Whether you're using them to practice or to create a unique effect, mutes are terrific accessories that every French hornist should own. French horn mutes are placed in the bell of the instrument to alter its tone, and they come in a variety of shapes and material types. This catalog is filled with top-selling mutes from respected brands like Humes & Berg, Balu, Denis Wick and many others. Of course, the right one for you will depend on what you plan to use it for - so let's take a look at some examples.
Straight mutes are the most common type of French horn mute; they're hollow, shaped like a cone and fit into the instrument's bell. Straight mutes create a metallic, nasal-like tone and can sound very piercing when the French horn is played loudly. There are many popular straight mutes here, including the Humes & Berg 134 French Horn Tunable Straight Mute. This mute is stoned-lined, free-blowing and plays perfectly in tune. Another favorite is the Balu Large Bell Series French Horn Straight Mute. Available in Amber, Black Onyx, Walnut and Red Mahogany, any one of these large bell straight mutes would make an excellent choice.
The practice mute is another familiar type and are used for exactly what their name implies. Similar to straight mutes in their appearance, practice mutes come in handy when you want to hone your craft quietly. The Jo-Ral FR-P French Horn Practice Mute has a spun aluminum construction and will dramatically reduce your volume without affecting your instrument's tone. One more mute type to check out is designed specifically for the French horn: they're called "stop" mutes, and they have the ability to raise the instrument's pitch. The Trumcore Horn Tri Stop Mute is vibrant, versatile and plays in tune amazingly. Additionally, it comes with three interchangeable bell flares that are each sized to accommodate repertoire, register and volume needs.
There are many other straight, practice and stop mutes as well, so give yourself a little time in this section to research each option thoroughly. French horn mutes are available for every budget and application - so any musician who wants to speed up their progression or expand the possibilities of their repertoire will be sure to find something here to their liking.