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Forearm muting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jeff Bonny, Apr 4, 2001.

  1. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Lying on the couch last night with a bass being a slob watching a movie. Reclined as I was with the bass pushed up against the cushions I accidentally discovered it's possible to get a useful muted sound with yer forearm when playing with a pick. Been exploring it more today and am surprised I hadn't stumbled across or even heard of anyone else doing this before now. Anyone else ever use this technique?
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Been doing it for years but not with a pick. Works well with fingerstyle but my favorite is slapping with it to achieve dead notes, chokes (sharp attack, lower output) and an overall tight sound.

    It's fun to work forearm and palm muting in with playing unmuted...lots of sonic possibilities. I also use palm mute with fingerstyle quite often, especially using a single finger. Kind of a take off on Jamerson's "hook" with dynamic control of the muting. The single finger forces me into working my timing differently.

    Have fun.
  3. I mute with my wrist often (not sure if that qualifies as forearm). It's a nasty habit I developed on my classical guitar, trying to get a staccato sound similar to that of Al DiMeola.
  4. Forearm muting?
    The most I've ever done is palm muting with a pick. Hmmm....that could be interesting...I think I'll give it a try... :D
  5. muting period is so freakin' hard!! i guess since i just started learning the bass though... i can't really say it's hard... or difficult... but gosh darn it! it's frustrating when trying to learn a song! so i just leave the freakin' muting out for now... i know i know...

    practice makes perfect... perfect my butt! i hardly get enough time to practice practice practice. even though i know that's what *i* NEED to do. but it's so difficult. my roommate is always trying to watch tv--and i prefer amp over headphones--or there's always someone in the room, and they figure that since i took out my bass, i want to give them a freakin' concert or something. goodness... no time alone for me and my bass... how on earth are we going to carry on with our love affair???

    either way, if anyone has any pointers with muting, i'll take them graciously. i think it's difficult not having someone to teach me the stuff (just me, the book, the cd, and chugalug... oh... and the bed-joke) but seriously... i learn from watching, from copying, and then hiding in a corner and perfecting, but it's difficult with no one to show me the basics ><sigh><

    i know i know, i'm rambling...


    only about 90% of the people who know me claim i'm crazy... the other 10% are crazy themselves... so i appear normal to them...
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I had all kinds of trouble learning to mute untill I quit anchoring my thumb on the pup. The thumb that I was anchoring is the finger I use to mute the E and A string. Not to mention the freedom that a floating thumb gives in picking closer or further from the bridge.

    If I start thinking about muting it becomes harder. If I just let it happen, it does.

  7. When I play on the lower strings ([ B ], E, A) I usually let the base of my fretting fingers mute the higher strings, and when I play the higher strings, my right hand thumb mutes the lower ones.
    Ummm...is that descriptive enough? Or would I have to post pictures, too? :D:p
  8. yup, your technique is worth my trying, sheep man... and i guess if i don't think about it... it won't happen! i've got to practice it and then let it come to me naturally. well, thanks everyone for your comments!

  9. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Cool "accident" j/b - Azola dude ;) .

    I stumbled onto a nifty muting technique for tappin' when
    I was changin' the pup in my cheapie Yammer. I got the
    Split-P all wired-up, slapped on a set of T/I flats, and was
    tweakin' the action (how low can ya' go? :p ). I've been a
    tapper-wannabe since the video for DLR's "Addicted to That
    Rush". Anyhoo, I was playin' notes on the G (checkin' for
    buzz) and then did a slide all the way up. I had my thumb
    anchored on the E side at the end of the neck. Started
    tappin' a few notes up around the 12th fret, G. THEN, I
    brought the right side of my palm down on the tapped G
    string, kept it there, and continued tappin'...Dang! :eek:
    This sounds a lot like the beginning of (Primus') "Welcome
    To This World". The trick is to keep your pickin / tappin
    wrist stiff. All movement takes place at the knuckle of your
    thumb/anchor. Kinda' like it's doin' push-ups or somethin'.

    Huh. Hope this makes sense come mornin'.

    mmmmm......Pork Soda.
  10. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    Speaking of Primus, an example of Forearm muting, My name is Mud. When Les is singing, he just plays the main riff but mutes it with his forearm. It's tricky, I can't get comforable and do it and get a decent sound out of it.

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