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The World of Trumpet Mutes

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Trumpet players always like gadgets, and mutes are gadgets that we actually need. It's always interesting to experiment with the different sounds you can produce. There are so many mutes on the market, it's hard to keep them straight, no pun intended. If you are really into trumpet accessories, you can collect mutes for the rest of your life and never be finished. Every year, manufacturers come out with new brands and varieties.

When all is said and done, you will need three basic mutes...a straight mute, a cup mute, and a Harmon-style or Wah-Wah mute. The Harmon style mute is the one that is the most fun. My trumpet teacher used to tell us that if we left our mutes at home, we had left half of our horn at home. They were that important.

The first category is straight mutes. These are the basic mute used in trumpet playing the most often, and usually should be the first mute you purchase. If the music says "muted" or "con sordino", it means with a straight mute. Many parents will go and purchase the cheapest mute they can find. Metal straight mutest sound much better than others for most circumstances. Make sure you research mutes before you buy one. Whatever mute you decide to get, you want to try and match the rest of your section because they all sound different.The most popular brands used today are the Tom Crown, Leblanc Vacchiano, Jo-Ral, and Dennis Wick. I have around ten different straight mutes that all produce different sounds that I use for different circumstances.

Next, we have cup mutes and Harmon Style Mutes. These resemble a straight mute, but have a cup at the end that changes the sound. The Harmon, or Wah-Wah Style mute is a totally different sounding mute. I've also seen them called the Wow-Wow, and Jo-Ral calls theirs a Bubble Mute. The Harmon Brand mute is the one that started it all. In fact, regardless of the brand, they are usually called a Harmon Mute. The Harmon Brand is still a good mute, but most professional players play other brands.

Edited by jack3476

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