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Accessories Sound mufflers for tenor sax

Lorraine

Member
Messages
36
Hi,
I joined this forum today - in anticipation of receiving my tenor (but not before xmas day - my partner has principles apparently!) and want to practise every day - but don't want to seriously upset my neighbours. Are there any good sound mufflers for saxophones - to use at least till the weather warms up and I can annoy the seagulls on the beach instead.

Thanks
Lorraine
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Don't worry about the neighbours Lorraine ...

They will soon move away, mine did ... :)))
 

RayL

New Member
Messages
20
You've already saved yourself the cost of an alarm clock.

If you wake up in the middle of the night and you want to know
what the time is, Just open the window and start playing.

Very soon one of your neighbours will shout out
"Oi! Who's playing that *!*!*!* saxophone at three o'clock in the morning?"

Ray
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Hi,
I joined this forum today - in anticipation of receiving my tenor (but not before xmas day - my partner has principles apparently!) and want to practise every day - but don't want to seriously upset my neighbours. Are there any good sound mufflers for saxophones - to use at least till the weather warms up and I can annoy the seagulls on the beach instead.

Thanks
Lorraine
About the only practical silencer for a saxophone is to build a soundproof practice room. This may not be nearly as bad as it sounds.

If you have room in your abode, the soundproof practice room can actually be a cubical build of nothing more than a 2x2 frame covered with Styrofoam insulation sheets on the outside. The cost of that can be really inexpensive. And it can all be assembled with drywall screws and an screwdriver bit in an electric drill. Just build a cube large enough to play the sax in. Screw the insulation sheets onto the outside of the 2x2 frame. Then on the inside hang old blankets on all four walls and the ceiling and floor. You'll need to make provision for ventilation so you don't suffocate in there. Maybe even mount a little fan to circulate in fresh air. It's not going to be 100% soundproof, but it should knock the sound down to acceptable levels. How big of a project this sounds to you will of course depend upon your own construction skills. This is a really easy project and could be hired out to a local handyman or whatever.

Of course, this depends on how much room you have in your house/apt. In an apartment it's not going to be completely soundproof, but it should knock the sound level down to were it's no worse than having a TV on or something similar.

Barring that idea, another idea along the same lines would be to rent a storage cubical in one of those mass storage places. Rent the smallest cubical you can find that will suit your needs. Then make that into a practice room (maybe even build a little cubical like described above for inside the storage cubical. Especially if you'll need to heat it in the winter. Then you can practice to your heart's content in the storage room. There's seldom anyone living too close to those kinds of facilities.

Just thoughts for whatever they're worth.

Of course, another thought too is to seek out a music school, possibly at a local college, or music store. Sometimes they will have soundproof rooms that you can use. Then you won't need to build anything.

Alternatively you could send the sax to me and I'll practice it for you. ;}
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
So it is Tenor sax - apologies for assuming it might be an Alto. I have never played sax with any mute. I tend to operate the following :

1. Never practice before 10am or after 10pm.
2. Practice quiet playing regularly, when my ability had developed.
3. Play towards the centre of the house.

It should be possible to find sound absorbing places around your accomodation - understairs cupboards, wardrobes etc. It is also possible to have a chat with neighbours to agree practice times etc. My neighbours are younger folks mostly in their 20's, several of whom are musicians and we get on very well! If you intend practising for, say, an hour a day it is a good idea to leave a couple of gaps to let your mouth rest - say 3 x 20mins or similar with 5-10 minute gaps.

If you want an effective mute you should have bought a trumpet or trombone!
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,557
my sister used to live on the sea-front at Hove. The sea-gulls would regularly roost on her balcony. I know I'm about to make enemies, but we would throw the eggs off the balcony into the border below to avoid the colony growing.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Many top restaurants serve them and they cost approx £5 a throw, as it were........!

Think next time.........;}
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,019
my sister used to live on the sea-front at Hove. The sea-gulls would regularly roost on her balcony. I know I'm about to make enemies, but we would throw the eggs off the balcony into the border below to avoid the colony growing.
Maybe you could have made an omelette?
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
The Soundproof Cubical

About the only practical silencer for a saxophone is to build a soundproof practice room. This may not be nearly as bad as it sounds.

If you have room in your abode, the soundproof practice room can actually be a cubical build of nothing more than a 2x2 frame covered with Styrofoam insulation sheets on the outside. The cost of that can be really inexpensive. And it can all be assembled with drywall screws and an screwdriver bit in an electric drill. Just build a cube large enough to play the sax in. Screw the insulation sheets onto the outside of the 2x2 frame. Then on the inside hang old blankets on all four walls and the ceiling and floor. You'll need to make provision for ventilation so you don't suffocate in there. Maybe even mount a little fan to circulate in fresh air. It's not going to be 100% soundproof, but it should knock the sound down to acceptable levels. How big of a project this sounds to you will of course depend upon your own construction skills. This is a really easy project and could be hired out to a local handyman or whatever.
I thought I might elaborate a little bit on this, just in case anyone reading this decides to go this route.

Some construction hints:

When building the cubical, build each of the four walls separately. To do this will require twice as many 2x2's but it's worth the extra investment if you'll ever be moving this thing around. The reason being that the four walls can then be screwed together as units, forming the cubical, and then disassembled in the same way. The Styrofoam sheets, and even the blankets can be attached to each wall before the cube is assembled.

For a door, you can simply hinge an entire wall, (the roof holding the other 3 walls in place, or build one of the walls in two sections, one second serving as the door. Then just hinge the door.




You'll also need to mount a light inside. Use a cool light, like a florescence bulb. Something that isn't going to get so hot to catch the blanket walls on fire.

You might want to strap a fire extinguisher on the bell of the sax. That way you can keep practicing whilst putting out the fire.

*Use fire-retardant blankets. ;}

If you heat it in the winter, consider any fire hazards associated with your heating source too. One of those electric oil-filled heaters would probably be the best ticket. No red-hot source there. Plus it's clean air too. :thumb:

Think ahead when considering your design.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Re: The Soundproof Cubical

....or you are welcome to pop 'round mine to use the music room anytime...............;}
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Re: The Soundproof Cubical

And from the useful image you can see that wearing a hat is essential.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,013
Re: The Soundproof Cubical

Here are some practical tips I have learned from my experience:

Stuff a dishtowel tightly into the top of the bell. It will cut much of the volume of the sound and dampen the high overtones that tend to carry as well. Only the lowest 2 or 3 notes will be impossible to play.

This may sound silly, but it is serious. You can practice the "air saxophone". That is you do everything but make the reed vibrate. You read the music and "hear" the pitches as you finger the notes and blow the airstream---tonguing as you would if actually playing. This silent exercise develops:

-fingering
-styles of articulation
-breathing
-counting and rhythm
-reading music
-ear training (most important)

The only aspect of playing you don't develop is tone production. In band rehearsals many times when working with one section, I would have the others "blow and finger" their parts until it was time for the full ensemble to join in. It really works.
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
Re: The Soundproof Cubical

Reminds me of the soundproof meeting rooms shown in the "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" movie - room within a room.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,904
Re: The Soundproof Cubical

Or the Cone of Silence in Get Smart.
 
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