While playing for nursing home residents in a very confined space, I needed to mute my fiddle. I tried a rubber practice mute but it killed the tone. Somewhere I vaguely remembered something about a dollar bill, so I rolled one up and wove it between the strings, just behind the bridge. I was amazed as it softened the volume, darkened the tone a little, yet still sounded good. I could adjust the volume by moving it closer or farther from the bridge. I imagine if you want something better you could use a $5 or $10 bill 🙂
Out of curiosity, I later searched the forum and saw that Tbird recommended this a few years back, probably where I remembered it from.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Joe. I am going to go all out and use a Ben Franklin. Nothing like splurging!
Seriously, I have been using a rubber mute to lessen the Dbs. I can place it higher or lower over the bridge to alter the sound. The irony is that I think my fiddle sounds WAY better and more mellow with the mute. Without the mute, it sounds harsh and scratchy (like clothes do when ya don’t use fabric softener), and aggressively loud and deafening under my ear.
i wonder if it works with play money? Scott, i prefer the sound of one of my fiddles with a rubber mute…i guess it wouldnt be loud enough for playing anywhere besides the potch, but it seems to improve the sound. i think its why banjo players stuff flannel shirts into the back of their banjos.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found a mute that I like. 🙁 Joe, I’ll try the dollar bill next time. I remember Tbird mentioning it, but didn’t try it at the time. I rarely need a mute, and the sound of one is so irritating to me that I would rather just play quietly.