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Muting in fingerstyle funk?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JayfromDeeKay, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. JayfromDeeKay


    Jun 23, 2009
    I really like the sound of the bassist from Tower of Power. But I just can't seem to get the sound right. It almost sounds to me as though he's muting the strings while he's plucking them; the notes sound really staccato and funky at times.

    Does anyone know how he accomplishes this? Is it left- or righthand muting?

    Maybe it's also because he's using a P-bass and I'm playing a J-bass.
  2. ThaSweet


    Feb 7, 2011
    There's a series of video's on youtube explaining his fingerfunk style. He uses exclusive left hand muting.

    Video 1 of a series of 7 video's.

    Have fun watching.
  3. JayfromDeeKay


    Jun 23, 2009
    Thanks a lot for that link! Great!
  4. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    his technique is highly original and kinda unorthodox ...you have to decide if it's for you or not .....he plays most of his notes with his 1st finger while his 2nd finger gently lays ahead of the 1st providing a psuedo palm muted effect .....
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Fretting hand muting is largely overlooked or unknown for most bassists IME. You can get some very cool things happening by incorporating that into your toolkit.
  6. squeally dan

    squeally dan

    Mar 30, 2008
    How do you guys get that deadened note sound without using his method?
  7. You can palm mute or use rest strokes. If you look at Gary Willis' right hand technique, that is how he mutes.
  8. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    That's so cool. Why bother totally restricting my plucking hand and swapping positions to palm mute when all I have to do is lay one finger to the right of it?
  9. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca

    You can execute more complex lines when you mute with your plucking hand and it's a different tone too. Both have their uses.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    They're all options and have their place.

    For fretting hand, I even do what I call "semi-mute". Using my fretting finger I adjust pressure to get anywhere from a full note to a deadened one at pitch to a ghost note to none at all. Very handy.