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6 string muting?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mobiless, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. hi,
    so just a few weeks ago I got my new bass and I went from 4 to 6 strings. I've been playing it since i got it and i know that floating thumb is required to mute 6string effectively.

    Although i'm getting a bit frustrated, because i can't mute all strings i need to mute. For ex. if i'm playing on c or g strings, my thumb is on a string, right? Then b and e strings are left unmuted and they start to ring.. If i put my thumb on e, then I mute both b and e strings, but then playing on c, g or d strings is a bit uncomfortable and freakin A STRING starts to ring!

    What do I do? I can't mute all 3 string at the same time!

    And what's more, playing chords now is a pain in the ass! I play chords with my thumb, index, middle and sometimes ring finger too, so i have no idea how to mute strings then.....

    Thank's for your help!
  2. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010
    I'm interested in getting a 6 string too, but when I tried it out in a shop I didn't have any issues, but then again I only dabbled with it for a few minutes, and was sitting with it, not connected to a strap.

    When I do the floating thumb technique though, I rest my thumb against all of the lower pitched strings (so if I was playing a on C, I'd be muting the B, E, A, D, and G strings all at the same time). I only play basses with pretty flat radiused boards for this reason though.

    If I was playing on the B string, I'd use the underside of my fretting hand fingers to mute the higher pitched strings (E,A,D,G, and C).
  3. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    Pretty much ho I do it too
  4. He_Who_Hops


    Feb 26, 2014
    As stated above, your fretting hand should be able to mute all strings above the one you are plucking by resting against the fretboard. Think a fairly flat index finger, just touching all the strings
    Then by resting your thumb across the strings you should be able to mute all the string below the one you are plucking. You may have to change the angle of attack of your plucking hand to mute everything, I find my wrist stays extremely flat relative to my arm to achieve the muting

    Now to figure out how to mute all those low buggers when slappin....
  5. It's just practice.

    You could also use a string mute like the one Gruv gear makes. I use one when I'm doing solo bass stuff at uni.

    You can also use a sock or something tied around the end of the neck.
  6. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    gizmos like the victor wooten scrunchie aren't good permanent fixes- vic needs them because he's got all of his fingers occupied on his fingerboard, because.. well..he's victor wooten.

    work with the floating thumb, and be patient. the fat from the inside of your hand/thumb will mute the lower strings eventually. it's a tried and true way of playing. stick with it. good luck!

  7. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    I agree with much of the above. You eventually adapt, and what you can't mute by adjusting your fretting positions you can mute with the pad of your thumb.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    If you're using your index and middle fingers to pluck the strings you can use your ring and pinkie fingers to mute strings as well as your thumb.
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    This. Thumb mutes the B+E, ring finger on the A, pinkie on the D (or vice-versa on the A and D, whatever is more comfortable for the shape of your hand).
  10. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    This. I do this as well as the floating thumb which comes easily with practise. I don't really use slap as a technique (apart from a few little slapped phrases), but I also find that if you run out of muting options with your plucking hand, you can also use your fretting hand....obviously you can just release the pressure a bit on the note you're fretting, but also mute the neighbouring strings in a similar way that you choke a note while slapping.
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I pretty much switch exclusively to left hand muting when slapping. Barre-muting multiple strings at once with whichever finger I'm not fretting with and sometimes reaching around with my thumb to mute the B or E. Then back to right hand muting when doing fingerstyle.

    To the OP: Keep at it, eventually it becomes second nature to mute everything with both hands all the time.