September 29, 2013 at 02:27 PM · I would like to know how to make a violin mute. also what is a mutes pupase

Replies (26)

September 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM · a wooden clothespin with a spring makes a good mute. stephen grappelli used a mute - presumably to maintain tonality with the others:

September 29, 2013 at 05:22 PM · If you use a clothspin ("clothes peg" in Britain) just make sure it won't interfere with bowing, or rattle. I've tried it myself and it's effective enough, but be warned - using it in some scenarios will surely cause a few raised eyebrows :). But if it's good enough for Grappelli ...

The purpose of a mute is to change the quality of the sound, its tone color, not necessarily its volume (although that happens as a byproduct). It works by reducing the amplitude of vibrations, particularly the higher frequency ones, being transmitted through the bridge to the violin.

September 29, 2013 at 06:38 PM · You can make an incredibly effective mute that slips on silently for just $1! Take a dollar bill, fold it in half four times to create a thick strip that you can weave between the strings behind the bridge. It's my favorite mute, but not something you'd want to show up at symphony rehearsal wearing. ;)

September 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM · Thanks for the info it really helps

September 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM · Wine bottle cork.

Cut out dents for strings and a deep gash for the bridge. Works like a charm.

September 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM · 5 cm of 6 mm plastic tubing - the kind of tubing used for pumping air into aquarium - works very well. Mount it in the same way as the one dollar bill mentioned above. The metrically challenged can use 2 inches of 1/4" tubing. ;-)

September 30, 2013 at 05:06 PM · My original cheap second-hand violin had a clothes pin in the case (yes, I often call them clothes pegs too), but I did get an ebony practice mute and a concert mute.

That idea of a dollar bill sounds interesting. However, such a mute is five times as expensive here in Canada now that we've replaced one- and two-dollar bills with coins. And I have an amusing image of an orchestral violinist struggling frantically to thread a bill between his strings when he sees "con sordino" at the start of the next movement...

September 30, 2013 at 05:49 PM · Other v.commers, please forgive me for not really understanding this thread. Trevor's post sums up "a mute's purpose" admirably. However, unless you live miles from anywhere, don't bother about making a mute, just go to your nearest luthier or general music shop and buy one - they cost very little and will save you the trouble of improvising a mute. For what it's worth, I use a Tourte mute - effective and very cheap.

September 30, 2013 at 05:54 PM · Charlie, you leave the mute threaded through the strings even when you're not using it. It slides back and forth just like a normal mute. It only mutes the sound when it makes contact with the bridge.

September 30, 2013 at 09:19 PM · Now I know why people throw money at me when I play.

September 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM · Further to Nick's advice, if there's no violin dealer within easy reach try buying online - most websites that sell violin strings also sell a host of accessories, including mutes.

September 30, 2013 at 11:40 PM · Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus gives one way of making a mute; but I don't think she's a violin mute.

October 1, 2013 at 04:41 AM · CJ's postings remind me of those in typical guitar forums:

Stupid questions, no background information, and writing skills of a first-grader.

Definitely not style.

October 1, 2013 at 05:29 PM · attitude alert!

October 1, 2013 at 06:44 PM · Actually style is to answer questions from people who are curious. It actually could be a question from a child or a question from someone for whom English is not their first language. And personal attacks are always unacceptable.

October 1, 2013 at 08:49 PM · My vote is still for the $1 bill mute. You can hock it for a coffee any time you feel like it.

October 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM · Tobias, since you're so clever, tell us, what IS a mutes pupase?

Nicky, I think you've committed a tourte.

October 2, 2013 at 06:38 AM · John, I may be very clever, but I'm not omniscient.The only papoose I've heard of are carried on the back of indian mothers.

October 2, 2013 at 06:56 AM · Laurie,

I completely agree with what you wrote!

October 2, 2013 at 09:33 AM · CJ, I've been doing a little surfing to try to find out what a mutes pupase is. As a result I have my suspicions as to what it MIGHT be, but if you really want to know, please tell us, in as much detail as you can, where, how and when you came across the phrase/term.

October 2, 2013 at 01:42 PM · attitude alert - condition red - radar shows hoity-toity tut-tuts at 12 o'clock high ...

October 2, 2013 at 03:18 PM · Eh, Bill? What are you getting at that you weren't getting at before? I'm seriously trying to find an answer to CJ's question. I couldn't find mutes pupase on google, but what I did find suggests that, unless she has information for us to suggest the contrary, the phrase might have been thrown up somewhere, now no longer googlable, by fallible optical character recognition software (I've seen "routes" rendered in google as "mutes" and "purpose" as "pupase", but not the two errors occurring as a single phrase in a document. I don't think anyone has done measurements of the enzyme Poly(U) Polymerase on samples from people who cannot speak, but Elise might know different - In any case they would call it Mute Pupase, not Mutes Pupase).

October 2, 2013 at 05:18 PM · "what is a mute's purpose?"

October 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM · In the case of Lavinia, it was somehow to let people know who had raped her (and cut out her tongue). But whom are you quoting, and if you're not, why the inverted commas?

I don't know that the original of what the software threw up as "mutes pupase" even had the word "mutes" in it. As indicated above, it could have been "routes"; or something else.

October 4, 2013 at 04:36 PM · i was pulling for "pupaes" but context triumphed.

October 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM · I have made quite a number of mutes out of simple

wooden dowels you can buy at any hardware store by the 2 or 3 feet or so.

The main reason is I keep losing my mutes. Or someone needs to borrow them etc.

Take a 5 mm - or about a quarter inch - dowel and cut off about 2 cm. ( Actually I usually cut the 2 cm off once the rest of the cutting and sawing is finished).

Clamp in vise and narrow the end - about 1 cm - in a tapering fashion with chisel, knife or file to a width that fits easily between the A and D string. Cut a 1 cm slit - starting at the tapered end - into the dowel with a hacksaw in a slight tapering fashion so it fits over the bridge between the A and D strings . Use sandpaper or small file to smooth the edges and surfaces.

Use a felt pen or sharpie to colour it black.

Make sure the slit fits well enough so it doesn't damage the bridge.

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