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Jazz bass mutes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 4snaar, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. 4snaar


    Nov 19, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I have installed mutes on my jazz bass. This type of mutes were on the jazz basses of the first years. I use the mutes together with flatwound strings and I am just experimenting now. Does somebody else uses these mutes?

  2. I had a AV 62RI Jazz w/flats and thought about doing this many times but never did. I would just shove some foam under the strings....curious to see (or hear) if this sounds much different.
  3. 4snaar


    Nov 19, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I am using mutes for the first time. I also have a precision and I have installed some foam under the strings. For some music styles it is very nice. But most likely I will play most of the time without the mutes/foam.

    I was curious if somebody else uses the mutes. It is part of the old jazz basses (my jazz is not old), but I think that the mutes have been removed on most of the old basses.
  4. I'm dedicating a bass for flatwounds and a mute. I love the sound and feel for some music and certainly not for everything. I do some gigs that don't specialize so much and I need a more modern sound in a lot of the material.

    I'm still trying to find the perfect mute material. I liked the firm sponge/foam mutes that came on my 65 Jazz bass and my 68 Tele bass; however, they were pressed against the string from the bridge cover. Now you can buy the "vintage" covers without the mute. So many of us kids took them off, Fender gave up on them.

    I like the mute to apply pressure to the string, close to the bridge; and narrow so they do not travel up the string too far. Once I experienced some tuning/intonation issues with using a 2"wide piece of softer sponge. I was removing it for some songs and replacing it for others. Sometimes it was not in exactly the same place; sometimes away from the bridge a little and going toward the pickup.
  5. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    I was under the impression the mutes on the old Fenders were on the underside of the bridge cover; no?

    Anyways... here's my muting system...

  6. They were on all Fenders except the early Jazz Basses which had the individual mute system for about a year and half and then went to the foam under the cover setup.
  7. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
    My '72 Jazz had a strip of foam rubber (looked like weatherstripping) glued to the underside of the bridge cover. I wasn't crazy about the tone, so I removed it. I think it works better on a P-Bass than a Jazz.

    Anyway, it's easy enough to mute with the side I your hand and pluck with your thumb if you're looking for that thunky sound.
  8. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Pretty sure my '67P had foam on the underside of the bridge cover. When I use it, I use pieces of foam similar to the ones in the pic above since I haven't seen the cover in decades.

    Can't see palm muting being very useful, for me at least. YMMV.
  9. 4snaar


    Nov 19, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Hi all,

    I recently have installed the old style mutes (they were only on jazz basses of the first years) on another jazz bass. I use it together with flatwounds. John Paul Jones has played with this type of mutes on his jazz bass for some time. Does anyone else have and play with these mutes?

  10. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Like this? :D


    Well, it's not mine, but I'm thinking of making mutes like that with some parts of my old ruined piano (!) mutes for my bass.
    Not a jazz, but Precision instead.

    Anyway I always love to see Fender Jazz Bass which still using that mutes.
  11. 4snaar


    Nov 19, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Yes, that is a nice example of a jazz with the mutes. A lot of the old jazz basses does not have the mutes anymore.

    OK, succes with making the mutes.
  12. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I use a piece of soft foam rubber about 1/2" wide right at the saddles and just touching the strings (rounds). It's just enough to mute the overtones but not enough to make it truly thuddy so the sustain remains practically intact.

    I go back and forth with mutes on basses and it depends on the strings and flavor I'm looking for at the moment. I don't have any basses where I use one all the time.

    P.S. My 70 Tele came with a piece of hard foam rubber stuck to the bridge cover.
  13. 4snaar


    Nov 19, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Ok. I want to mute my precision using a piece of foam under the strings. But I am still looking for a good piece of foam.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I knew *no one* back then that did not remove it. It was cheap and cheesy. That said, for some tunes/music, a foam mute is a good thing - just not everything.
  15. hm was there a way to dial them back without totally removing them?
    seems massively inconvenient.

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