From Grainne Murray
Posted February 12, 2007 at 08:52 PM
I recently bought a heavy metal practice mute but im not sure how to put it on my bridge without damaging it...it seems an average type with 3 'grips' to attach to the bridge but i just dont know how to attach...any advice?
Although, my friend has terrible black marks on his bridge from a practice mute, but his looks like a chunk of charcoal when it's not on the instrument.
Heavy practice mutes, those nasty metal ones with a substantial weighted cylinder and a comb-like metal clamp, can leave dents in the bridge if not applied (and removed!) very, very carefully. Don't push them on too hard, and don't put them on or remove them at an angle. Since they rise quite high, you also have to be careful when changing the bow at the frog.
One of these nasty mutes, annoying as it may be, saves my practice time for the time being, since my two-months-old son is not quite comfortable with the violin, especially with its higher registers. Bad luck. So I put on the tank among mutes, hoping it won't do harm to my technique.
I recommend the rubber version of this type of mute. It's much safer. It doesn't mute quite as much, but it does mute much more than a regular mute, and sounds much nicer than the metal one.
Google "practice mute" and violin, and I bet you'll find some options.
I am so happy write again,
This is the very new type of practice mute.
It is made of the strongest magnets and rubber.
and coverd rubber tube gentleof your instrument.
MAGIPIANISSIMO sets under the strings of the bridge, so you can see the contact point on the strings.
Raphael and Emily said it all...although I do own one of these beasts, its use is relegated to that of a paperweight ONLY
I have bought the exact same type of mute (as you described) and I also noticed that it's hard to apply to the bridge. I only use it when I'm practicing at night. But it muffles the sound too much. A friend of mine actually said that it makes the violin sound like a bagpipe (he's too music illiterate). An advice be very careful when you're putting it on. It can seriously damage the bridge. Try not to put it near the strings aswell.
I also have one rubber mute at hand and always prefer to use that one when I have a choice.
After finding that a regular mute made from leather produced excellent results, I did a little Googling and found that there are leather practice mutes being made. Expensive, but I wonder if they don't have some virtues that make them worth more than rubber. Certainly they would be safer for the violin than a metal practice mute.
I have both a rubber and a heavy metal practice mute. I travel a lot for work, and use the mutes when I do not wish to disturb other guests at inns or hotels. Which one I use depends on the circumstances. Sometimes I really want to make sure that I am not heard, so I use the metal one. Other times, I can use the rubber mute, or even go unmuted.
I actually like the sound with the metal mute better than the rubber, but I do worry about damage to the bridge. I try to be careful and gentle in putting it on and removing it.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!