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Muting technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mikeboth, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Hi All

    My first TB post so go easy on me.;)

    Some background - I'm getting back into bass after a 10 year layoff and have immediatly run into a weakness in my technique I had before. When playing lines across the neck (from E -> A -> D -> G) I often end up with the open strings ringing after I've removed my LH fingers from the frets. I pluck using fingers, am completely self-taught and - yes- intend to have lessons covering my specific problems soon but am interested in ideas on what works for others.

    So my question is - is muting best done by careful removal of LH fingers or with right hand (plucking hand) motion? I have tried the 'floating' plucking hand technique but find the 'thumb anchored to pickup' more reliable and less stressful on my fingers / wrist / arm (important as already have wrist problems from excessive mouse use / guitar / keyboards playing)


  2. boomerang

    boomerang Guest

    Dec 9, 2001
    if im moving up from g-d or so, the left hand will mute those previously played strings.. if im moving down from e-a or so, the right hand mutes em. dont really think about it, just happens. WIth the floating thumb thing.. just float it on there for a second to dampen them. try it out, goodluck.
  3. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Thanks, but it is the 'it just happens' thing that I am missing! I should mention I don't 'follow-through' with my right-hand plucking. Maybe I need to learn to use my RH fourth and fifth fingers to 'drag' behind and mute. I don't think it is practical to un-anchor my right-hand just for muting purposes, especially during fast-ish lines. Hmmm.

  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I find that muting is (or at least, should be) learned as part of playing, meaning that muting is the counterpart of striking the string.

    The function of muting the string, at least in my playing is shared between the left and right hands. I basically mute with one finger while plucking with the other. That applies especially when you're playing downward (from the g to the d string and so on). When ascending, the finger that's holding the note stays in place until the next note is played.

    It really is more of an unconscious thing. Putting it into words doesn't really provide an accurate explanation.

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