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Muting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sweetnighter, Mar 6, 2005.


  1. Sweetnighter

    Sweetnighter

    Sep 4, 2004
    Hello everybody! I made this account a couple months back, but never posted more than once or twice. I'm 17, and I've been playing my Aria SB-40 Fretless bass for a little under a year.

    So here's my question. I'm trying to learn the instrumental part to "Freewill" by Rush, for those of you who are familiar with it. I've come to realize that that the one problem that has really held me back, muting, is now something I can't avoid. The instrumental section starts out with a lot of open string hits, so I have to do a lot of muting. Any advice? In the past I've sort of flapped my left hand over the string or strings to mute the sound, but Freewill moves too fast for me to do that, and I don't really think that's how I'm supposed to do it anyway.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Hmm, i'm not totally sure what you're asking, but i'll try.

    If you play with your fingers, just lay your left hand over the strings and just play a string (no pitch will be made.) Same thing with a pick. In order to get it, you'll just have to get in your groove. I'm trying to figure out this tiny little 1 bar fill Les does in "Kalamazoo" and it's all dead notes. It's a bitch! You just have to keep practicing it OVER AND OVER. :)
     
  3. Sweetnighter

    Sweetnighter

    Sep 4, 2004
    Alright, so say I play an open A and then want to move down and play an F on the 1st fret of the E string. I would fret the note with my index finder and mute the A string with... just any other finger? And won't you get audible overtones in some places if you do that?
     
  4. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Yeah, just throw your hand down (or just your ring finger.) I would say don't mute over the 5th, 7th, 9th, or 12th fret. Those are frets with very noticible harmonics.
     
  5. There are two things I use normally in my technique which may help you:

    1) I always try to mute any string below (read - higher in pitch) the one that I am playing with my left hand.

    2) I anchor my right thumb on the string above (read - lower in tone) the string I am playing, this helps in muting all strings above the one you are playing.

    These two methods work great for most things. I have also had luck by moving an open string note to the next lower string's fifth fret if the above two methods don't work. I hope that this helps for what you are trying to learn. Good luck, and keep at it, you'll get it.
     
  6. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Yeah, just mute it with any of the fingers you aren't using on your left hand. You can also mute with your right hand. I prefer a combination of both.

    Or you could play that open A on the E strings 5th fret.