Jo-Ral is an American company that’s known for making mutes for musical instruments. For those who aren’t aware, a mute is a device that’s used to alter the sound and performance of a musical instrument. Mutes work by affecting the tone, reducing the volume, or both. If you use a mute for your instrument, Jo-Ral is a name you should certainly be aware of since the options they make available to you are best in class.
It’s said that the very first mute was introduced in an orchestral score around the 1600’s, but according to some historical documents, they were actually in use as far back as the 1500’s. Several centuries later, in the late 20th century, a principal trombonist for the New York Philharmonic named Joseph Alessi Jr. founded Jo-Ral because he wanted a mute that delivered impeccable sound and playability. For the last 30 years, Jo-Ral has been manufacturing and delivering a full line of premium-quality mutes and accessories. Because Jo-Ral mutes have continued to be refined to provide excellent levels of acoustical and tonal performance, they’ve been tested and adopted by some of the most talented professionals in the music business. Leading brass players around the world use Jo-Ral mutes, whether they’re in symphonic bands or studio sessions.
While it’s true that there are mutes available for a variety of instruments, Jo-Ral makes mutes specifically for the bass trombone, euphonium, flugelhorn, French horn, trombone, trumpet, and tuba. All Jo-Ral’s mutes are proudly manufactured in the USA.
Regardless of skill level or preferred genre, trumpet players who use mutes tend to use Jo-Ral mutes. Experts love the way that Jo-Ral’s straight trumpet mutes provide excellent intonation. The fact that they’re available in a variety of high-quality materials, each which affects the sound, only makes these mutes more attractive to musicians. When it comes to mutes, Jo-Ral offers all aluminum, brass bottom, copper bottom, or all copper. All aluminum mutes provide a bright but muted sound. Brass bottom mutes offer a warmer sound that’s ideal for smaller settings. Copper bottom mutes, on the other hand, are the best choice for musicians aiming for a darker, mellower sound. Finally, all copper mutes create a rich and deep sound that many musicians are looking for.
It’s true, though, that the most common mutes made by Jo-Ral are made from hand-spun aluminum. The copper and brass options are special, and intended only to provide musicians with an amount of control over the sound they produce. Jo-Ral prides itself on taking the right amount of time and care necessary to make sure each mute is well-tested and performance ready.
While Jo-Ral produces mutes for a variety of different instruments, the most options exist for trumpet and trombone players. The number of different trumpet mutes offer an exciting array of choices for trumpet players who are looking to experiment with their sound. Take, for example, the TPT-2A Trumpet Bubble Mute. Its unique design gives it a distinctive tone that’s especially desirable for cool and fusion jazz musicians. The TPT-4A Aluminum Trumpet Bucket Mute, on the other hand, offers a “deeply haunting and slightly hollow” sound. It boasts the ability to produce soft, muffled tones which add tremendous dimension and allow for quicker transitions.
Players of piccolo trumpets will be happy to discover that there are also a number of different mutes constructed from different materials available to them. Jo-Ral also manufactures practice mutes, for people who want to practice with their trumpet without playing for the entire neighborhood. If you’ve ever wished you could play with reduced volume without sacrificing tone quality, the practice mute is an excellent solution. And, if you’re looking to do warmups, slurs, and tonguing without even needing to use your trumpet, Jo-Ral has made the 3510 Trumpet Brass Short Cut. This simple tool is comparable to the natural instrument and is small enough to take anywhere.
Whether you play the trombone or the bass trombone, Jo-Ral has mutes designed with your needs and desires in mind. Like the trumpet, there are straight mute, bubble mute, and bucket mutes available for trombone players. The straight mute is the ideal choice for playing any musical genre. It produces a distinct, muted sound throughout the natural range of the instrument. When you use a bubble mute on the trombone, you can accomplish a “loud, meaty buzz” with your instrument. Finally, the bucket mute designed for trombones work very similarly to the bucket mute for the trumpet, in that you can produce those haunting and hollow sounds.
Jo-Ral also offers a version of their practice mute that’s designed for use in trombones and bass trombones. If you’re looking to experiment with the sound of your trombone, Jo-Ral’s products are an excellent way of making changes to your sound in an incredibly simple and straightforward way.
The other instruments that Jo-Ral produces mutes for are the flugelhorn, the French horn, tuba, and the euphonium. Flugelhorn players can try the Copper Bottom Bubble Mute, which is made with copper to offer an even warmer sound that’s great for solo work. For players of the French horn, there are a few options. All are straight mutes, but the materials are different. One is made of all aluminum, one of aluminum with a copper bottom, and the final straight mute is made of all copper. Each of these materials, as with other instruments, offers a distinct sound designed to help French horn players take their performances to the next level. Tuba players can take advantage of an all-aluminum straight mute which features movable corks that’ll allow you to custom fit the mute to your horn. Finally, musicians who play the euphonium can also take advantage of an all-aluminum straight mute that helps to achieve that class jazz sound.
As a maker of high-quality musical instrument accessories, it’s no wonder why Jo-Ral has been a favorite of musicians for the last thirty years. As Jo-Ral continues to innovate, helping musicians control and refine the sound that their instruments produce, they will continue to be successful. If you’ve never used a mute in your instrument before, you should know what options Jo-Ral has for you.