If you’re a trumpet player, you know many different kinds of mutes. The straight mute or Harmon mute might be the most familiar to you, but what about bucket mutes?
Bucket mutes make your trumpet sound dark and warm, so they’re very useful in many ensembles.
Let’s talk about the best bucket mutes for trumpet players:
Here Are the Best Trumpet Bucket Mutes:
The best bucket mutes provide a dark, rich tone that softens the edge of brassy trumpet playing. The most highly-reviewed trumpet bucket mutes are the Humes & Berg 108A Velvet-tone bucket mute, JoRal TPT-4A aluminum bucket mute, Eazy bucket mute for trumpet, and Soulo SM5525 trumpet bucket mute.
Table of Contents
1. Humes & Berg 108A Stone-lined Velvet-Tone
Humes & Berg are known for creating great mutes for brass instruments at a low price. Created in 1935, this mute brand has a reputation for making high-quality trumpet accessories. Many trumpet players love their Humes & Berg mutes, saying that they are reliable, durable, and effective.
This bucket mute is called “Velvet-tone” for a reason. When attached to the end of a trumpet bell, it can completely transform the usually brassy trumpet sound.
The Humes & Berg bucket mute takes the hard edge from a trumpet’s sound. With this mute, you can achieve a big, open, and full sound as soft as velvet.
The stone-lined material creates a new, softer tone color when you simply clip this mute onto the outside of your trumpet bell. Even though it doesn’t insert the bell, the application process is very simple.
Sometimes trumpet players need to use mutes when playing in ensembles. Because of this, trumpet mutes need to produce a sound that blends well with other instruments.
With a Humes & Berg bucket mute, trumpet players can keep a solid tonal center and intonation. Other mutes may distort pitch so much that it affects ensemble playing, but you won’t have that problem with a Humes & Berg.
This mute creates a sound that blends well with saxophones. Usually, the hard edge of a trumpet would stand out in an ensemble, but a bucket mute allows for better blending. When playing in a big band, jazz band, or concert band, trumpet players can easily mix their sound with other softer instruments.
Reviewers of the Humes & Berg bucket mute mention that it is great for playing with a classic big band sound. However, it also works well in concert bands and jazz groups.
Even though it has many positive reviews, this bucket mute may make your sound a little stuffy. Some high notes may also be harder to reach.
One of the best qualities of the Humes & Berg trumpet bucket mute is its price. At around $30 brand new, this mute can be a great introductory tool for beginners wanting to learn jazz styles.
2. JoRal TPT-4A Aluminum Trumpet Bucket Mute
If you’re looking to create a distinctive tone quality, the JoRal TPT-4A bucket mute is a great choice. This has a slightly different design than other bucket mutes, offering a unique sound.
Most bucket mutes are attached to the outside of a trumpet’s bell. This makes them stand apart from straight mutes or Harmon mutes. However, the JoRal bucket mute is inserted inside the bell.
The JoRal trumpet bucket mute is made from lightweight spun aluminum, giving it a haunting and hollow sound. This bucket mute softens the edges of an unmuted trumpet and allows for more dimension in this new muted sound. Rather than just muffling the sound, it creates a distinctive new tone.
After each mute is made, it is thoroughly tested. The JoRal TPT-4A trumpet bucket mute is played in all registers, ensuring that it produces an even sound.
When using this bucket mute, you won’t have to worry about intonation issues. Certain notes might be abnormally sharp or flat with other brands, but the JoRal bucket mute performs well in its full range.
Because it is inserted into the bell, the JoRal TPT mute features neoprene-enhanced composite cork pads that will last a long time. The cork pads are durable, pliable and create a great seal inside a trumpet’s bell. Over time, it won’t become brittle or dry out.
The JoRal trumpet bucket mute is a great tool for achieving the classic big band sound. However, you can use this mute in other ensembles as well.
Because of its professional features and high-quality materials, the JoRal TPT-4A aluminum trumpet bucket mute is around $75. This is an expensive mute, but it delivers a stellar performance.
3. Eazy Bucket Mute for Trumpet
Although Eazy bucket mutes were originally developed for trombone players, they also have great versions for trumpet players. The Eazy bucket mute for trumpet is easy to install and produces a beautiful tone.
The Eazy bucket mute can easily slide over the rim of any Bb trumpet bell. It has molded hooks surrounding the mute’s edge, ensuring the mute has a gentle but stable hold.
This mute was made with a plastic body, allowing it to be flexible. When installed, it gently molds to a trumpet’s bell. Because it has a great fit, you can play with a confident sound.
You’ll find that this mute has a sound similar to a traditional bucket mute. Unlike the JoRal aluminum mute that offers a unique sound, the Eazy bucket mute will easily blend with any ensemble.
When you play with the Eazy bucket mute attached, you’ll hear some sound reflected back to you. This makes sure that you can easily hear yourself playing. It can be difficult to properly hear pitch and intonation with certain mutes because of its muffling, but this won’t be a problem with the Eazy mute.
You might expect that the plastic clips would bend or break over time. However, Eazy developed a new plastic that is both flexible and sturdy. Their newer models are much less likely to face damage after a few years of use.
Reviewers claim that the Eazy bucket mute for trumpet has great intonation and tone. It produces a classic big band sound that has mass appeal.
The Eazy bucket mute for trumpet costs about $45. This is the average cost for a bucket mute.
4. Soulo SM5525 Trumpet Bucket Mute
The Soulo SM5525 trumpet bucket mute is a versatile, high-quality mute that many professionals know and love. Wayne Bergeron, Herb Alpert, and Roger Ingram have all used this bucket mute in their careers.
Even though professional trumpet players love this mute, Soulo claims it is ideal for students and educators. Because of its versatility, nearly everyone can use this bucket mute.
When using the Soulo bucket mute, you’ll find that the tone is rich, dark, and velvety. This is a great sound for big bands and many other ensembles.
Unlike other mutes, you can adjust the Soulo mute using two settings. You can set the mute completely over the bell for a “closed” position to achieve the dark sound similar to traditional bucket mutes.
Additionally, you can leave some space between the bell and mute, creating an “open” position. This has a slightly brighter tone, but it will still soften the sharp edge of trumpet playing.
Weighing about 2.2 ounces, this bucket mute is lighter than other brands. Because of this, it is very easy to transport to different gigs or rehearsals.
Soulo designed this bucket mute to produce no backpressure. Many trumpet players love that they don’t feel unusual pressure when playing with this bucket mute.
The Soulo bucket mute has a high-performance level, keeping all notes in tune. Even in the extremes of a trumpet player’s range, this mute will affect no notes.
You can find the Soulo SM5525 trumpet bucket mute on Amazon for $77. Although this is expensive for a bucket mute, its many features and advantages greatly outweigh the cost.
As a trumpet player, bucket mutes can benefit your music career.
Some ensembles will require you to play with a rich, dark sound that can only be achieved with a bucket mute. Fortunately, there are many great mute brands to choose from.
The best trumpet bucket mutes are Humes & Berg, JoRal, Eazy, and Soulo. These brands are the most popular and highly-reviewed in the trumpet community.
Although each is at a different price point, each offers benefits in tone production and intonation.