7 Pro Tips to Maximize Your Trumpet Mute Experience

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Founding member of Bella Tromba and Denis Wick artist Jo Harris has a wide and varied career as a professional trumpet performer in the UK. Use these tips to enjoy effortless mute performance and always be prepared for your next gig.

Got a new trumpet mute?

The best advice I had was from Stephen Wick who advised me to leave a new mute in the bell overnight to let the corks mould to the instrument.


Get the right mute for the right trumpet

Make sure you have the right mute for the instrument. Pic and Eb mutes are shaped for smaller bells. I struggled for years trying to bend motes into tune on a D trumpet, the right mute saves a lot of work.


Twist it in

I know some people like to blow warm air into the bell or lick the corks (!) but there isn’t always time for that in the 3 beats you have to go. Give the mute a twist as you insert into the bell for extra stability while you perform.


Bring your mute to rehearsals!

Please don’t be that person who ‘forgot’ their mutes to the rehearsals.

If you weren’t planning on rehearsing with mutes then it’s a risk for the whole ensemble on concert day. Who knows how the balance, intonation and texture will change? You don’t, because you didn’t try it out in rehearsal.

Ask yourself, are they really that heavy/bulky?! They are all hollow after all…


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Label Them

Every backstage venue manager has a mute in lost property. Is it yours? If you don’t label it you won’t know.


Mute Stands

If you stand to play place your mutes on a piano stool, a seat with a cloth on or a mute stand that clips on to the music stand. Just be sure to check your coordination if you have quick changes.


Team Kit

At Bella Tromba we all use Denis Wick mutes so we can blend the sound.

We want to create an array of colours and it’s easy with Denis Wick mutes, for example we use the cup mute closed, open and without the cup. We use the Harmon mute for just one sweet chord at the end of an encore piece and it makes the audience smile every time. We love the copper bottomed straight mutes for our French repertoire as the sound is bright and immediate across the whole register.

There is no way different brands of a straight mute or harmon mute will blend. It’s a team decision but it pays to invest in the same kit if you want to blend.




Jason Klobnak


Is your mute older than ours? Visit our Denis Wick Artist Group Oldest Mute Gallery to view our collection and submit an image of your own mute, or story of your favorite dent, to be added to our gallery.




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