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A Cheap Mute- Better Than a Dollar Bill Mute???

Posted by fiddlepogo on Saturday, November 26, 2011

Some time ago, "oldtimer" shared a traditional muting method of rolling up a dollar bill and weaving it over the E string, under the A and D string, and over the G string.  I tried it, it worked pretty well, and sounded pretty good.

A couple of problems:

1. Being broke!!!

2. If you left the same dollar bill in it would shape itself to  the strings, and you'd get less of a muting effect.

You can also use a folded over business card, but eventually that also shapes to the strings and gives less muting action.

So I tried stiffening it will a piece of popsicle stick... but you have to make sure the piece is short enough so it doesn't stick out beyond the bridge, otherwise when the case closes, the lid could put pressure on it, and that could be VERY bad for the top!!!

So I was pondering possible substitutes.  I eat quite a bit of plain yogurt, and one day it occurred to me that I could cut a strip from a yoghurt lid about as long as a dollar bill is wide, and weave it between the strings.

You have to weave it over and under alternating strings... it's too thin to use the weaving method for the dollar bill mute.

And it works well, and sounds really good... doesn't look as cool as a dollar bill mute though.  I thought I'd wrap the strip of plastic up in a dollar, and I didn't like the tone... somehow just the plain piece of plastic mutes in a natural way that doesn't sound harsh.... instead, it sounds very natural, just like a slightly softer, sweeter version of your fiddle.

We're probably not talking about really strong muting here... but enough to take the edge off of a loud fiddle, and make it blend better in jams.

Of course, cottage cheese containers these days usually have the same kind of lid as yoghurt containers, so take your pick... I'm not talking about the thin brittle plastic, but the slightly thicker and really tough plastic.

I think part of the key is that the plastic has some semi-permanent springiness to it, that keeps it from conforming to the strings so quickly.

All you need to cut it is some fairly sharp scissors.

Try it and tell me what you think!!!

8 comments on “A Cheap Mute- Better Than a Dollar Bill Mute???”

richdissmore Says:
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @4:43:33 PM

you could try all the plastic cards i cut down for guitar picks. they may work for this just cut them for what you want they keep sending me more to charge this or that i feel i have put them to good use you can use them as a ice scraper and other things you can think of no charge

mudbug Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @3:04:21 AM

Mmmmm. Plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey.

boxbow Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @6:02:03 AM

Rich is right. Cut down your credit cards. You'll save a lot more money that way.

Rene Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @6:32:49 AM

clothes pin, I got a real cute model with some lace on it ...could make you a deal on it :) send me all your leftover mishaped dollar bills

notlwonk Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @7:03:31 AM

Windshield wiper blade inserts that have lost they wiper edge work sure to remove the stainless stiffeners!

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @7:07:10 AM

Credit cards???? We use debit cards most of the time.
I'm not sure they'd be flexible enough... but it might be worth a try.
I'm picky about my yogurt.. I like a plain that ISN'T SOUR.
I was really fond of Tillamook plain, but then Winco stopped carrying it in favor of some Greek style... yuck! Mountain High plain (with the milkfat) is the only one that works...
and I also like vanilla yogurt if it's not too sweet, and not TOO vanilla-y (I don't wanna see brown specks in my yogurt!). Trader Joes French Village (non-organic) gets the nod. And I don't do well with locust bean gum... it triggers asthma. I'd rather have gelatin instead... it strengthens my nails for clawhammer banjo!

Sorry Rene... misshapen dollar bills get recycled into my WALLET, where they promptly do a disappearing act!!! It's funny though, while I was doing it, especially with $2 bills, it formed a handy cash reserve... you can actually BUY something with $2.

richdissmore Says:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @9:11:15 AM

some of the credit cards are flexible enough some are ligth and some are heavy i get so many i put them to use thing is i only use one seems that every store and place of bussness has there oun card save this or that i use what i can and throw away what i don,t need i cut them up this is only a idea what to do with them

bj Says:
Monday, November 28, 2011 @9:12:08 AM

If the yogurt or cottage cheese tops don't work longterm, try cutting up a plastic kitty litter container, they're a bit thicker, but I don't think they're as stiff as a credit/debit card.

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