Muting with cotton balls

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    I thought about how the older fender basses had the mutes, so I grabbed some cotton balls and put them under the first four strings of my Conklin DB7, since they seem to ring the most, and it works pretty good, of course there is the trade off of not get the full sustain, but I figure until my muting techiques get better with a seven string, I would give it a try, I had to try diff size balls until I got the size that gave me the sound I like, I found putting full cotton balls under the strings mutes the sound to a thump, which is kool, if you like that sort of thing, oh well :meh:
  2. I think the traditional way is to use a piece of foam. It might hold up longer than cotton balls.
  3. i think what Bob Babbitt uses is a spounge, i've tried ot on my p-bass to get that motown sound, and it works. the only thing is i i had to get rid of some of the spunge to get the right sound.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I have used thin foam rubber I found as packing in a carton. I folded it over double as the single width did little to act as a mute. What I liked about the foam is that it was so easy to remove when I didn't want to have a muted sound.

    The idea of the cotton balls is intriguing. I am quite curious as to how the muting effect would be different or similar to the foam rubber. I also wonder if the cotton balls hold up as well over time. My little rectangle of doubled over foam rubber has lasted several years.
  5. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH

    Where, on the bass, are you placing the muting material?

    I'm eager to try it as my Cirrus has a lot of sustain (which I usually like, but doesn't provide that short, punchy P sound).

  6. I place it right at the end of the stings, snug up against the bridge and i get a nice sound from my P-bass. I noticed in Standing in The Shadows...Babbitt places it almost right next to the bridge pick-up, i guess its all personal choice.
  7. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    If you can find gray packing foam, it is great for muting. It is firmer than foam rubber and can be cut to size to place up against the bridge, just barely touching the strings. Can be easily removed as well.

    I know someone who does mail order, and he had a bunch of this stuff hanging around. Worth a try.
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