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Muting / string dampening

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Rockin John, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Spent a while on the search function looking for help on the above subject. But I still think I need some wisdom / tuition. I play finger style: no slap, tap, pick, etc, thumb on E unless being played.

    Muting with the flesh of the plucking hand (R/H) does not seem to be an option and I've yet to be able to mute with the L/H fingers individually without making (more) spurious notes. I've no mechanical muting device but I have tried threading a tissue between the strings and that makes a reasonable difference.

    Any more thoughts, please?

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I use two types of right hand muting. Most commonly I leave my thumb pointing downwards and trailing across all the strings below the one I'm playing.

    If I want a rounder, darker sound more like an upright bass with shorter decay; I will place my palm flat across all the strings, very close to the bridge and pluck with my thumb. I use this a lot in Salsa-type pieces, which are usually done with an electric upright (baby bass) but you can get quite an accurate copy of this EUB sound on BG with this technique.

    Left hand muting is more a case of leaving the fingers on strings after before you play them and probably requires more work/practice - probably best left to a teacher to explain and demonstrate. Good for ghost-notes and finger-style funk - muted 16th notes etc.

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