Any recommendations on how to mute the b string in a 5 string bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Daniel Panus, May 27, 2021.

  1. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    I use the B string as a thumb rest and use my thumb or fretting hand to mute the E string.
    ELG60 likes this.
  2. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    This. The only reason I would even consider going from 4 strings to 5 would be to play up higher on the neck for low notes, and the 4th fret E flat. But the tradeoffs arent worth it for me.[/QUOTE]

    In slap mode, I do most of my muting with the left hand. When hitting the low E (open) I'll mute the B with my left thumb hanging over top. If I'm fretting notes on the E string, then I'll fret the note usually with my index finger but extend the finger slightly to both fret on the E string and mute the B string.
    obimark likes this.

  3. note this right hand technique. called a floating thumb, 100% effective. at the time I learned this I was very depended on resting my thumb on top of the pick up, and it definitely was an annoying transition, but it also made it possible to play six string bases and never have a problem with excess string noise.
    Paul New and stigbeve like this.
  4. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    I use a thumb rest, my 4th string will resonate a little. I use a small piece of hard foam under the string at the bridge. The string has a very slight difference of sound, but almost unnoticeable.
  5. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    B string is a thumb rest
    BritFunk, obimark and Low8 like this.
  6. Came here to say this. You can get this technique together relatively quickly (1-2 months of consistent effort maybe?). If you want to get serious with it, Todd does Zoom lessons. He’ll see you right.
    gidbass likes this.
  7. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    As rude teen gamers like to say, "git gud." Seriously. I struggle with this too and it's just something where your technique has to get better and your playing has to be tighter.
    obimark, MattZilla and stigbeve like this.
  8. jkazam


    May 25, 2007
    My thumb gets caught when moving between strings when using this technique, though perhaps I need to just try harder.
    gidbass likes this.
  9. MikePlaysBass


    Oct 3, 2011
    Floating thumb works the best for fingerstyle, but you really have to learn multiple muting techniques with both hands to still effectively mute while picking, playing octaves, slaps and pops, etc... There isn't just one muting technique that will work for everything, but floating thumb comes the closest. It takes some practice, but if you ever want to try playing a 6 string, then there's nothing new to learn.
    Yeah, fret wraps and foam under the bridge work, too, but only if you want that dead string sound all the time. Fret wraps are excellent for two hand tapping and things like that, but for regular playing it's nice to have the open strings to have some sustain when you want them to.
    Waltsdog likes this.
  10. SLPimp

    SLPimp An Injury to One is an Injury to All Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2020
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Take it off.
    Waltsdog likes this.
  11. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Mine did at first as well but I was able to correct it. Keep at it and you will too.

    Good luck!
    jkazam likes this.
  12. just learn to keep yoru thumb on the B string, and when you want E muted, put thumb against both B and E.

    After a week or two of religious practicing slowly and doing it right, it starts to become easier. After a little longer and you don't really think about it much any more.

    After a few months you'll feel as comfortable as you did on 4.

    Muting only one string is the same as owning a bass with one fewer strings on it.
  13. That's because you're not practicing properly. Do it slowly, correctly, over and over again. It's not always easy learning something new, but it's REALLY hard if you don't practice slowly, and do it correctly over and over. Otherwise you will never get better at it if you try it fast and make mistakes all the time, because you're just reinforcing the mistakes.
  14. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    Rest the thumb of your plucking hand on the B string. Really though, learn the floating thumb technique and you'll have a cleaner sound all the way around. As you can see, on my SR5 I had a custom thumb anchor added but I never use it now because with floating thumb it isn't needed.
  15. Hammerfield


    Aug 1, 2016
    I use B string as thumb rest, I also use E as a thumb rest in a way that the body of the thumb makes contact with the B. Sorry if i cant explain it better, but I saw this in a Scott Devine video in youtube. For me is more comfortable than floating thumb
    BritFunk likes this.
  16. LeFunk Machine

    LeFunk Machine Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2014
    This is your solutions --> Gruv Gear Fretwraps

    Last edited: May 28, 2021
    12BitSlab and eriky4003 like this.
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    I have developed a technique where my picking / plucking hand is back by the bridge a lot, and I do a lot of palm muting.

    Videojunkie likes this.
  18. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Floating thumb isn’t difficult, you just have to focus on keeping your plucking hand in the position and not slip back into your muscle memory
    For me it’s been mental more than physical effort

    sometimes I mute the B with my ring finger and pivot my wrist,but that’s not optimal. Floating thumb is better
    gebass6 likes this.
  19. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Stick a piece of foam under the B string at the nut and the bridge
  20. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    I use this technique where I rest either my thumb from my plucking hand or the other finger(s) from my plucking hand on the strings.

    I picked it up back in the early 00s, when I was playing a 4 string fender and would occasionally play notes on the A, D, and G strings.

    About a decade later I bought a 5 string, and the technique was instantly transferable.

    If you really want an upgrade to fix this issue, upgrade the stuff between the bass and the strap. It makes a bigger difference than you thinl.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 29, 2021

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