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Best mute on violin


Chel

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Hello there!

I'd like to know the most effective way to mute my violin. To extend the practice time, I need to make the sound as quiet as possible. Which mute is most effective? Biggest rubber mute, metal mute, or other? What else can I try to further lower the sound? Close F holes, change rosin, etc.?? Buying a silent violin is not my option. Anybody, please give me the advice. Thank you!

Chel

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I made myself a piece of felt that fitted over the top of the violin - covering the f-holes (in addition to a rubber mute). At one time I bound most of the body with soft material and got the violin virtually silent. In addition to your rubber mute you could put a couple of clothes pegs on the bridge.

Nemesis.

I quite often use a sliding mute as a kind of acoustic tone control. I find that if it is only slid near to the bridge I can take a bit of the top off without affecting the volume too much and I feel the tone is improved. Well worth experimenting with I'd say.

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Another option may be to make a practice violin. I recently saw a violin made by Rhythm Band. The neck (which had a ukelele-type peghead) had an extension that ran to the bottom end. The "body" was two pieces of Masonite screwed to this. The top piece was cut in the shape of a violin outline; the "back" was a teardrop shape that gave you enough of an area to attach a shoulder rest. The chinrest was screwed in place from the underside. The tailpiece was a piece of aluminum screwed directly to the top, and the bridge was just a piece of 1/4" Plexiglass with the right curvature on top. I doubt it would take more than a weekend to make one if you can get access to a bandsaw.

Actually, I just noticed one for sale on eBay:

Practice Violin

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i use metal mutes (pretty heavy) yes they can slip off only if thy are not on properly and the violin is used upside down (lol) but otherwise theyre great. rubber mutes really suck just to tell you oh yes another way to really mute ur instrument alot is to Removr the soundpost! Hehe im sure u wouldnt wanna do that...

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Minuet, I have to say my experiences are quite different to yours and more in line with other posters. I have a heavy brass mute that I've pretty much stopped using because even when pressed solidly onto the bridge it has a tendency to work loose after a while and has fallen off the fiddle several times (and I was NOT holding it upside down), fortunately not doing any damage. It scared me enough that now I mostly use a big rubber practice mute which I find to be pretty good at cutting down the noise; better than a performance mute but not as effective as the brass mute, but a whole lot less nerve-wracking to use! -Steve

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