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Ultra Practice Mute for Double Bass - part of the range of Double Bass Accessories from The Contrabass Shoppe

Ultra Practice Mute for the Double Bass
Click on the image to zoom

Ultra Practice Mute

I seem to be annoying the neighbours with my practice.

If you live in a flat, an apartment or in a semi-detached property you will quickly find out that the walls - no matter how thick - do not stop the sound of your double bass carrying right through into the next property. At first you wonder why your neighbour keeps turning his TV up in volume every time you start to practice your instrument. After a while you hear a few hefty blows to the adjoining wall or thumps from the floor above. Still - you carry on regardless. It can't possibly be you. After all the sound of the bass isn't exactly loud like a flute or trumpet. After another twenty minutes or so of practice you hear a firm knock on the front door. You weren't expecting anybody and think it a little odd that somebody should be knocking at this hour. Still - you open the door - as you do. Surprise, surprise - it's the neighbour and he doesn't look too happy. You try to explain that it must be somebody else with a loud flute or a trumpet but he just won't have it. "No it's not a bl---y flute that I can hear - it's a big deep rumbly bass sound. That's it, that's it - it's a bl---y double bass thingy and what the f---k are you going to do about it?"

So what are you going to do about it?

Fortunately for those of you who have experienced this scenario or who would prefer not to test the patience of your next door neighbours - help is on hand with the Ultra Practice Mute.

Tell me about the Ultra Practice mute

The Ultra Practice mute is a heavyweight mute made from moulded rubber that simply fits over the strings on the very top of the bridge. The extra mass of the mute restricts and dampens the vibrations of the bridge - thereby muting the instrument considerably.

I'd be interested to know just how much more weight the Ultra is - in comparison to say a standard rubber Tourte mute.

Yes - that's a good question. The Ultra Practice Mute weighs in at 200gm (ave). A standard rubber Tourte mute weighs a mere 30.5gm (ave). So that means that the Ultra Practice Mute weighs an additional 169.5gm (ave) more than the standard rubber Tourte mute.

Ultra Practice Mute for the Double Bass
Click on the image to zoom

Just how well does the Ultra Practice Mute shut the sound of the bass down?

The Ultra Practice mute can help a double bass player - play on his or her instrument with minimal noise-production. Here is some player feedback;

  1. It is just so nice to be able to practice whenever I want to without disturbing anybody else.
  2. Whenever I bumped into my neighbour there was such a frosty reception. He definitely isn't a music lover. Thank heavens for the Ultra Practice Mute. It really has saved my life - quite literally.
  3. I am pleased to report that late night practice is now possible with the Ultra Practice Mute.
  4. As a student it's hard enough to find suitable accommodation. As a music student it is even harder. As soon as you tell the landlord that you play the double bass - that's it. They tell you that the room has already been taken. I've now discovered that if I take my double bass along with me and play it to the landlord with the Ultra Practice Mute in place - it gets me in every time. They just can't believe how quite the instrument is.
  5. The Ultra Practice Mute really is the sumo-wrestler of all mutes.
  6. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!

Will it fit my instrument?

Yes - the rubber is flexible so it will automatically mould itself over all bridge profiles.

Can I use the Ultra Practice mute on a five stringed instrument?

No - the Ultra Practice Mute is designed for use on four stringed instruments only.

I heard that the Ultra Practice Mute also makes a great bridge protector. Is that correct?

Yes. We all know far too well how easy it is to knock or bump the bridge of our double bass when going through a doorway or just in general passage with a bass. Isn't it just so annoying when it happens just before an important concert? After the "hit" - you partially undo the zip of the cover to take a quick peek to see if everything is OK - but horror of horrors - you find that the bridge has slid way over to the E-string side. By the time you get to the rehearsal - you've only got a couple of minutes left to try and get the bridge back into position. But it's not quite so easy and you start to sweat heavily as the bridge slides everywhere but into the correct position. As the conductor brings his baton down - the bridge is sort of where you think it should be - but the whole instrument just doesn't feel quite the same at all. If only you'd been more careful or had some sort of bridge protector.

Besides having awesome muting qualities The Ultra Practice Mute will serve as a brilliant bridge protector. After the rehearsal, concert or gig has finished - simply pop the Ultra Practice Mute onto the top of your bridge before you slip the cover on. Job done.

Final Summary:

If you live in an apartment or need to practice in a hotel room while on tour - then The Ultra Practice Mute really is the only effective option available. I suppose that I should have said "Ultra-effective". Anyway - even the most powerful of instruments will be reduced to a whisper. Should you be fortunate enough not to have what we call a "disturbed" neighbour cramping your practice sessions - there will always be that odd occasion when you wished that you'd left one of these "black-beauties" in the pocket of your bass cover or used it as a bridge protector.

Stats:

Length: 13.5cm
Max Depth: 6.0cm
Width: 3.5cm
Weight: 200.0gm
Ultra Practice Mute - Price UK£ 21.00

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