Let me say right up front here that my title is a little misleading. There is no one code to eliminating cracked notes from your brass section. That said, there are multiple things you can do to eliminate most of them. Today though, we will focus on mutes. Student equipment, unfortunately, has become synonymous with cheap: cheap design, cheap material, and cheap price (most of the time...). There are some products that this works for: trinkets, toys, candy.... However things that need to perform or would affect your student's health, like shoes, clothes, food, medicine, these things you would pay attention to a little more.
Your student's music education is the same. The components that come together to give your child the best shot at enjoying music are simple: healthy equipment. well tuned/manufactured instruments, and frequently looked over, accessories. One of the reasons Denis Wick is the only accessory manufacturer we stock is because it is with these principles that each product is created.
Each Denis Wick mute uses high quality materials, and precision manufacturing so the sound and response support the performer. Mutes that are made with poor materials, and are poorly tuned, cause a lot of problems for the performer. We look at the performer as soon as we hear that cracked or missed note, but it is not always the performer's fault. Poorly tuned mutes throw the whole instrument out of tune. Even if the instrument is perfectly tuned, as soon as the student puts a poorly tuned mute in the bell, the instrument will feel foreign to them, respond poorly, and SHAZAM! Cracked notes. Some problems are really that simple to fix. If you're a band director, try a Denis Wick mute out in your section and see the difference! If your student likes their sound, and is not afraid of their equipment, 90% of the battle against cracked notes is solved.
Denis Wick mutes are all tuned well and provide a sound that won't make the performer or the audience flinch. See their production video below. If you or your student does not want to invest in an aluminum straight to start, the Denis Wick Synthetic mutes are a great alternative.
DF Music, Inc. is one of our many Denis Wick Dealers in the United States. To find a complete list of Denis Wick Dealers click here.