Understanding Plunger Mutes for Trumpet
Plunger mutes are a type of mute commonly used by trumpet players to create a unique, muted sound that is perfect for jazz and other musical genres. They are made from a rubber suction cup attached to a plastic handle and are used to create a “wah-wah” sound by controlling the airflow through the instrument. In this article, we will cover the basics of how to play trumpet with a plunger mute, including how to position the plunger and different techniques for controlling the sound.
Positioning the Plunger
The first step in playing trumpet with a plunger mute is to position the plunger over the trumpet’s bell. The plunger should be placed onto the bell with the suction cup facing down and the handle in the hand closest to the bell. The player’s other hand should then be used to hold the trumpet’s valves.
Controlling the Sound
Once the plunger is in place, the player can begin to control the sound by moving the plunger around the bell. By opening and closing the suction cup with their hand, the player can create different muted sounds. Moving the plunger in and out of the bell can also change the tone and volume of the sound. Experiment with different plunger placements and movements to find the sound you’re looking for.
Using Different Techniques
There are several different techniques that trumpet players use when playing with a plunger mute. One common technique is to “pluck” the plunger off the trumpet’s bell and then quickly put it back on. This creates a staccato, percussive sound that is commonly heard in jazz playing. Another technique is to use the plunger to create a tremolo effect, by rapidly moving the plunger in and out of the bell. Experiment with these techniques and see how they affect the tone and character of the sound you’re playing.
Making Music with a Plunger Mute
Playing trumpet with a plunger mute is a fun and rewarding experience that can help you create unique sounds and express your musical personality. Remember to experiment with different plunger placements and techniques, as well as to listen to other trumpet players and learn from their playing. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to make beautiful music using a plunger mute.