Saxophone Forum


by Jack Cici
(87 posts)
10 years ago

saxophone mutes

does anybody have experience using them?do they work well?do they help

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  1. by Armstrong Alto!
    (19 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: saxophone mutes

    Uh....dude.... Hate to tell you this, but saxophone mutes are....impossible. The sound doesn't come out of the bell alone, as does the trumpet. The sound comes out of the whole instrument. Therefore, saxophone mutes=non-existant.

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: saxophone mutes

      they don't work well at all, but you could try. My instructor says there's this way to wrap cloth together in a circle, and it works. I think it's in Larry Teal's Art of Playing the Saxophone. Good book, if you don't have it. If you really want to be quieter, because someone doesn't want you to practice, Stuff a cloth in your bell. It works ok, the low notes just don't come out. WWBW also sells a mute for alto only. But you could probably make one. Good Luck

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      1. by Spike
        (248 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: saxophone mutes

        you are correct tenor, sax mutes exist, but are totally useless

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        1. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: saxophone mutes

          well, not really - they dont make you quieter - at least not by any measureable degree, but they do make you slightly darker which is good for - an acoustically perfect room. don't see to many of those though - except maybe studios. btw, caleb, the friend that I talked to you about - hes quit - it was my birthday 2 days ago, and I told him that I wanted him to quit, and he did it for me. So far he has refused to play the sax, so we are both going to learn the guitar - I have a la patrie collection model coming in in a couple months - cant wait. But, once I get my true-tone, im gonna force him to try it, whether he likes it or not. But anyways, thanks for your advice - he hasnt quit all the stuff that I had a problem with, but he isn't vulnerable - if you get my code?

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        2. by mintyfreshjam
          (48 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: saxophone mutes

          Here's the deal with mutes. They only work with classical playing because a jazz mouthpiece will blow right through them. Put it vertical in your bell, and the low notes come out better because it muffles some of the overtones. Put it horizontal in your bell and it lowers the vibrations of the horn, thus, "muting" the horn itself. It's true that the notes don't come out of the bell alone, but the entire horn does vibrate, and that's what the mute is designed to lower.

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        3. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: saxophone mutes

          I agree. A discussion board mute would be nice.

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      2. by FutureBandTeacher
        (45 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: saxophone mutes

        Sax mutes are virtually impossible, unless you can think of a way to sound-proof all the minute gaps that Adolphe Sax designed the saxophone to have in the first place. If you're desperate for quieter playing, try out a much stiffer or more flexible reed, which will be difficult to play loudly on.

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        1. by FutureBandTeacher
          (45 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: saxophone mutes

          For a few of you (you know who you are), the people you live with probably are planning to get a mute for you, if they haven't already. Armstrong Alto, tear the foam padding off a NeoTech cushioned neck strap... and stuff it in their mouths. We other few of some sanity will be grateful to you if you do this for us.

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        2. by FutureBandTeacher
          (45 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: saxophone mutes

          My band director says that saxophone mutes are a worthwhile investment. And while a different reed stiffness would make you quieter, your quality would be impaired as well.

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          1. by SaxMan
            (559 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: saxophone mutes

            There will be a day I fear, that I will be wrong - today is not this day. God you kno what, I think it would be a major psychological deal to be wrong...never known what it is like. ah hell, but miny is gone, david a is gone, they are all gone...cant gloat, oh well, their lack of presence makes it worth it.

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            1. by definition
              (963 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: saxophone mutes

              On the high school level, sax mutes are quite unnecessary, though they do make a fun toy. they are only really useful on alto and soprano, though they are made(or you can make it) for the others. What they ultimatly amount to is an artificial bell extension, and what they do is muffle the overtones in all registers to make a more acoustically 'pure' sound. They do this by dampening the bell i.e. not allowing it to vibrate as much. They also help to bring the notoriously out of tune low B and Bb into tune. So my verdict? If you are advanced student or pro/semi pro focusing on legit ensemble, small combo and solo work, it will be a very nice thing to have. Otherwise, dont worry to much about it! (Personally I have three, for alto, tenor and bari, because I made them Myself; its not hard at all; and yes I do use them occaisionally)

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            2. by SaxMan
              (559 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: saxophone mutes

              I use one on the adagio con moto of CDC

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