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Practicing With A Mute

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This week I did most of my practicing with a rubber mute,  and found out some interesting things.  When practicing with out a mute,  since the sound is so loud in my ear,  I am trying to AVOID mistakes,  which on the surface,  seems like a good thing.  But,  in practicing with a mute,  since the sound is gentle,  I find myself ANYLIZING the mistakes.  By mistakes,  I'm talking about technical things like bow bounce,  bow speed,  bow inadvertantly grazing an adjacent string,  fingers coming down too soon or late on a note,  as opposed to playing the wrong note. 

The other thing I noticed,  was that when I took the mute off,  my bowing was stronger.  So strong,  in fact,  that I had to concentrate on bowing to draw out a soft tone. The full spectrum of dynamics,  is something that I want to achieve,  so I think I will continue with this routine.

One other thought,  did you ever notice that when talking with someone,  and their voice gets softer,  you lean in and focus more,  to be able to understand what they are saying?  The mute might be just the ticket for increasing focus.


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Playing Since: 2009
Experience Level: Novice

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Occupation: musician

Gender: Male
Age: 65

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Drums, Acoustic and electric guitar, Electric fretless bass, Harmonica, Vocals, Fiddle/Violin, Viola

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Buddy MacMaster, Aly Bain, Jay Unger, Bonnie Rideout, Jerry Holland, Jenna Reid, Yang-Yoon Kim, Emmylou Harris, Eva Cassidy, Steve Earle, Gram Parsons, John Prine, Willie Nelson, The Carter Family, Van Morrison, Shane McGowan, Ben Webster, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, The Meters, Mozart, Bach

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Created 3/4/2009
Last Visit 5/19/2018

I have played semi-professionally since i was young, in bands doing covers and originals. I have played rock, soul, jazz, blues, bluegrass, americana, funk, reggae, country and celtic. I have done some teaching. I enjoy writing songs and recording them, layering the different instruments and vocals,

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