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Muting really necessary when playing metal riff?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ToshitomoriOh, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. ToshitomoriOh


    Jul 28, 2012
    I wonder how many of you are able to mute unwanted strings when playing a fast metal riff (at probably 180bpm ish).

    For example, there's a bass solo part in Metallica's holier than thou, and I believe it starts with an open E and then an open A. So...ideally, the other three strings should be muted somehow when playing either the open E or the open A.

    In fact, I tend to let the middle finger of my fretting hand mute the undesired strings (although the E string is naturally muted with my plucking finger playing the open A). And, I just find it hard to keep the rhythm, and have noticed that the middle finger used for muting may make noise at times....noise that would not occur if not trying to mute the unwanted strings at all in the first place.

    My question is, is muting really necessary when playing a fast phrase like that? Or I just don't need to pay too much attention on those unwanted strings UNLESS they're vibrating noticeably?
  2. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    The obvious answer is : Yes
  3. ELITE55


    Oct 22, 2011
    What kind of noise does your finger make when muting the strings? If you just practice laying your hands on the unplayed strings at a slower tempo then it will eventually become natural. I feel as though learning how to mute is one of the most important techniques to learn because the more advanced you get the more control you will need to have on the other unplayed strings. Having other strings vibrate can really make it a unpleasant listening experience. You should also practice muting the E and A if you are playing the D and G. I use my plucking hand for that
  4. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
  5. Liv3rman


    Dec 28, 2012
    No. They won't ring loud enough to affect your sound when hammering away on E and A. Just make sure you mute whichever string out of E and A you aren't playing. I play that riff without muting D and G with no problems.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Yes, yes it is.

    I had to steal this technique from somebody I just don't know who, but I splay out my pinky on my plucking hand so it rests near the bridge. This makes a perfect mute without muting too much, maybe it works for you.
  7. AaronMB


    Aug 17, 2012
    Central Oregon
    If you're hearing this in a band mix, yes.

    Those little nuances sure stand out while in the bedroom.
  8. ToshitomoriOh


    Jul 28, 2012
    Thanks to you all. Practice makes perfect.