foam inspiration

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dustamaphone, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. dustamaphone


    Feb 24, 2002
    USA, MN
    Prompted by a Bass Player article on James Jamerson I stuck a piece of foam under my strings next to the bridge. It absolutley rules for tight syncopated funk! For years I had heard Jamerson used a dampener and now I can see why. I have been so caught up with perpetual sustain that it truly opened my eyes to a sustainless feel ala upright. I had no idea somthing so simple could have such an impact on my playing.
  2. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Another way to get that sound is to use the palm mute technique and pluck with either your thumb or a pick. I'm doing it in my avatar pic
  3. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    I do the same thing with my right palm. It very effective when used sparingly
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Older model basses used to have string dampners built in, like Stingrays?

    ...and I know early P basses had string rests made from something 'not metal' - which i geus affected the tone pretty heavily.

    What about sloppy straight-ahead funk? :D
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've done that foam trick before. Didn't know Jamerson had done it. I wasn't playing funk though, I was going for a Pepper-era-McCartney style damped bass sound.
  6. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    I'm actually jamming tonight and would like to try this. Any ideas for where I can get something to experiment with tonight? What sort of dimensions and where is the best position?
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I just used some of that thick, chunky foam stuff. I don't really know how else to describe it. The stuff you sometimes see used in flight cases for gear would work I imagine. I just got a block of thick enough to be damping the strings when you wedge it under them (i.e. thicker than the distance between the strings and the body of the bass). I just stuck it under the strings right up next to the bridge. It was maybe 1.5" - 2" wide.
  8. I find i can get the same sort of sound by lightly muting the note i am playing with the rest of my left hand fingers. Tho u have to be using your 1st and 2nd fingers to fret the note:D
  9. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    love this technique. I actually use foam from a pickup box and put it under the bridge 'ashtray' on my P-Bass. The pressure from the ahstry keep just the right pressure for great Motown tone. Very plucky and upright.
  10. skaboy


    Oct 16, 2001
    I quite ocassionally play funk and I've never done this before.

    Now how thick does the foam need to be?

    Iam sure it does n't work on all bridges...
    Really I have no idea where you stick the piece of fluf..
  11. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Right under the most tense part of the strings AKA right next to the bridge saddles.