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Much in the same way that a guitar player has a variety of effects pedals to choose from, tuba players have a wide range of mutes to consider - in fact, you could say that a mute is the tubist's version of an effects pedal. Whether you're trying to practice in silence or change the color or timbre of your sound during a performance, you'll find that today's selection of tuba mutes is jam-packed with different shapes and styles. Browse this catalog and see for yourself: companies like Humes & Berg, Mutec, Denis Wick and Trumcor are all well known in the orchestral world and they all have mute options available right here.
Before jumping into your choices, it helps to have a better understanding of what certain mutes can do for your sound. Straight mutes are by far the most common; they fit in your instrument's bell and can produce very sharp notes when you play your tuba at loud volumes. Some excellent straight mutes to check out are the Balu Regular Series Tuba Straight Mutes, the Denis Wick DW5518 Straight Tuba Mute and the Trumcore Deluxe Series Tuba Straight Mute.
Cup mutes are also a popular type. They have a lot in common with straight mutes, but their addition of a cup portion that's connected to the cone helps to deliver a darker sound. A great cup mute on this page is the Humes & Berg Stonelined Series Tuba Cup Mute. Featuring a fiber construction, this mute is designed for a free blowing style and has terrific intonation.
Along with tuba mutes for performing purposes, you'll also come across top-notch practice mutes as well. As you've probably guessed, practice mutes are used for exactly what their name suggests: by reducing volume, they allow you to practice your tuba quietly. The Trumcore Standard Stealth Series Tuba Practice Mute utilizes Trumcor's Variable Air Flow System so you can control the amount of air that passes through your instrument - thus, allowing you to adjust your volume and resistance. For warm up sessions backstage or even in a hotel room, this practice mute is the perfect answer.
If anything can be said about tuba mutes, it's that every tubist should own one. The simple truth is that the design and construction of tuba mutes have improved tremendously, and any one of the models here will make that evident. So try to spend some time here - by researching each tuba mute intently, you can get a better idea of how they will impact your sound for the better.