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Ukejenny
09-10-2013, 07:01 AM
I have youngish kids and need to keep it quiet after bedtime, so I've been pondering how to make some practice mutes for my husband and myself.

We had a piece of pipe insulation - I think that is what it is.

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I used a knife and cut a wedge out of one end.

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Shaved it to the width and length I wanted. I then rubbed it along the strings a second to leave string indentations on the foam. I took the knife and cut deep enough on the indents to make it flush when seated over the strings.

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Not perfect yet, but it works and it was quick and free. Another source for foam may be pool noodles, but I dont know if the will be dense enough.

Tonya
09-10-2013, 10:31 AM
Thanks, UkeJenny. That's a clever workaround that's easy to make. I'm passing this on to my uke group for those "quiet practice" needs.

I was at jury duty once a few years back and took my ukulele to practice with in the hallways while waiting the interminable chunks of time between being sent from courtroom to courtroom for jury selection. I wound a Kleenex between/around/over the strings near the bridge and, while it did the trick, it looked a little, well, tacky. But I'd have to say that sitting there in the hallway on the floor, strumming an ukulele, was certainly a good way to deal with the "hurry up and wait" times of jury duty. And it made people smile! But getting it through the courthouse security was a hoot--they'd never seen anyone bring in an ukulele.

Ukejenny
09-10-2013, 11:05 AM
Thanks, UkeJenny. That's a clever workaround that's easy to make. I'm passing this on to my uke group for those "quiet practice" needs.

I was at jury duty once a few years back and took my ukulele to practice with in the hallways while waiting the interminable chunks of time between being sent from courtroom to courtroom for jury selection. I wound a Kleenex between/around/over the strings near the bridge and, while it did the trick, it looked a little, well, tacky. But I'd have to say that sitting there in the hallway on the floor, strumming an ukulele, was certainly a good way to deal with the "hurry up and wait" times of jury duty. And it made people smile! But getting it through the courthouse security was a hoot--they'd never seen anyone bring in an ukulele.

Good for you! A great way to while away the time during jury duty. Only time I had jury duty I ended up as forman for an insurance case and it sucked.

Hope the mute idea works for your group.

SailingUke
09-10-2013, 12:05 PM
Thanks, UkeJenny. That's a clever workaround that's easy to make. I'm passing this on to my uke group for those "quiet practice" needs.

I was at jury duty once a few years back and took my ukulele to practice with in the hallways while waiting the interminable chunks of time between being sent from courtroom to courtroom for jury selection. I wound a Kleenex between/around/over the strings near the bridge and, while it did the trick, it looked a little, well, tacky. But I'd have to say that sitting there in the hallway on the floor, strumming an ukulele, was certainly a good way to deal with the "hurry up and wait" times of jury duty. And it made people smile! But getting it through the courthouse security was a hoot--they'd never seen anyone bring in an ukulele.

Last time I was called I took my ukulele, and just sat and played it in the outside waiting area.
I guess they thought I was too crazy to get selected, so it worked.

PhilUSAFRet
09-10-2013, 01:32 PM
The pool noodles are likely at least as firm as the pipe insulation and should work about the same for that purpose, although they are slightly different kinds of foam.

Ukejenny
09-12-2013, 03:22 AM
I received a private message requesting more details and more photos for fellow ukers. I'm not sure how dense the foam is, but here is a link to the product my husband purchased (http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100572787?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100572787&R=100572787#.UjG7MNLkvlU). Sorry in advance for the large photos, but UU kept giving me an error message about invalid file extensions when I tried to upload the other way. If anyone else wants details, just let me know.

Foam length is equal to the width of bridge.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/47D81FF7-0409-4991-AC12-1B7EF0C77C4E-3757-00000B123C4CF265_zps67ded6af.jpg

Roughly the same size, square.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/BF7593BE-9223-475C-A409-0DD30AF036E6-3757-00000B1249F8631D_zps433f51f4.jpg

Slits are cut in. Think of it as a big, thick comb.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/807E59CC-2494-4A0E-AC1A-D98908690188-3757-00000B125B0865F9_zps00676618.jpg

Opened the slits up a bit so you can see how deep I made the cuts.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/B000CB22-31CF-4284-955E-21CC89774D48-3757-00000B12660B8756_zpscccc28da.jpg

More photos in next post...

Ukejenny
09-12-2013, 03:22 AM
Starting to fit it over the strings. It easily slips over the strings.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/40048371-5BCE-47A5-908B-2B3A0C86A2C5-3757-00000B1280F56A35_zps492bf4c7.jpg

Sitting over the strings, against the bridge, and down on the soundboard. Cut the slits deep enough so it will go all the way down to the wood.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/moma4faith/Mobile%20Uploads/7B9FDC7F-6A35-4FBF-ABA5-D461904866C7-3757-00000B12A1D04EB8_zps59778552.jpg

HBolte
09-12-2013, 03:27 AM
Any chance of a sound sample? It looks like you could slide it in under the strings too. I travel with a RISA but I'll have to try this, sometimes it's nice to take a full size uke on a longer trip. Good work!!

Mistyface
09-12-2013, 05:03 AM
Nice idea!!!

The Old Gig Bag
09-12-2013, 07:50 AM
Terrific & Home Depot is so close to me. Thanks Uke Jenny. Not afraid to attempt it now.

Freeda
09-12-2013, 08:09 AM
Really well done, Jenny!

fernandogardinali
09-12-2013, 08:34 AM
Cool! I use one of those violin mutes on my banjolele and I was wondering how to make one for wooden/reso ukes. I guess I'll try that out!

ukuLily Mars
09-15-2013, 07:23 AM
This is great! Jenny, you're the cat's.

Ukejenny
09-15-2013, 09:06 AM
It isn't as good as a standard violin mute. You can still hear the articulation of a strum, but the strings do not ring. I'm going to experiment with making it wider so it covers more string/soundboard area. I also think something more dense, closer to Styrofoam, might eat some of the articulative sound.

UkeKiddinMe
09-15-2013, 09:25 AM
Great thread.

coolkayaker1
09-15-2013, 05:36 PM
Good old Ukin' ingenuity, nice work Jenny.

PhilUSAFRet
09-16-2013, 05:06 AM
The pool noodles are "slightly more dense"

SonSprinter
12-16-2013, 08:10 PM
How about the rubber from the sole of a slippah (i.e., slipper, flip-flop).

SonSprinter
12-16-2013, 08:27 PM
I just made one out of a broken croc strap, and it works pretty good. I think if it is right up against the bridge, it is a little louder. It ir is right up against the sound hole, then it is too soft, and you can not tell if you are playing the correct notes. I found about 3/4 inch away from the bridge works well.

coolkayaker1
12-17-2013, 01:50 AM
One could just tuck a handkerchief under the strings by the bridge like the old timers used to do. Handy, portable, washable, inexpensive, no prep, and can wipe the brow sweat when the old lady comes down to the grange hall and finds one serenading the town wench on his knee with a muted ukulele. Not that one would do such a thing (that is, muting a sweet serenade)