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Do you play over sympathetic resonance?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CaptainTuna, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Play over it when possible

    4 vote(s)
  2. Mute it even when playing other notes

    32 vote(s)
  1. CaptainTuna


    May 13, 2011
    Hi guys, got a question for you (as usual):

    If possible, do you play over Sympathetic resonance coming from unmuted strings, and only mute the ringing strings when not playing anything,


    Do you mute ringing strings even if you're playing something else?


    Not even sure if "to play over" exists in english. What I mean is that when a string is vibrating because of resonance, you just keep on playing as the sound of played notes will cover the resonation (much lower volume than played notes).
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Check out floating thumb technique. I switched to this technique some time back when I first heard my bass line solo'd out on a recording at the studio and heard how sloppy it sounded playing with sympathetic vibrations. It takes a little time to make the switch if you are used to anchoring your thumb as I used to, but well worth it in my opinion.

  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Some guitarists may get away with playing with some sympathetic ringing, but on the bass you have to keep things as quiet as possible or things may get muddy.

    A clean playing technique is essential in the studio, for example.
  4. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    Absolutely mute strings that aren't supposed to be sounding. Not doing so is just sloppy IMO. Extended range basses will make this a necessity.
  5. gavinspoon


    Feb 11, 2008
    Cardiff UK
    It depends.

    I tend to mute automatically when i pick with my fingers, but I can let it through if i want to.

    I tend to let through the resonance more when i play with a pick, but i can mute it if i want to.

    The trick is to be aware of it, and only make it happen when you want it to happen :)

    If it is happening it should be because you're letting it happen as a stylistic choice (which is fine), not because your not in full control of the instrument.
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    No audible resonance from other strings. If its happening, I figure out why and make it go away. Floating thumb is my normal technique but you can use your palm on the right hand, and you can mute strings with your left hand as well.
  7. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    If I can hear sympathetic resonance while I play, then I have failed as a bass guitarist.
  8. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I always mute the strings which aren't being explicitly played.
  9. nolezmaj


    Sep 22, 2011
    Always mute the strings. Noise can be very annoying, especially on a loud gig when using compressor.

    My way is combination of left hand muting (for strings thinner than one that I play) and right hand muting for fatter string - combination of forwarding plucking finger to next string and floating thumb.
  10. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Live, yes. Helps to fill the space, specially if you're playing in a trio.
    In studio, never.
  11. roden


    Aug 30, 2011
    Never plays with Sympathetic Resonance on purpose.
    Mostly mutes the E and A with the thumb the thinner strings tend to either get muted by rest strokes or left hand finger
  12. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I always have every string I'm not playing muted with my left hand
  13. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Mute, mute, mute and... mute! Every bassist should learn how to mute from the very beginning. It makes the difference between noise and sound.
  14. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I can't tell you how I do it, like how I use the dampening pedal on piano (kinda intuitive), but I always try to get rid of sympathetic resonances, except when they might enhance the sound for some reason. I use both hands to get it done, or sometimes just one. Or sometimes my plucking fingers will take care of it by using rest stroke. There are times, though, when it is difficult and I have to devise a way.
  15. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    What? You like filling space with muddy wrong notes?

    ALWAYS stop sympathetic vibration. For me it is a combination of right and left hand technique. I never really had to work on it, it was something that came naturally through lots of practice and general familiarity with the instrument.

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