Looking for a new sound - shorter sustain

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by d8g3jdh, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    I'm looking to expand what i can do with my fingers, and i think it would be cool if i could learn about how to play so that while the notes have a strong initial punch, they die out almost instantly, faster than even the worst dead spots. im not sure if im describing this right, but im sort of looking for a sort of playing style similar to Geezer Butler on the intro to Sabbath's "war pigs." im sure his tone and gear had something to do with it, but his notes dont last for very long. My G&L has great sustain, almost too great, and i want to counter this i suppose.

    What im doing now is resting the edge of my hand from the end of my pinky to my wrist on the bridge, so that it is only slightly touching the strings. it gives the desired effect, but it also means that all i can do is play with my thumb and no fingers, which means super slow. id like to know a way of getting this lack of sustain for both using a pick and using fingers relatively quickly. Thanks!
  2. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Stick some foam under the strings, right up against the bridge.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    It's called palm-muting, and with practice, you can get pretty quick at it. Marcus Miller is awesome at this technique.
  4. +1

    The original P-basses were equipped with a mute like this. This will defintely kill some sustain and make your notes more staccato like an upright.
  5. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    that term rings a bell. any links on it? time to search...
  6. Foam and the like does work, but it's not that good, IMHO. It tends to produce odd sounding tones.

    I've tried all sort and threading soft rubber tubing between the strings right at the bridge was the best compromise. It worked but...

  7. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I've used a technique where I take my 3rd finger and lightly anchor it on the string(s) I'm using. Sustain lasts depending on the pressure used and proximity to the bridge.
    Flatwounds may also help.
    Might also try a puffy hair scrunchy up near the nut.
  8. is the bass on the intro to War Pigs that thuddy-sounding?
    I think it's more down to left and right-hand control of the note length.
  9. pj-mike


    Nov 22, 2005
    Bridgewater, MA
    Try placing your finger directly over the fret your playing so that the pad of your finger slightly mutes the string similar to the foam mute at the bridge only about 1/4 to 1/3 as effective. It does put a premium on left hand accuracy
  10. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    A gate or envelope filter/follower of some sort, set to cut the note off?
  11. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
  12. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    uh...im not sure what that thuddy sounding is, but i dont think its just left/right hand control. it really is a quick death of ther notes, UB style, so i think palm muting is the answer.