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MUTING: I need a hand here (literally, a 3rd hand...) See TAB

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JacoNOT, Aug 11, 2012.


  1. JacoNOT

    JacoNOT

    Mar 7, 2012
    Consider this simple tab passage for 5-string bass:

    G ----------------------------------

    D ------------------- 0 -------------

    A ----------- 3 --------------------

    E ---- 5 ------------------- 3 ------

    B ----------------------------------


    How do I stop the third note, the open D (in red), from ringing on? I'm learning to use some variant of the floating thumb technique where the side of my right thumb damps the strings that are two strings below (physically above) the string being played. That technique mutes the lower-pitched strings pretty well, but muting an open upper string (a string near the bottom physically, like the D string) when skipping to a lower string (the G played on the E string) is a frustrating mystery to me so far.

    BTW, I hope someone SHOT the guy who decided the meaning of "low" and "high" strings
    with regard to guitar and bass instruction. Nothing but CONFUSION! :mad:
     
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Play the open D on the 5th fret of A, problem solved.
     
  3. Use your little finger, if it fits the technique.
    The first option seems the best.
     
  4. That or you could have your fretting hand rest across the strings
     
  5. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    Well depending on what you want.... two ideias come to mind...

    I most certainly would mute the string with the lower inside part of the finger playing the C (3rd fret - A string)

    Another way you can do that is to play the D you want to mute in the A string (5th fret) that will stop it from playing on when you move to the G note...

    but then again is all about on what you're confortable... muting its easier for me with the left hand on pourpose so i can have the right hand as free as possible.. and it even helps when I'm playing an attacky trebly line with a pick

    hope i helped
    ;)
     
  6. was3funk

    was3funk

    Jul 3, 2006
    Colorado
    When your fretting hand plays the G on the E string almost simultaneously a mute can occur with the fretting hand.
     
  7. CalboDaGo

    CalboDaGo Banned

    May 16, 2011
    Milwaukee,WI
    or let the note ring. muting is for people who have something to hide
     
  8. JacoNOT

    JacoNOT

    Mar 7, 2012
    Actually not. I work a lot of open strings into the stuff I'm composing, so I need to know how to mute the higher strings (the physically lower strings like D and G).
     
  9. JacoNOT

    JacoNOT

    Mar 7, 2012
    So you guys suggest the following for muting that open D string (I don't want to play it on A string fret 5):

    Let some part of some left-hand finger touch that D string just prior to plucking the 4th note on the E string.
    That's how I read your comments.

    Is there a RIGHT-HAND technique for muting that 3rd note played on the open D string?

    Is there a way of using ring finger or pinky to mute it? At this stage of my learning curve, I can't imagine being to do that and also play the notes, and also mute the upper (lower pitched strings) via floating thumb... But if there really IS a right-hand technique, somebody please tell me and I'll have a go. Thanks.
     
  10. I suppose you could bring down the next finger (after hitting the D) so it simply lands on the string at the same time you hit the next note
     
  11. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    there is probably a right hand tecnique... check out some wooten videos and tutorials in youtube.... if you use the right hand to mute it later on you are going to have speed issues because it is a bad habbit... at least for me...

    Like I told you... try to mute it with the bottom of the finger that is going to play the G in the E string... that might work for you...

    if not you can always take apart your play. By this i mean, play it very very very very very slow looking at your right hand nad figuring out the best way to mute it...

    I'm guessing this is one of those learning bumps... but keep practicing and figuring it out.. eventually it will come as your second nature and you'll do it no matter what you play

    my $0.02

    cheers
     
  12. Hi JacoNot, I'm not sure how you are playing this but for me I would have played pinky E5, middle finger A3, D0, middle finger E3 while baring index finger over the G D and A strings lightly to mute. Not a fan of floating thumb even though I float between B and E strings as an anchor, I do use third finger right hand to mute D and A string quite a lot.
     
  13. I play this with my index finger muting the A, D & G strings when playing the A on the E string with ring.
    Use the index finger to play the C on the A string, while muting the G string with pinkie and the E string with ring.
    After playing the open D string, mute the A, D & G strings as you reach up to play the G on the E string.

    I always have all of my fingers lightly touching as many strings as possible so I don't have to think about muting.

    Like Kryphen said, you don't want to start slowing down the right hand with unnecessary muting that the left can more efficiently do.
     
  14. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Dec 25, 2011
    Canada
    By fretting the G at the end, your fretting should mute the open D.

    If I play your little 4 notes riff. pinky on the A, index on the C, open D and then index again for fretting G, by doing that, the index also mute the open D.
     
  15. JacoNOT

    JacoNOT

    Mar 7, 2012
    Kyrphen, post #5
    I most certainly would mute the string with the lower inside part of the finger playing the C (3rd fret - A string)

    was3funk, post #6
    When your fretting hand plays the G on the E string almost simultaneously a mute can occur with the fretting hand.

    Clef de fa, post #14
    If I play your little 4 notes riff. pinky on the A, index on the C, open D and then index again for fretting G, by doing that, the index also mute the open D.

    You guys are all on the same track, and the method you suggest DOES work for me, or I should say it WILL, once I get used to doing it. Thanks, fellas.


    Journey55, post #10
    I suppose you could bring down the next finger (after hitting the D) so it simply lands on the string at the same time you hit the next note

    I find that I CAN touch that open D string with my right-hand ring finger, if I really, really slow down and THINK about doing it. I'll be working more on this, along with the simpler/easier left-hand approach suggested above.


    Kryphen, post #11
    ...there is probably a right hand technique... check out some wooten [YouTube] videos.... if you use the right hand to mute it later on you are going to have speed issues because it is a bad habit... at least for me... Like I told you... try to mute it with the bottom of the finger that is going to play the G in the E string...

    if not you can always take apart your play - play it very very very very very slow looking at your right hand nad figuring out the best way to mute it...

    I'm guessing this is one of those learning bumps... but keep practicing and figuring it out.. eventually it will come as your second nature and you'll do it no matter what you play

    A big help. Thanks for the encouragement and additional comments. I've been experimenting and I agree that it SEEMS like right-hand muting will slow me down, but then it might just LOOK that way now because 'I gots no chops yet'. :D I'll try sloooooowwwwing down every trouble spot, to really study what my options are, as you suggest. I notice that a lot of things are already becoming second nature / automatic in my playing. Good things, so I'll keep practicing, and trusting that it'll all feel 'natural' before too long. Thanks.


    carldogs, post #12
    I would have played pinky E5, middle finger A3, D0, middle finger E3 while baring index finger over the G D and A strings lightly to mute. Not a fan of floating thumb even though I float between B and E strings as an anchor, I do use third finger right hand to mute D and A string quite a lot.

    I have pretty good sized hands, but can't reliably make the stretch you describe. I have to play 3rd fret with INDEX finger and 5th fret with PINKY finger, but I'm finding that letting the index finger fall across that open D string WILL mute it (once I get used to doing it).

    I've played finger-style guitar forever, and have worked hard on proper left-hand technique - tips of fingers only, unless barring, to keep all six strings ringing. So this is a real departure for me.

    I agree that Floating Thumb feels odd, providing no base of support for the plucking fingers - but I'm worried about developing carpal tunnel syndrome from the crooked wrist used in the typical anchored style (already feeling some painful twinges). So far, the floating technique seems to keep my wrist more straight...


    tribal, post #13
    I play this with my index finger muting the A, D & G strings when playing the A on the E string with ring.
    Use the index finger to play the C on the A string, while muting the G string with pinkie and the E string with ring.
    After playing the open D string, mute the A, D & G strings as you reach up to play the G on the E string.

    I always have all of my fingers lightly touching as many strings as possible so I don't have to think about muting.

    Like Kryphen said, you don't want to start slowing down the right hand with unnecessary muting that the left can more efficiently do.

    Three helpful points. Point one is right in line with the first three comments, but puts more emphasis on a full barre (I need to focus more on that). Point two is another technique that's COMPLETELY foreign to my guitar work. Thanks, I WILL think more about keeping fingers IN contact with strings instead of vice versa. Point three is a welcome clarification regarding preference for LEFT-hand muting whenever possible. I'm glad to know that. Thanks.
     
  16. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I'm with all the folks encouraging a fretting-hand approach to the problem you raise. Lots of ways to do it, pick the one that feels most natural to you.

    I've pretty much adopted floating thumb. I'm left handed and had been looking for a good approach to mute on the right side, where' I'm kind of ham-handed, and I now mostly play 5-string, which makes muting that much more of an issue. I think floating thumb pulls you toward a more refined technique where you play more softly and push the amp up a bit to do more of the work. I rarely rock out, so probably not a big issue for me, and the ergonomic advantages of a straight wrist make a lot of sense to me. If your sound goals require you to hit the strings really hard on the right hand, it may not work...but the more I get into this bass thing, the more I feel the need to develop a wider range of right-hand attack options, and floating thumb seems like a good platform for that work.

    The struggle continues...
     
  17. JacoNOT

    JacoNOT

    Mar 7, 2012
    Amen, brother on all counts, especially your last comment...:D:bawl::D
     
  18. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    NO problem dude :)
     
  19. You're most welcome JacoNOT... it's why I'm here too :D
     

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