Mutes, what is it?
The mute changes the sound of a wind instrument in a certain way, depending on its type. Typically, a wind instrument mute (trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, etc.) lowers the volume and changes the timbre of the instrument. The sound of the instrument is altered by decreasing airflow, changing volume and resonance. The muting of the trumpet and trombone is most commonly used in jazz music. Mutes can often help trombone and trumpet players blend better with their fellow instrumentalists, particularly in a small jazz ensemble setting. A brass player will also often use a mute to help lower the volume of their instrument when playing with a vocalist.
Variations in the materials and construction of each mute affect the volume and tone of a muted brass instrument. These accessories are made from aluminum brass or a copper/metal alloy with more economical options being plaster plastic and even cardboard. Each material produces its own unique pitch so players should experiment with a few different models and styles to hear which brass best mute complements their musical style. There are several different types of mute that give the instrument its own distinct sound. The two most common types of mutes are straight and cup.
Types of mutes
A straight mute is the most common type of mute used by brass musicians. It's a hollow cone-shaped mute with a small piece of cork attached to the end to keep it secure in the bell of the instrument. The metal straight mute has a characteristic nasally sound. Straight mutes are often used in lyrical solos.
The cup mute looks similar to the conical shape of the straight mute, but with an added cup at the bottom of the mute. A cup mute has a more muffled sound, and it often has an adjustable function to move the cup closer to or further away from the bell. Adjusting the cup closer to the mute will make the volume softer.
A totally different concept is the practice mute. Practice mutes are inserted into the bell to create an easy solution when you just want to play quietly or silently. A practice mute is similar in appearance to a straight mute but it is made of a harder material like plastic. Be aware though that students should not be consistently practicing using a practice mute because it does change the natural “resistance” felt by blowing into a brass instrument.
What type of mute should you choose?
Choosing the right mute for a wind instrument is quite simple if you have the necessary information. It is best to take your instrument with you when purchasing a mute and test several types. For students who are purchasing mutes for the first time, if you can only purchase one mute, get a straight mute. Fortunately, nearly all brass mutes are relatively inexpensive.
Buy mutes for wind instruments in Musician.UA
You can buy mutes for wind instruments in our stores. It is also possible to place an order in the online shop. Delivery is carried out all over Ukraine. Thanks to the wide assortment, everyone will find a suitable product for themselves. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.