The Bremner ssshhhhhhMute Practice Mute


4BRDU casts its eye (and ear and lips) over the 'ssshhhhhhMute' from Trevor Bremner - an invention for those of us who lead a very busy, busy life but still want to keep the old lip in shape.

The Bremner ssshhhhMuteNeeding to practice at odd times and in odd places over the years (and the absence of a suitable mute) was the reason Trevor Bremner, one of the great cornet players in the Southern Hemisphere, and the 2005 winner of the prestigious 125th New Zealand National Championships Open Slow Melody Contest, designed the ‘ssshhhhMute'.

Such has been the success of the initial idea, that a number of leading brass players now have it as an integral part of the practice armoury to ensure that they can play, at any time, any place, without having any side effects on their embouchure, production or tone.

It has also meant that Trevor has had to expand the range to incorporate other instruments, as demand for the product has far outstretched initial supply.

Made from lightweight, yet hardwearing, ABS plastic, the ‘ssshhhhMute' has no parts that can break or fall off and is therefore suitable for those with a delicate touch, and also those who tend to be a bit more ‘rough and ready'.  It also means that it is also suitable for the beginner or the most experienced player, and offers great value for money as it really is a long term investment that proves its worth time and time again.

Perhaps one of the primary benefits of the 'ssshhhhMute' design is the very small amount of back-pressure it creates, allowing for better air supply, while still opening and developing the throat muscles. The mute also remains in tune and faithfully accurate throughout the entire range.

That gives the player a great deal of confidence as provides a stable foundation to ensure that all the basics of playing in ‘open' mode are still very much in place when the mute is in place.

Note production throughout the dynamic range is comfortable and true, and there is no need for the player to stick their tongue halfway down the mouthpiece to ensure a note starts! In addition, the embouchure remains in the same position as there is no need to ‘force' air through the instrument throughout the range from below the stave to the extremities of the high stuff. Finally, intonation is good.

This is an essential requirement for any practice mute as long term practice with a mute that distorts intonation can have long term effects on a players ability to stay in tune either with himself or with fellow players. Having a product that remains ‘true' when it comes to pitch and doesn't allow the player to waver is a real bonus.

The 'ssshhhhhhMute' is available for trumpet, cornet, tenor trombone, bass trombone, French horn, tenor horn, and flugel horn.

All in all it is very well made, simple yet effective in design and produced with the player very much in mind. We have tried a number of the range and found them all to be of a very high standard and a real bonus for those players who lead busy lives but who are dedicated enough to want to take every opportunity to improve by maintaining a strict practice regime.

Just to prove a point, this is what a couple of experienced musicians had to say about it:

"I have been utilising the ssshhhhMute for over two years now and I practice with the mute at home most nights and wouldn't practice without it. I must say that it has definitely contributed to improving my sound and also the projection of sound.

It makes me listen a great deal more and when playing without the mute at band practice or a concert/contest it has noticeably helped me pitch notes more accurately than in previous years - Less grace notes!!!! This also contributes to more confidence in my playing ability and I must add that my recent solo successes have been largely due to practicing with the mute.

It doesn't disrupt other family members when practicing and I have noted that a lot more of our cornet players in K&N Band are utilising this mute."
Kevin Joughin
Australian Cornet Champion 2005

"The ssshhhhMute is superior to every practise mute I have played. The problems of poor intonation, excessive resistance and poor low register associated with other practise horn mutes, have been solved. This is an excellent product that has become a vital part of my touring hand luggage and I recommend it highly. Congratulations Trevor and thanks."
Peter Luff
Head of Brass -  Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University

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