Palm Muting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ThePaste, Dec 24, 2000.

  1. What is palm muting and how is it done? Please someone who knows what they are talking about. (I'm sure you all do :] )
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Palm muting is using the palm or side of the palm of the the picking hand to change the tone of the picking, making it thicker. My hero Jason Newsted uses it in Metallica often, but many other bassists in other styles use it as well. When I did it back in my rap metal days, I rested the edge of my palm close to the bridge, but not on it. That way, the edge of my palm rested on the strings as I picked when I wanted or I could easily lift my palm when I didn't want to mute the strings. It takes a little practice at first to do it rapidly and smoothly while still picking. I was using a pick then. I'm not sure how I'd go about palm muting if I were fingerpicking. It might require some small adjustment of technique.

    That was the way I did it, but there are surely other ways, too, so perhaps some of the others here who do palm muting will explain their method.

    Jason Oldsted

  3. Well, I was experimenting(sp?) and I found that resting your palm nearer the bridge and picking gives you a more bright tone. You can still pretty much tell the notes apart from each other.

    Resting your palm further from the bridge resulted in a muddier, thicker 'timbre' (I'm not sure if I used that word in the proper context, probably not :) ), but the notes were not as easily discernable.

    The way I picked it (I don't use a pick usually) was to rest the hand on the strings, then use my thumb and index finger in a pick-like pattern, going back and forth along the string. My index finger, because it's longer than my thumb, was closer to the headstock than my thumb, but this was a good thing because I could pick faster without them bumping each other :)

    Also, making a hand like you have a pick worked semi-good. When you hold a pick, you get a little 'cleavage' in between you thumb and your index, so i just used the opposite side of the cleavage for picking the opposite way.

    Is this how all of you guys do/did it? I'm of course open for new techniques, so lay 'em on me!

  4. alright here we go. palm muting while playing with your fingers (not kind of playing as described above). this is how i do it:

    your hand is in the normal position if your playing with your 1st and 2nd fingers; now rest the tips of your 3rd and 4th fingers on the string you're playing, pretty close to the bridge. results in a funky, muted sound. pretty cool
  5. Doh! What is what I was doing called?
  6. the iceman

    the iceman

    Nov 27, 2000
    I usually play with a pick (almost always unless I'm messing around), and whenever I palm mute I just place the side of my hand across the strings in between the 2nd pickup and the bridge. Then I can move my right hand closer to the bridge and kind of fade from palm muted to regular notes.

    I find this to be really the only position to place my hand where the note is still audible (when I just lay my hand on the strings and don't pay attention to how much pressure I apply). Otherwise if you move your hand further away from the bridge, you have to place it very lightly on the strings in order to be able to distinguish the notes. I find that to be too annoying.
  7. Palm muting is done with the palm though! And I don't play with a pick so I guess your doing what you gotta do to be comfy
  8. yes palm muting is done with your palm, i was just explaining how to do it without using a pick. you can't really use your palm and play with your fingers at the same time...
  9. actuly... doesnt exactly have to be with your palm. like wiht guitar (6 string), when i palm mute, i normaly wear my strap pretty low, so i have to lay my pinki accross the strings. its still palm muting, still sounds the same as palm muting, just not using a palm, i'm using my pinki. as long as your "muting" the strings, then its considerd "muting the strings"
  10. Lowtones,

    I am a finger player, and palm mute. I have to adjust the bass up REAL HIGH so my right forearm and wrist are straight. The wrist is over the bridge, palm on the strings lightly. Then I pluck with my thumb.

    I use this technique to simulate the THUMP of an acoustic bass. The sound is amazing.

  11. yes yes yes i know but the way i explained is how i do it while playing normally (using index and middle finger) not thumb
  12. Oh I see what you mean now.