resonance question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Cat, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    i just noticed when i play the 9th fret on the d-string (b) it resonates a b in the e-string loud enough that i have to mute it. this is very annoying, and i first noticed it while playing rearranged. is there any way to get rid of this? having to mute the e-string constantly is very distracting. :(
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Crosstalk is a pain. (My neck-through, strings-through-body, with an alder/quilted maple body just rings for hours).

    Are you used to anchoring your thumb on the bass's body? I'm guessing you're not using the floating technique where your fingers and thumb travel across the strings as your your plucking finger(s) does.

    Two things I can think of;

    - Use the floating technique and your thumb will just naturally mute the E when you play on the D. It will anchor temporarily on the E. If it doesn't feel natural, it's practice; (it comes so naturally to me after all this time, I can't remember if I learned how to do it or if it came about naturally).

    - The other is to put a scrunge-thingee on your headstock over the top of the strings. Gard told me Wooten does this, but I can't go out in public with a girl's fashion accessory on my instrument.
  3. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    when i play the e-string i like the rest my thumb either on the pickups or on the body. when i play the a-string, i rest my thumb on the e-string. when i play the d-string however, i rest my thumb on the a-string. to mute the e-string i have to tilt my hand back so the back of my thumb touches the e-string. i think this is a big distraction and prevents me from playing as fast or as cleanly.

    the thing is that i never had the problem with my old bass, so i've never had to deal with it before until now. any other suggestions? could it be a problem with the strings? i just put a new set of boomers on however i havn't had that much practice putting strings on so i may have not done it well. it sounds fine otherwise though.
  4. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Try tuning the strings 1/4 pitch off - that will help. ;) Just kidding! This is the exact reason why I'd never want to play a 33-string bass ... or even a 6-string. IMO, muting is one of the most difficult things to do dynamically and effectively. You can employ all your fretting fingers (plus thumb on the low string) to help out your plucking hand's thumb. You can also develop technique in your plucking fingers to lightly touch the non-played strings frequently to hush them up. On my fretting hand, I sometimes let my fingers overshoot a little to damp out the next lower string. I think I also arch my palm and pinky onto the higher strings to help mute them too.

    I don't think this is so much a "Basses" issue as a technique issue. I'm sure, as others suggest, that some basses are much more "ringy" than others. Still, it's good to develop effective damping technique. Not only that, but once you get really good at it, you can do other neat musical things like false notes or short, "thuddy" lines that are really funky.

    - Mike
  5. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    What about open strings. Won't they be muted when you play them?
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't know. As I mentioned, I couldn't get past the "fun and sassy patterns" on the scrungees so I never tried it.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with those who have mentioned about developing proper muting techniques - this is an essential part of bass playing and will be even more important on 5 and 6 string basses. I tend to leave my thumb pointing downwards and laying across the strings, so it is muting all the strings below the one I'm playing.
  8. rob_d


    Jun 14, 2001
    Muting is essential to your technique. I'm glad I did it the right way when I started and I hope all you new bass players follow suit. Practice those scales and what not, but don't just worry about the notes your playing, concentrate on muting notes as you skip strings on your scales. Make certain you get no sound from other cleanly all the way. Try doing scales in 3rds where youre more often skipping strings and muting is more of an issue. Then do octaves. Always concentrate on playing clean, don't worry about speed...only speed up when you can play at a slower tempo perfectly clean. these exercises may not be the most exciting things to do but the dividends they pay later on as far as getting a clean sound are priceless. And the best time to do it is right when youre starting to learn how to play. It's always easier to develop a good habit then to break a bad one.
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  10. Scrunchy, rick, scrunchy.