Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

  1. #1
    Gene @ RSM
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Calif.
    Posts
    96

    Default Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    For the past few months I've been leading worship at a Bible study in the chapel at a retirement residence.

    The chapel is small, but the acoustics (or lack thereof) produce echos and amplify all sounds. I first began using my mando, but soon realized that it was just too loud, so I switched to ukelele.

    I finally occurred to me to mute my mando. I took off the tone-gard and slipped my little Gold Tone brass mute on the bridge. Voila, a more respectable volume that better lends itself to the situation.

  2. #2
    Destroyer of Mandolins
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    5,017

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Glad that worked for you. It's unusual to find someone who wants a quieter mandolin, but there are times. A lot of instruments can overpower the voice acoustically. I can't tell you how many times I've seen (but not heard) a guitarist accompanying himself with a big dreadnought that totally overwhelms his voice. That's one reason I love the ukulele as well, it's just the right volume to sing to.
    Dedicated Ovation player
    Avid Bose user

  3. #3
    Registered User CaskAle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Hi Gene

    Can you tell me more about this mute? I'd love to be able to play my mando at night guilt-free knowing that I am not disturbing my flatmates!
    1956 Levin Palermo 'A' style
    2010 The Loar LM-600
    Eastwood electric mandolin
    Loads of guitars gathering dust

  4. #4
    Gene @ RSM
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Calif.
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Hey CaskAle,

    The mute is offered by Janet Davis Music, a Cafe sponsor, for $11.95 (SKU # JDM-BM).

    It is a banjo mute that slips over the bridge that will bring down your volume, but not knock it down where your roomies won't be disturbed. However, at $11.95 it might be worth a try. My particular situation called for a reduction in volume but not as drastically as I believe you require.

    Probably a better solution to your problem would be to literally put a sock in it if you play an oval hole instrument.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Registered User CaskAle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Gene

    Thanks for the info!

    That sounds about right, I think I will need a bigger reduction in volume than that. I have a f hole mando, so the sock trick won't work, but you've got me thinking; there must be a way to mute the holes. I'm going to look out for some expanding polystyrene foam I can cut into a couple of strips to wedge in there. Will probably be worth attaching some string on to them incase they get knocked inside and would be a pain to get out. I could then pull them out like a tampon (not that I have ever pulled out a tampon, being a man, I add)

    Cheers!
    1956 Levin Palermo 'A' style
    2010 The Loar LM-600
    Eastwood electric mandolin
    Loads of guitars gathering dust

  6. #6
    Destroyer of Mandolins
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    5,017

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    See what I mean, Gene? Over 300 views with only two guys responding. Muting a mandolin is a pretty unusual thing to do.

    So how's this working out since you started? Are you getting what you want out of it? I think it's interesting.
    Dedicated Ovation player
    Avid Bose user

  7. #7
    Registered User Pete Summers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    I think the the best mute is just to play softly -- hold the pick loosely and use very little force against the strings.

    Otherwise, mutes that go on the bridge I think would probably be preferable to trying to plug the F holes. I've never really use a mute on my mandolin, but I have several for my fiddles and they all attach to the bridge. The heavier the mute, the quieter the volume.

  8. #8
    Gene @ RSM
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Calif.
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Hey Tim,

    Yeah, I think folks are viewing out of curiosity since we all seem to strive to make our mandos louder.

    My solution worked out just fine. Thank you. If I were just going instrumental I could indeed try to play softer, but singing along presents a whole 'nother set of circumstances. As mentioned, I too prefer the uke to the mando for singing, but some songs just sound "right" on a mando. As we like to say here on the Cafe: it's all about the music and whatever it takes to get the job done we do it!

  9. #9
    Registered User QCS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pacifica, Calif.
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Who'da thunk, muting my mando?

    Another option would be to try a different banjo mute. There is one made by Bill Knopf the appears to be a piece of aluminum bar stock, relieved to fit over the bridge. It is held in place by two thumb screws. This baby knocks down even the most brutal of banjo's. I have had had one for years and nothing compares. Also, look about for an old violin mute. These have a cylinder of steel on top, held to the bridge with spring steel clips. One more option and the cheapest would be to whittle two wooden clothespins to fit underneath the strings. Clamp one on each side of the bridge, underneath. They better they fit, the better they work. This one also offers a nice woody tone. Your goal here is to increase the mass of the bridge, thus deadening the strings. There you go, I hope this helps. Twenty five years of banjo pickin' and this is what I have learned.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •