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Getting a lot of Unwanted String Noise when tapping

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by LiquidMidnight, Jul 9, 2002.


  1. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Hey Mike, I posted this thread in another section but didn't get a reply, I was thinking maybe you could shed some light on the situation. :)

    I've decided it's time that I sit and get my tapping (both one hand and two handed) down to a sastifactory level. Problem is though, my tapping on the G and D strings is making my A string ring out a bit. (when single hand tapping) As you can imagine, it's rather difficult to mute that string in the middle of a phrase. Two handed tap is really a nightmare for strings that still ring out, even after I let off on them. How should I handle this? Should I do something with the setting of my action? Would a higher end bass have the same problem. Should I search e-bay and used music sites for a Kleen Axe? Or is my problem not with the bass, but my techinque. Am I coming down on the fretboard to hard? I'm I leaving off the strings to abruptly with my two handed tap?

    Your help is very much appreciated.
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I have found that to be a similar problem. A high end bass with more output might even cause the problem to be worse. Here are 2 suggestions: 1 practical the other elegant.

    Practical: find a different set of strings that work better. I am now a devotee of the Thomastik line of strings. The Powerbass sound great but were too much output for the chords and tapping. I now use the Jazz Rounds. Lower output, very clean sound.

    Elegant: The Vic Wooten solution. Put a terry cloth hair tie around the nut. Slide it up to mute the open strings during chordal or tapping work, slide it back over the nut when you need open strings.

    Mike
     
  3. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the advice Mike. I use to do something similar to your second bit of advice. I use to use a loose fitting burlap capo. Of course, the only problem is, it's a pain in the butt to take off/put on mid song. There use to be a device out on the market called a Kleen Axe (sp) which almost looked like a striaght razor you shave with. It mounted on your head stock and your just flipped it down when you wanted to mute your strings, and flipped it back up when you were done. Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck's band) use to have them mounted on her guitar's, but she says, unfortunatley, they discontinued them. I found out about them from seeing Beaver Felton use them on his bass.

    One more question is you don't mind Mike. And that's my action. My action has always been satisfactory when it came to standard playing, but it's not low enough for my taste when it comes to tapping. Only problem is though, to lower it to a nice level, it buzzes and frets out in certain spots. My neck seems more straight then a man in a strip club, so what do you think my problem is. Do you think getting my bass professionally setup would get my action to where I want it, or a lighter guage of strings would help?

    Thanks again Mike, your help is very much appreciated.
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Get the bass checked out, you might have some high frets or loose frets. A good grind and polish is probably in order. As you neck expands and contracts with the heat/cold, the wood and the frets move at different rates sometimes loosening the frets. Sometimes the wood of the neck will react other than normal with a truss rod adjustment. My Fodera would get a curl in the upper register. All basses are prone to anomolies over time, mass produced basses more so. The lower you want the action the truer (word ??) your fretboard must be and the more accurate your fret job must also be

    Mike
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    That really helps Mike. That explains to me why higher end basses always seemed to have nicer action and are easier to play than the cheaper models. With that, I don't really think I'm going to get my main axe (An SR305) checked out. Not really worth the fret and truss rod adjustment. It's a good bass, but obviously has it's limitations, I guess that means I've outgrown it somewhat, in the area of where I want to take my playing style to next. My next bass is definatley going to be a Carvin LB70, and I'm thinking of just holding off on my tapping until then. I know that's kind of blaming my tools for my short comings :D ;) but I see no point in practicing advanced techinque on a bass that hinders it.

    Thanks for all the great advice Mike. :)
     
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Hey man - gotta pay the bills.

    You should check out the new MTD Saratoga that's just being released. Very cool instrument. Korean made body and neck - all American parts - hipshot, Bartolini, active bass with 2 "J" PU's. Beautiful maple top. The bass is an amazing playing bass

    Mike