In this post we’ll be comparing the various brands of harmon mute (also known as a “wah-wah” mute) available for the bass trombone. Although not a massively common mute, it is asked for increasingly often especially in contemporary music and brass band music. Because of the relative rarity of this mute, it’s worth getting a good one to last the rest of your playing life!
- Produces a distinctive sound with a louder "buzz" factor making it especially exciting for jazz musicians
- Create an exciting tonal quality that results in near-perfect intonation
- Crafted from aluminum, for a brighter tone, or from copper for a more mellow sound
|Excellent production and tone in the low range||The tube can be a little loose|
|Sturdy construction and does not dent easily||May require the addition of tape to the tube to prevent a rattling sound|
- Classic "ET" shape provides the traditional muted jazz sound
- Extra long inner tube for improved intonation
- Hand-spun aluminum for increased response
|Good characteristic harmon tone||Prone to falling out of the bell|
|Affordable and cost-effective||Made of aluminium and dents rather easily|
Which one to go for?
My personal recommendation would be the Jo-Ral. It has great response and production, especially in the often difficult valve register. In my experience it is the most reliable at staying put in the bell, and the construction is sturdy enough that a drop is unlikely to dent it much.