Preventing ring while playing octaves

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by daffy, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I just registered after finding this great forum - this is my first post.

    I was looking for help or advice on how to stop string ringing when playing fast octaves a la disco/funk style? I am OK with muting in other playing but am having trouble finding a decent way to stop the strings ringing when jumping backwards and forwards from string to string.

    I am actually using the Funk Bass book by Jon Liebman and he has exercises on this exact string crossing technique but he does not really offer much on how to stop the noise, except to say that you have to and you will lose gigs if you can't!!

    Any and all advice gladly taken.

    TIA, Daf.

    PS: I am a guitarist of 20 years and had messed round on bass for ages. In January this year I found I was having much more fun playing bass and two months ago I sold my Marshall guitar amp and most of my guitars (I kept two - just couldn't do them all!) and bought a bass amp. I guess that now makes me officially a bottom feeder!!

    PPS: I have also just been diagnosed with ulnar compression or cubital tunnel syndrome in my left hand, due to leaning on my elbow while computing and sleeping with my elbows bent tight (matrimonial defense position #236), and am now sleeping with a soft splint. They hope I will be better in a few months!

    This is a bastard son of a problem - I didn't have strong ring and pinky to begin with and now they are weakened and slowed a little making them clumsy at times. The doc actually told me that playing was good because it has kept the muscles in the back of my hand toned - these can atrophy and waste away. At least I now have both an excuse to play, and to be bad at it...
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Are you talking about slapping and popping octaves, or playing them fingerstyle?

    Also, it's a shame to hear about your hand, but keep up the playing, it sounds like the perfect medicine!
  3. thanks for replying - I am talking about finger style.

    Slap and pop don't seem to be a worry - you always end up having thumbs, fingers and your left hand everywhere anyway!

  4. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Muting in octaves, i.e., playing short percussive notes, results simply from lifting your fretting fingers quickly but maintaining contact with the strings. Do not lift your fingers off of the strings.
  5. try using your index and middle to fret then when you lift your fingers off to fret somewhere else quickly mute with your ring and pinky. this might not be "corret" techneque but it works for me (tho i have switched to using my ring for fretting and just muting with my pinky)


    EDIT: if you are playing something that is octived on eather the E, A, or D strings you could try doing it like this.


    and so one for the octive
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    How could this work for octaves? You just about have to use your first finger for the low and your pinky for the high.
  7. Many thanks - that makes sense. I have been doing octave walk ups (R - 6 - b7 - 7 - R) and have been sliding but not lifting as much as I should, and have been lifting both at the same time - result is that the high note is being muted but the low note is not.

    How is that? A virtual technique examination from across the world and a dozen timezones!! Luv it!

    Thanks again.
  8. its not that hard. you only have your fingers 2 frets apart and 2 strings apart. maybe i just have flexable fingers.