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Muting A string when playing on G?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by coffee-sipper, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. pinky?

    4 vote(s)
  2. ring?

    4 vote(s)
  3. thumb?

    27 vote(s)
  4. nothing?

    11 vote(s)
  1. coffee-sipper


    Jul 10, 2003
    Raleigh NC
    I have been going back and fourth for the past month. Initially I muted the A string with my pinky. Now I have been experimenting with using my thumb. I still am not sure which I like using and want to stick to one or the other what does everyone else do for muting the A string when playing on the G?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I usually dont mute the A when playing the G. I probably should though because on a few RUsh sounds it tends to resonate longer than i want it to. I usualyl just tap it with my ring finger once so it shuts up tho.
  3. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    hmm if i can ill mute with my left hand if not nothing
  4. I use my ring finger and the pinky on the E. I never was really concious about doing it that way, my fingers just gravitated there. I like to anchor my thumb on the fingerboard or pickups (so as to get more power if need be) so the ring on A and pinky on E just happened and it's worked well and hasn't gotten in the way.
  5. kimstevens


    Nov 12, 2002
    I play a 6 string, and my thumb mutes the B and E, ring finger mutes the A, and pinky mutes the D. The way I'm practicing scales now is with the muting finger making contact with the ringing string at the point when the plucking finger (index or middle) moves to the next higher string (in an ascending scale).
  6. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS
    Three words: Floating Thumb Technique.
  7. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I use my thumb as a muting "bar" across all strings, and my pinky and ring finger assist as well.
  8. Bruiser


    Jan 12, 2004
    I was a dedicated ring-finger guy until a few months ago, when I decided that wasn't working as well as it should. Now I use the Floating Thumb Technique. It takes a little getting used to, but it has improved my overall sound a lot.

  9. Yes! The floating or barred thumb technique is so flexible. I always felt like I was trying to play my 6 stringer like a drum kit. Each appendage doing something different at a different/same time while I tried to mute with my left hand, right palm, reach across all the strings with my picking hand thumb anchored on a pick up (use the B or E string instead!), etc.

    The floating thumb make muting so easy that you don't even have to think about it after a short time. I'd give mysef a month of constant practice/playing to get it feeling natural.

    I first learned of this technique from an Adam Nitti column in Bass Player mag. Check thier online archives maybe...

    Bassically (yeah I know...), simply have your picking hand's thumb follow one string behind whatever string you're currently picking. Your anchored thumb on the low B mutes that string.

    Left handed muting is much easier on a 4 string than a six or seven.

    If you have an opportunity to see Herbie Hancock's Future 2 Future Live Concert DVD
    with Matt Garrison's amazing bass solo, you'll see floating/barred thumb technique in action.
  10. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    My thumb floats.

    :D :bassist:
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    My right hand technique is a little odd, and certainly not the best way to do it. When I play on the G string, my ring mutes the D, my pinky the A, and my thumb the E. For about three months, I practiced 3 finger technique w/ floating thumb so this really doesn't hinder crossing over into whatever string is directly below. When I'm playing a few notes on the D, my ring moves to A, pinky to E, and thumb to p-pickup. When I play on the A, ring goes to E, pinky floats, thumb on pickup. Note that I rarely shift my wrist to do these mutes, as I usually just stay in the "D" position as a standard even if I go up or down. It's only in songs that ride certain strings (the intro to Californiacation, Southbound Pachyderm, intro to Sweet Child O' Mine, etc.) that I shift to other positions.

    Oy, reading it, it sounds like such poor, poor technique.:spit:
  12. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Doesn't really sound like bad technique to me.
  13. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I don't mute the A string when playing the G string.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Whenever questions come up like this I actually have to pick a bass up and play, it's not something I consciously think about anymore.

    I mute the A by either anchoring the tip of my thumb on it or anchoring the tip on the D string and resting the side of my thumb on the A.

    Then there's the palm mute, the wrist mute, LH muting, etc.
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    They alllllllllllll float down here...
  16. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Anyone here have a link that explains that floating thumb technique a bit more thurrely(sp?)..Sounds like a good think to know.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Instead of anchoring your thumb at the same spot all the time you instead anchor it nearer the string being plucked. You can still anchor on a pickup if you wish but when moving up to higher strings you might move it to one of your strings to anchor it. This also allows you to have more muting capabilities.
  18. This is what I do to, although I never knew it had a name. I remember I used to just always anchor my thumb on one of the pickups. Back then, I don't know how I muted the A string. To tell you the truth, I never really had to think about muting strings.
  19. seems that most of u guys uses the thumb, do you mute both the E and A strings with the thumb when playing the G string? I found it a bit awkward to mute 2 strings at once with the thumb.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    "I mute the A by either anchoring the tip of my thumb on it or anchoring the tip on the D string and resting the side of my thumb on the A".

    This will also work on the E and A strings... put the tip of your thumb against the A while letting the side of your thumb rest on the E. It just takes practice.

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