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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Daniel Panus, May 27, 2021.
Use the B as a thumb rest, works for me.
As soon as one buy's in to this line of thinking the easier it becomes.. ppl act like the bass has that "inverted bango neck' I swear..
Ever See my guy MonoNeon on Youtube, he puts a sock on the headstock! yes a neon yellow ass sock!
check him out, he is ultra funky.. plays bass lefty upside down like a true boss (probably can play better upside down that I can play normal).
my other $0.02
You dont really NEED a mute, and while they are nice they have a tendency to be a replacement for good technique.
Floating thumb is what I recommend trying first. I think that Todd Johnson video has the tips on it. it works on a 4 too. I kind of came apon it by accident, but once I found out what it was called and such I really hunkered down and got it under my hands. time in the shed. Ill also pile on and say you just honestly need the time in the shed. the 5th string is a beast for sure, but it has every usable note just like the other 4 strings.. the extended range further up the neck is the beauty of the 5er to me, not just Eb -down to- open B. as I said in LBS's thread, the G note on the B string 8th fret is bliss, less stretch and more range!
Stay low Amigo
Why not make a one string 1/2” ish cube wedge of semi soft rubber (something like a thick pencil eraser) placed under the string next to the bridge? Cut it to fit snug under the string. It will not move unless you take it out.
Remove the E string. Problem solved!
Never thought of it, as muting unused strings is part of the gig. That said, a piece of foam under the B string seems about the best/cheapest/easiest thing to try
As many have said,the floating thumb.
Might be an expensive option but here i a bass string mute.
You may be able to set it up to operate only on the B-string.
https://bassdirect.co.uk/bass_guitar_specialists/The_BAss_Mute_files/Bassmutes Sandberg pic.jpg
I've been 5s only for about 3 or 4 years (4 string bass build in the works . For weight, during surgery recovery. I'm missing that "B".) This picture illustrates that I had trouble with muting for a while, also (Yes, I know they're not placed right. Straight off hanging stands for the pics .)
I kept focusing on "floating thumb", doing scales and exercises, and now have it in pretty good shape. The wraps are gone! It's doable.
I would just simply remove it ha ha. Just kidding but I think the best way to do it is palm muting
How do you mute the E string when you're playing others? Same idea on the B.
Your question is partially what drove me back to 4's. I hated having that B string there when I might have needed it in one or two songs a night, or not at all. I kept it and stayed in practice with it just in case I needed it, but I never needed it much, maybe once in 7 or 8 years. Fun to play at home, not as fun on gigs for me.
But muting...floating picking hand thumb definitely.
What Dirk said!
When my palm or fingers won't do, I'm a big fan of regular ol' soft, flexible, packing foam (like from a molded insert you'd get with some sort of boxed electronics or other fragile item) placed under the strings in front of the bridge. It can easily be adjusted to increase/reduce the effect... works so incredibly well. See below.
Last time I found foam I really liked, I cut it up into multiple mutes and put one in each of bags and cases. I know some folks like to use pieces of cheap kitchen sponges in the same fashion which I bet also does the trick.
I owned a Nordy Mute for a very short while... ended up selling it as no matter what position I had it in, the notes were too choked off. Their foam is too dense. YMMV, but I'm 100% convinced you don't need a $40 item to mute your strings.
Save your pennies and find free stuff you've already got around the house or office.
Using the floating thumb technique works really well. Basically the thumb follows your fingers across the strings as you pluck the notes. When you are plucking on the E string, your thumb is resting on the B string. When plucking on the A string the edge of your thumb is muting the B and E strings. As you are plucking on the D string, more of the edge of your thumb is muting the B, E, and A strings. And finally when you are plucking on the G string, almost the entire edge of your thumb from top to second knuckle is muting the B E A and D strings. Your thumb just follows along a string behind where you are plucking and mutes all of the lower strings that you are not playing.
An easy way to do that without thinking about it is to raise and lower your elbow as you change the target string your plucking. That way you can always keep your thumb in the same spot and just move your hand up and down by raising or lowering your elbow. With your thumb following along at the same space from your plucking fingers, it naturally mutes those lower (pitch wise) strings as you move down to the higher pitch strings.
If you want to go the gadget route, there is the BassMute which will let you mute nothing, the B string or all strings. The BassMute - An innovative muting device for the Bass Player
Floating thumb for sure. It gets easier with time and practice and after a while you don't think about it anymore, just becomes how you play. Not sure where your bass sits but you might need to adjust it so that your picking hand is more flat and parallel with the strings. You don't want your wrist cocked out at a right angle really ever, playing should be easy and relaxed and that will eventually cause wrist and finger issues.
As for the "devices", I've never had good success. I've tried and always went back to find a better technique solution and learned more and improved my playing. Ultimately you find out what feels right and works for you.
If your muting technique was right you wouldn't have the problem. Work on improving muting not trying to get around it.
You can mute the B string by putting your thumb on it, by putting your thumb on the E string and touching the B staring at the same time. Be more accurate and only hit the strings you want for the note you are playing. Your left hand can play an important part in muting. A couple of lessons with a good player will show you all the ways you need to resolve this problem.
+1 for all the advice to put the 4 string bass away until you adapt completely and comfortably to the 5 string.
+1 for the comments that a 5 is not a 4 with an extra string. If that's the way you are looking at it, then you are not doing it right.
+1 for the comments that a 5 string bass is not just a few extra low notes. It is much more than that.
+1 Floating thumb can work, but how many top players do you see using that? Not many, so standard muting (which is what you're probably using on your 4 string) works equally well if you adapt it correctly. Muting is a technique that anyone can get right if they think logically and put in the hours.
If you use floating thumb properly you don’t need a fretwrap!
I'm not pro, but played for fun off/on for 45 years. In the past, playing flats with a pick, I'd just palm mute. No issues.
Getting more into fingers now, and slap, I too am struggling.
For me though, the countless YouTube videos on muting seem to be doing the trick. Still working on it, but after a week, already getting the hang of it.
Fret-wraps seem suitable more for tap, and to me personally, otherwise promote bad technique.
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