It is very durable, has accurate pitching and is light weight. It is a great addition to your practice routine and will keep angry parents and neighbors at bay.Cons
The cork does not go all the way up to the top of the mute so damage can occur inside the bell. Modification is necessary to avoid scratches.Verdict
This is a brilliant practice mute for a very reasonable price. It will help you extend your range and flexibility, improve your tone and increase your lung capacity. It is light weight and easily transportable so that you can take it with you to rehearsal for a hassle free warm up and cool down.
Review of Denis Wick's Trombone Practice Mute - 5527
- Fairly light coming in at 272g - I have never felt tired after practicing with this mute
- Mute size is 29 x 14 x 14 cm - I've found that it can fit in most trombone cases that allow for mute luggage
- Hand-made from aluminum and has never dented when accidently dropped
- Full encircling cork about 1" from the throat of the mute
- Cork diameter is 1.55" so it fit snugly into any trombone bell
- Two 1/4" holes at the widest part
The Denis Wick model 5527 is an adaption of the straight mute with a flared bottom to allow for maximum vibration in the cavity. When placed in the trombone the mute protrudes about 1.5" from the end of the bell causing a slight downwards pull which is to be expected with any mute, however, where the mute is so light the does not affect any positioning whatsoever.
As mentioned before the cork is 1" from the throat of the mute but the tip is left bare which can cause damage to the inside of the bell. This is easily rectified by gluing a small and thin piece of cork along the edge so that scratching does not occur. Although this is a design flaw this easy solution should not deter you from purchasing this brilliant mute.
The cork itself is also long lasting. I have found that with some mutes the cork can erode fairly quickly, however, with the Denis Wick 5527 I have had it for five years and have never had to replace it. The cork has also not lost it's grip, nor become shiny and slippery as can happen with other designs. I have never had this mute fall out of place before and to ensure a strong grip I give it a quarter turn when placed into the bell.
Performance and AccomplishmentsThe Denis Wick 5527 has been an excellent addition to my practice routine as it has helped me in so many different ways. When playing with the mute in I have established a more efficient embouchure by easing off the pressure on the mouthpiece and increasing my flexibility which in turn improves my performance by at least 2 fold.
The main reason for purchasing this practice mute was because of my parents. When I was still a student I was living at home and my parents didn't need to hear me playing at all times of the day and night. I was amazed when my mute arrived, it was so quiet! I could sit in my room and play to my heart's content and not get shouted at ever even when playing Mahler at fff, I was muted that much.
After practicing with the mute for a couple of weeks I noticed that my breath control was a lot better and my lung capacity had expanded too. I decided to test this further and found out that by practicing with the mute my throat muscles opened up which allow more air to pass into the instrument and more air into my lungs when breathing in (also great for when you're an asthmatic like me). This in turn improved my performance skills as I was able to phrase my music much better and I also increased my endurance too.
The final benefit I'd like to mention is the lack of back-pressure from this mute. On many standard mutes it can often feel like you are blowing through the eye of a needle just to get a decent sound. With the Denis Wick 5527 it is just like playing your trombone normally, it's just really quiet. This great feature allows for reliable pitching which means that you don't get into the habit of either changing your slide positions between practice mute playing and natural playing or get used to playing out of tune when the mute is in. I have tested out the accuracy of the mute with a standard tuner and I am happy to report that I saw very little difference in the tuning compare with natural playing.
So what are you waiting for? Go an get a Denis Wick 5527 practice mute now to really improve your playing skills.
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