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Palm muting for metal riffs?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lex Slade, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Lex Slade

    Lex Slade

    Jul 16, 2013
    I've been playing guitar for almost 15 years now and the way I play bass is pretty much just a continuation of that (I realize that bass is a different instrument and not all guitar techniques are appropriate for it).

    I joined a hard rock/metal band on bass and we have a song that utilizes some palm muting similar to Metallica with lots of E-string chugging. The guitarists are palm muting these and I do the same, since it's how I'd play it on guitar. It doesn't sound bad or anything, but I was wondering if metal bassists who use picks like Jason Newsted or Dave Ellefson would palm mute the chugs while playing.
  2. It really depends on what sound you want out of the bass in that song. When I have to play metalcore (chug central) I just let the notes ring out. In that genre I feel like the bass really is about creating a wall of sound to support the guitarists. In thrash it might be different. Bass is a support instrument; you do what you need to do to support your bandmates.
  3. castlev


    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    On bass, palm muting really is more about cutting sustain than changing the tone. I play with a pick in a metal band, I definitely palm mute at times like i would on the guitar. I find that the drop in sustain helps gel better with the palm muted guitars, there is more note separation and definition.
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Does it sound good? Then do it. If not, don't. Or keep doing it til it does.
  5. Lex Slade

    Lex Slade

    Jul 16, 2013
    Thanks for the info, guys. I did the recording yesterday and ended up lightly palm muting most of the chugs. The reason was it was just easier to play that way, especially with triplets and tremolo picking parts. But we made sure to find a good setting so that the chugs didn't sound dead and still carried a lot of low-end resonance.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Open string chugged triplets sound good palm muted to me.
  7. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    palm muting works well when you play it with a treble-heavy distorted/OD tone
  8. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    If you want to palm mute, buy Bryan Beller's instruction DVD ''Mastering Tone And Versatility''. Here he will teach you a proper way to mute with your palm ;)
  9. You mentioned David Ellefson, alot of his technique is based around palm muting.
    Check out the bass track for Holy Wars.

    Tons of palm muting and it sounds awesome.

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