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Orchestral mute or practice mute, which one do I need?

by Bows for Strings on

'What is the difference between an orchestral mute and a practice mute?'


It's a question we've been receiving a lot lately, which we'd like to think is due to the many orchestras that have resumed this year and an overall increase in practicing!

With the many different types of mutes available for violin, viola, cello and double bass, it can be overwhelming when trying to determine the right mute for you.

In the video below, Myles takes us through the two main types of mutes, orchestral and practice, and outlines who they are for and how to fit them to your instrument.

At a glance, practice mutes are comb-like and sit on the bridge over all four strings. These mutes quieten the sound of the instrument dramatically, particularly at higher frequencies, and so are designed for musicians practicing in an environment where they want to reduce the sound they are making (read: playing late at night, in an apartment building, or near a sleeping baby).

Orchestral mutes on the other hand are smaller, fit on one or two strings (watch the video to see how to fit your mute), and are designed to be using in a performance setting within an orchestra. They are often used to great effect when a whole section of an orchestra is playing with a mute on. 

In short, if you are wanting to avoid waking the neighbours, a practice mute is what you need. Whereas if your teacher has suggested you need a mute for a performance, an orchestral mute is just the thing. 

As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.

You can find out range of mutes here.

Happy practicing and playing!

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