Dead notes with left hand

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by anglophilia, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. anglophilia


    Jan 21, 2006
    I've been progressing through a slap bass book that explained how dead or choked notes could be played with either hand but didn't go into any detail. For awhile I have just been slapping the string while muting it with my left hand, but for some of the stuff I'm getting into this method isn't fast enogh. How do you create the sound of a choked note with just the left hand? I've been improving the speed and volume of my cross string hammer-on's, but I can't figure out how to get a loud 'dead' note without using my right hand. Any suggestions?
  2. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    The way I do this is to slap the fingerboard with the fingers of my left hand. I think of it as a hammer-on dead note hitting all the strings without fretting a note.

    For this technique I often have the first finger of my left hand down already (it acts as a mute) and slap or hammer on with the remaining fingers of my left hand. All of the fingers are basically flat across the strings, not using the finger tips.

    If you practice alternating between hitting an open E string (for instance) and hammering on a dead note with your left hand, you can think of it like an open and closed Hi Hat.

    I hope this helps!