muting the strings

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Usul, Sep 17, 2000.

  1. Just would like to know what the "right" way to mute the strings is when one is playing differant stings open.You keep them from ringing over your next note(s).

    Should I be using my left or right hand? So far I have been using my left hand.It is ok,but only because the song I am playing is at a slow tempo(Wild Thing).No way in heck I could mute fast enough with a quicker song.....any suggestions?Should I be using my plucking hand?

    Papa Usul
  2. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Well, I play 5 string, so open string ring is a problem for me. The way I do it is to mute the strings lower than the one I'm playing with my plucking hand, and I mute the strings higher than the one I am currently playing with the fingers on my fretting hand by placing them against the strings lightly.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Yeah, what Chris said! :D I talked in a bit more detail on the right hand portion of my muting technique in the thread on right thumb placement...check it out.
  4. Muting also depends on the song your playing(if it's a cover tune).If certain notes are ringing out of place,ask yourself if you're learning the song at a fast speed.Slow down and play the line note by note keeping in mind the distinction and clarity of the individual notes.Sometimes you may have to use both fingers and palms of both hands to mute..A perfect example,Chili Peppers intro to "Nobody Weird Like Me".
    I hope this helps and makes sense.
  5. To Chris A: The technique you mentioned works great.(Even though I'm too chicken to play anything more then the traditional 4 banger.)
  6. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000
    I do "float" my thumb, and I'm pretty fast at it with even tone. The problem came when I moved to a 5 string. When I play on the D or G, the B sits undamped (my thumb is now on either the A damping E or sometimes D damping A). My occasional forays with my thumb on D didn't cause too much problem with a 4-string, as I'm usually not down there that much. But with 5-string, I get a fair amount of B-ring. I've tried different hand positions where I can damp the B in all positions, but they don't work for me. At this point I'mready to go back to 4 and call it good.

    Any thoughts?
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I use a slightly different technique for muting which might help the last poster. I "float" my thumb and usually leave it pointing down and at right-angles to the strings. Most of the time, I leave it resting on the lower strings B,E and A possibly, so that it is muting them. I found it a problem, when I first started playing 5/6strings and this seems to help a lot. So when I'm playing with my first 2 fingers, say on the higher strings, my thumb is muting the B,E and A strings. This also seems to be a natural position, to then move to palm muting if necessary and most of the time, part of my palm is helping the thumb to mute the B string.
  8. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000 thumb ends up being at about a 30-40 degree angle (relative to the body). Thus when I move my thumb down to rest on the A string, I'm damping the E, but to also rest on the B, I have to cock my hand quite a bit (down to ~0 degrees relative to the body). I can do it, but now my plucking fingers feel weird, and I lose maneuverability.

    Perhaps Rube Goldberg can help...I believe gears and wires are required...
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it just requires a bit of practice and you can use the edge of your thumb to do a lot of the muting. You just need to stick with it for a while - it's definitely worth it.