brown's.

For three nights in succession I gave my new neighbors "Auld Lang Syne," plain and unadulterated, save by a few discords that rather improved the general effect than otherwise. But the very first time I tried the variations the boarders mutinied. I never did find any body that would stand those variations. I was very well satisfied with my efforts in that house, however, and I left it without any regrets; I drove one boarder as mad as a March hare, and another one tried to scalp his mother. I reflected, though, that if I could only have been allowed to give this latter just one more touch of the variations, he would have finished the old woman.

I went to board at Mrs. Murphy's, an Italian lady of many excellent qualities. The very first time I struck up the variations, a haggard, care-worn, cadaverous old man walked into my room and stood beaming upon me a smile of ineffable happiness. Then he placed his hand upon my head, and looking devoutly aloft, he said with feeling unction, and in a voice trembling with emotion, "God bless you, young man! God bless you! for you have done that for me which is beyond all praise. For years I have suffered from an incurable disease, and knowing my doom was sealed and that I must die, I have striven with all my power to resign myself to my fate, but in vain -- the love of life was too strong within me. But Heaven bless you, my benefactor! for since I heard you play that tune and those variations, I do not want to live any longer -- I am entirely resigned -- I am willing to die -- in fact, I am anxious to die." And then the old man fell upon my neck and wept a flood of happy tears. I was surprised at these things; but I could not help feeling a little proud at what I had done, nor could I help giving the old gentleman a parting blast in the way of some peculiarly lacerating variations as he went out at the door. They doubled him up like a jack-knife, and the next time he left his bed of pain and suffering he was all right, in a metallic coffin.

My passion for the accordeon finally spent itself and died out, and I was glad when I found myself free from its unwholesome influence. While the fever was upon me, I was a living, breathing calamity wherever I went, and desolation and disaster followed in my wake. I bred discord in families, I crushed the spirits of the light-hearted, I drove the melancholy to despair, I hurried invalids to premature dissolution, and I fear me I disturbed the very dead in their graves. I did incalculable harm, and inflicted untold suffering upon my race with my execrable music; and yet to atone for it all, I did but one single blessed act, in making that weary old man willing to go to his long home.

Still, I derived some little benefit from that accordeon; for while I continued to practice on it, I never had to pay any board -- landlords were always willing to compromise, on my leaving before the month was up.

Now, I had two objects in view in writing the foregoing, one of which was to try and reconcile people to those poor unfortunates who feel that they have a genius for music, and who drive their neighbors crazy every night in trying to develop and cultivate it; and the other was to introduce an admirable story about Little George Washington, who could Not Lie, and the Cherry-Tree -- or the Apple-Tree -- I have forgotten now which, although it was told me only yesterday. And writing such a long and elaborate introductory has caused me to forget the story itself; but it was very touching.


ttf_Graham Martin
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Graham Martin » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:11 pm

Quote from: Matt K on Jan 12, 2018, 07:09AMIs that one of the first generation SB mutes you have then?  The second generation of the torpedo shaped ones and the newer PM5s don't have a player 2 port but the pickups are much better. The new PM5 is substantially lighter too and by my estimation a lot more freeblowing.  Might be worth a try but then again its another $200 to blow on something you may not use very frequently.   

Yes, my SB is very old. I like the idea of a lighter one because that is the main criticism of the old one. However, part of the problem is the cable, which adds to the overall weight.
ttf_Matt K
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Matt K » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:54 pm

Quote from: Graham Martin on Jan 12, 2018, 02:11PMYes, my SB is very old. I like the idea of a lighter one because that is the main criticism of the old one. However, part of the problem is the cable, which adds to the overall weight.

I think the main source of weight is how long the original one is, which makes it balance poorly. The new one is flush with the bell and doesn't feel much heavier than a pixie mute in my opinion. 

I don't notice much of a difference with wire in vs wire out to be honest (on either model). It is possible that my older one has an aftermarket wire though, it's pretty short. 

I was also thinking about installing something to hold the electronics on the upper bell brace, which would add to overall weight but would also potentially counterbalance but that's on the backburner for sure.
ttf_modelerdc
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_modelerdc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:51 pm

The Beversdorff straight mute also works as a pretty good practice mute. Unusually the same mute fits both large bore tenors and basses. The only problem is finding one as they are OOP.
ttf_ntap
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_ntap » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:10 pm

Try putting a folded paper towel over a Harmon mute with a rubber band. Gets rid of almost all the sound a practice mute does but doesn’t wreck your chops as much.
ttf_Pre59
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Pre59 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:49 am

The only problems that I ever had with a practice mute was with the Denis Wick. I found that finishing a muted practice session with very soft long tones and air notes really helps with transitioning. I have to use buzz aids and practice mutes etc, but I try to avoid playing to the practice mute, but playing as I normally would open.
ttf_Pre59
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Best straight mute as practice mute

Post by ttf_Pre59 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:49 am

The only problems that I ever had with a practice mute was with the Denis Wick. I found that finishing a muted practice session with very soft long tones and air notes really helps with transitioning. I have to use buzz aids and practice mutes etc, but I try to avoid playing to the practice mute, but playing as I normally would open.
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