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Save a marraige! Plz recommend a mute.


madganz
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I'm a beginning player with a two-part question.

1. What is the most "muting" mute... a mute with high mutability. Company... model #....

2. Is there any common wisdom about the effect(s), if any, on tonality or ear-training for someone who practices lots with a mute.

I'll try to practice most when I don't need a mute. But for those times I really need one, I need a big-time mute.

I'll try to practice as much as possible during my non-mute

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I use a rubber practice mute that I got a long time ago. I no longer remember where I got it, but it looks a lot like a "Shar Rubber Practice Mute Ultra" from the Shar catalogue. When I first used it, it left black rubber marks on my bridge, so I used a small piece of cloth to cover the bridge before installing the mute on (I did cut the cloth so it wouldn't touch the strings). Much to my delight, it works even better this way!

I never used a metal practice mute, so I don't know how they compare to my improved version of rubber mute.

Victoria

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Madganz,

The rubber mute probably isn't mutey enough to save your marriage.

The mutiest mute I've ever muted with was all metal. Unfortunately, that can damage your bridge (being harder than the wood). If you're planning on replacing the bridge sometime soon, use a metal mute.

Clothespins sometimes work okay.

Once, I had a remote engineering assignment at the same time that I had to practice for an upcoming concert. I was staying in a hotel. I tried to practice. I got a call from the front desk: "Are you playing some kind of instrument in there? The fella next door is trying to sleep." Honestly, it wasn't that bad, but I really had to practice, so I stuffed the F-holes with tissue paper. What a fabulous mute, but it's time consuming, and can really damage the delicate wood area around the holes if you aren't really careful. It's a good way to initiate a big crack.

Is it really close to ruining your marriage? Then you might want to consider buying a solid body electric fiddle. It'll be heavier than a real violin, but the physical cues are in the right place, and you can hardly hear it at all when it's not plugged in, much like an electric guitar.

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Surely your spouse must pursue an interest which is equally disruptive to you?!

Trade tolerance.

It does get better over time. My wife has actually stopped slamming the door to the room in which I practice smile.gif

Be wary of those heavy metal mutes: they not only can damage the bridge ... should they slip while being taken of or placed on the bridge, they can really scratch up the finish on your violin!

Mike

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I live in an apartment and practice all the time with the heavy solid metal mute the folks here are talking about. Yes after 7 months of use I can see a little wear on the bridge, however I bet I'll still get a few years out of the bridge before I'll need to replace it. The trick is to put it on gently without slamming it down hard on to the bridge. The metal mute really, really cuts the volume. It is the only way I can practice late at night. I've also tried the Yamaha electric "silent" violin. And to be honest, it is cool in some ways, but leaves quite a bit to be desired. Elderly Instruments (517) 372-7890 has the big metal mutes for $8.75 via mail order. Part #VM50

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I used to live in an apartment and used a heavy metal mute from Shar. It is far better than not spending time with the violin, but you still need some time without since you learn to bow for a beautiful tone only hearing that response rather than the muted one. I have also used the foam earplugs which cut the db 30. Your spouse might be willing to use them.

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Madganz....

I use a heavy metal practice mute. I've tried the rubber practice mute as well, but the metal one is definitely more effective, so get one of those.

Michael Stanley is absolutely correct, however. It CAN damage your finish if it falls on your instrument. BE CAREFUL when "installing" it....

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I posted a request for mute information about a week ago. I got alot of info on how to cut the volume without a mute and it works great. Play closer to the tip of the bow. There is less pressure from your hand. Also play closer to the finger board than the bridge. This will give you a nice clean tone with less volume. That way, you develope more dynamics in your playing. Hope this helps.

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