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Trumpet mute question

Piers Plowman 01 Apr 09 - 10:00 AM
Will Fly 01 Apr 09 - 10:19 AM
Piers Plowman 01 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM
Piers Plowman 01 Apr 09 - 10:34 AM
Hamish 01 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Apr 09 - 10:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Apr 09 - 01:34 PM
Piers Plowman 02 Apr 09 - 12:12 PM
Piers Plowman 02 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM
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Subject: Trumpet mute question
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:00 AM

Partly out of interest, partly in an attempt not to annoy my neighbours, I am now the proud owner of a collection of trumpet mutes, whose combined cost is quickly approaching that of the trumpet itself.

I'm especially taken with the cup mute and have been wah-wahing with wild abandon. I am, however, a bit afraid of dropping the trumpet and I think it would be easier if my arms where a few inches longer. Perhaps a good reason to buy an English-style cornet?

Does anyone have any hints on how to use them? Is there a proper way? I've got two trumpet books, but they don't go into the use of the cup mute.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:19 AM

Piers - thinking back to my jazz band days - presumably you're holding the trunpet securely with the hand which does the fingering? Most of the players I've seen using the cup, either play a passage with it held to the bell and opened as required to play the wah note - or pass it in front of the bell to get a more subtle variation in tone. They usually had the cup resting, upside down, on a nearby flat surface, so that they could pick it up when required. I have to say, a little goes a long way, but it can be very effective in the right places.

If you want longer arms, I suppose you could hang for long periods from the top of a door... (I'll get me mute).


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM

Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Will Fly - PM
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:19 AM

"Piers - thinking back to my jazz band days - presumably you're holding the trunpet securely with the hand which does the fingering?"

Thank you for your reply, Will.

Yes, I'm hanging onto to it for dear life with the little finger of my right hand and leaving my right thumb in the normal place on the tube that leads from the mouthpiece to the tuning slide. (I'm just making a stab at the terminology, because my books are in German.) I'm supporting the bell with my hand and operating the mute from below. It's got a little handle large enough to slip one's middle finger, or perhaps two fingers, into; I'll have to check this when I get home.

It seems easier when the trumpet is pointed downward somewhat.

I'm just off now, so I won't be able to reply immediately, if there are any more quick replies, but I will check back tonight or tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:34 AM

Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Will Fly - PM
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:19 AM

"I have to say, a little goes a long way, but it can be very effective in the right places."

I agree, it can be very corny, and I admit to overdoing it way beyond what I would do in front of an audience. On the other hand, Cootie Williams made good use of it.

It's not as easy as I thought it would be.


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Hamish
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM

Never tried a cup mute, but I have to say I've never had a problem holding the trumpet one-handed. Pinky through the pinky hook-whatsit and thumb through the main part of the trumpet behind the valves and fingers poised over the valves. Shouldn't be any danger of dropping the trumpet. Notes, yes; trumpet, no.


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:42 AM

Better still, get a pocket trumpet, most of which are, I believe, technically cornets. I play an Indian one bought of ebay for less that the Harmon mute I use with it. I also use an Indian made Echo Cornet, bought of ebay five years ago very cheaply. This has a fourth valve so you might alternate between the open bell and the closed one whilst playing. Wonderful!

Echo Cornet on Ebay (but not as cheap as I got mine for...)

These a good little horns for the price, although they play slightly sharp of concert so aren't much good for playing with people who can't retune. That said, I use my pocket trumpet with my concert pitch Jew's Harps (multitracking of course!) and it sounds just fine. Have a listen to the track Domus Terra Winter Mix 2007 at http:www.myspace.com/sedayne.

There are a lot of nice inexpensive pocket trumpets around just now, in various colours. A good place to start on this most Folk Friendly of all brass instruments.

Do you use a Harmon / Wow mute at all? I find these the best for playing quietly, yet expressively - and dropping them just gives them character!


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 01:34 PM

Make that: www.myspace.com/sedayne


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:12 PM

Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Sinister Supporter - PM
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:42 AM

"Better still, get a pocket trumpet, most of which are, I believe, technically cornets. [...]"

My local music store has a pocket trumpet in stock, but I don't know the price. I've also kind of used up my budget for treats for the present. I believe the difference between a trumpet and a cornet is mostly the bore, which is more conical in a cornet (and fluegelhorn) and more cylindrical in a trumpet. I will know more once I've read that chapter in the book I'm reading: _Horns, Strings, and Harmony_ by Arthur H. Benade (a Dover reprint).

I tried the fluegelhorn they have at said music store and was very taken with it.


"That said, I use my pocket trumpet with my concert pitch Jew's Harps (multitracking of course!) and it sounds just fine."

"Have a listen to the track Domus Terra Winter Mix 2007 at http:www.myspace.com/sedayne"

I will. Thanks for the link (I saw the correction in your next post).

I've got two Jew's harps but I haven't used them very much yet. I was inspired to buy them by the song "Huskin' Bee" by the Yellow Jackets (1930).

"There are a lot of nice inexpensive pocket trumpets around just now, in various colours. A good place to start on this most Folk Friendly of all brass instruments."

One of the books I bought says something about trumpets in different colors being popular in the US (and presumably not in Germany).

"Do you use a Harmon / Wow mute at all? I find these the best for playing quietly, yet expressively - and dropping them just gives them character!"

Yes, I've got one and I like the sound a lot, except it is _very_ quiet. It doesn't have a brand name on it and seems to be made of aluminum. I've also got a straight mute, a practice mute and a "buzz-wow" mute, all made by Humes and Berg. The cup mute is from Emo and is lined with felt.


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Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM

Subject: RE: Trumpet mute question
From: Sinister Supporter - PM
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:42 AM

"There are a lot of nice inexpensive pocket trumpets around just now, in various colours. A good place to start on this most Folk Friendly of all brass instruments."

Oh, I'm only a part-time purist and I also play other kinds of music in addition to folk music. Besides, people always played on what they had available and the guitar and the accordeon aren't really authentic for a lot of what people call folk music. I'm quite prepared to drone on endlessly on this subject, but I think I'll go home and practice my trumpet before it gets too late (according to my treaty with my downstairs neighbours).


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