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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wolffire99, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. wolffire99


    Feb 19, 2013
    St. Louis
    I've read several threads with people talking about putting foam under the strings at the bridge to give an upright bass effect. I was hoping someone could elaborate on what type, size, and shape of foam works best. A picture would be awesome too.
  2. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    I suggest you just grab a clean sponge from your kitchen and/or bathroom and try it. Almost anything works. I use a piece of rubber-ish kins of stuff that used to be attached to the underside of an old fender jaguar pickup. I've also used some foam stuff from the protective packaging that came with a microphone I bought.

    ...And Google is your friend. Type in "bass string mute foam" or something like that, click images and you'll turn up hundreds of ideas, methods, materials and the like.
  3. FunkyMcNasty

    FunkyMcNasty Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    I went to a hobby store and got a square of foam for like $4. It is something like 12x12 and about one inch thick. Its simple white foam. I use it on my pbass for more of a thump/overtone-less sound. I would not call it an upright tone, but more of a thump. The stuff that I got is not firm enough that the strings don't have ANY sustain, but each note's life span is definitely shorter. I'd suggest going to a store and seeing what you can find. I have seen people use actual sponge like heavy funk said. The good thing is its all cheap; go grab some and give it a shot.
  4. FunkyMcNasty

    FunkyMcNasty Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ok so I just grabbed a pic of it and it's 1"x 14" x 14" and $3. It works for me. If I would want it to be firmer I could just cut a longer width and turn it on its side to apply more pressure on the strings.
  5. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    It wont give you an upright sound. But with flats, it will give you an old school, Jamerson-esque Motown sound.
  6. FunkyMcNasty

    FunkyMcNasty Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Yep, what he said.
  7. Techelf


    Apr 1, 2013
    I have been looking into this as well. I just got some DAddario ETB92 Nylon Tapewound Medium Gauge strings and love the sound. The black strings also look really cool.
  8. I use two pieces of weather stripping stuck back to back, works well. If you use a bridge cover, you can instead stick a piece on the underside of the cover.
  9. I use a rectangle of foam like that shown above. Mines black though. Works to a degree.
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Check out the link for some ideas and options, the use is about dampening not trying to make an up-right sound, up right sound is technique involved as much as any sound, you can have a bad up-right sound from bad technique.


    Here is a few ideas about utilizing an up-right feel, rather than an up-right sound.

  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
  12. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I just use a piece of foam from a foam paintbrush. It works pretty good. Although it mutes the G string more than I like.
  13. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    What was the company that made those bass mutes that you installed and could switch on and off with a flick, à la hipshot-style?
  14. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Cool footage of Ric with half a sofa under his...LOL and that is the point really, anything that works for you will do, even a rolled bandana gives a great sound, as doe s polystyrene.....but the Barker link is cool.....the idea that anyone needs to "Buy one" I think is a fantastic piece of marketing......
    I have these specialist nail clippers that will help keep nails short and improve tone and playability.....I am selling them £40.00 a pair, not including VAT, not including P&P. not including common sense, terms and condition apply see small print.
    blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah idiot, blah
    blah blah
    sucker blah blah blah he he
    ha ha ho ho,drone rant drone
    rant blah blah blah nonsense
    thanks for the cash see ya.

  15. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I'm sure the guy makes quality stuff, but it's hard to see where the other suggestions would be inferior to this option...especially at a price point of $20.

    Shoot, I cut off some rubber foam from a pair of cheap sandals I had and stuck that under my bridge cover....works AMAZING, believe it or not. Experiment with cheaper stuff first, OP.
  16. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    I made a mute with stuff laying around the house. It works great and is 'custom fit' to my instrument.

    I use the foam with a pick to get the James Jamerson thing happening.
  17. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you have access to a self inflating padded envelope, the foam inside is the perfect thickness and firmness. I cut a strip with a taper to it so it's maybe 3/4 inch wide under the E string, and maybe 3/8 inch under the G.

    I find it to be most useful when playing with acoustic guitars.
  18. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I used a piece of gray foam from a computer hard drive box...I cut it about 1 inch wide and approx 4 inches long, about 3/4" thick.
  19. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I like to use duct tape and just wrap it completely around the body of the bass. Really mutes it good. All you can hear is the thump, and the ever so slight buzz of duct tape.

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