I am a beginner, despite having my bass for about 5-6 months now, I only have 2 months cumulative playing time. I have an idea of some of the notes on the bass, and I do know the patterns for the major scale. As of this moment there are a lot of notes that I can figure out when I take my time to look at the bass and base it off the notes I already have down in my head. I would like to get to the point where I can play by ear any song, also to play fast and cleanly. In addition aside from trying to play by ear, and playing fast my biggest problem is finding a way to mute the strings. Just looking for some advice on how to do these things stated above? I should say that I am playing a 5-string bass.