[Trombone-l] more about buckets - make your own

Raymond Horton rayhorton at insightbb.com
Sun Nov 6 18:29:20 CST 2005

Seriously, though, I did design my own bucket mute.  Once, when Ben 
Vereen was coming to do a symphony pops gig, the word was sent a few 
days ahead for us: "bucket mute required."  I didn't have one at the 
time, no store in town had one and no time to order one, so I took a 
white plastic bucket that had had paint primer in it (I think the dried 
primer on the inside helps the sound, actually) and punched a hole in 
the side large enough for the top of a trombone stand to go through and 
set at an angle corresponding to the trombone bell.  I adjusted the 
bucket and trombone stand so that the bucket matched up with my bell.  I 
put a small towell in the bucket, and the sound was quite nice.  Fits in 
my mute bag, and could wrap up other things in the towell and keep in 
the bucket. 

I proudly set up my home-made bucket mute at the Vereen rehearsal.  But, 
oddly, but there were no "bucket mute" indications in any of the music, 
and not a word from the conductor about using it! 

I was so disappointed, but I brought it home and put it on my utilty 
room shelf, where my wife saw it and promptly through it out!  But I 
made another, labeled it "RAY'S BUCKET MUTE" on the shelf so it won't 
get thrown out again at home, and have used it a few times.  

Raymond Horton
Bass Trombonist
Louisville Orchestra

Chris Tune wrote:

> Maybe if you design a bucket mute, which is actually oval.  AND about 
> ten feet long. . . then this is quite possible.  Of course most of the 
> leaders I know wouldn't like the look of the mute.
> It would stop the others from saying "forget the bucket".  This would 
> be too big to forget about!

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