Right Hand Muting

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Orengery, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Orengery


    Oct 6, 2015
    So I've been playing for around 7 years, and I do believe my technique is good, but I just recently stumbled upon "right hand muting" (floating thumb, moving anchor, etc.).
    I haven't heard about this before, but decided to try and incorporate it into my playing, although I found it hard to get used to. (Go change old habits...)
    So I was wondering, do you guys think this is something I should work on and get it into my playing, or can I live without it. I usually mute with my left hand but I know that's less efficient.
    What do you think?
  2. We all have to mute some way or another, if what you are doing now is working, and I think after seven years you would know if it was not, I'd recommend you keep doing what you are doing. If it a'nt broke, why change.

    I mute with flats and foam rubber at the bridge mainly because I like the sound. That and then a palm mute does what I need. If what you are doing now works I see no need in changing.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  3. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I resisted, because anchoring on the pickup was hard habit to break. It took me awhile to get used to, but it was worth it, for me.
  4. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    My right hand is on the fretboard. What you're saying makes nonsense to me
    Billyzoom and bolophonic like this.
  5. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I am still working on it, but I'm getting better at the floating thumb technique. I find it helps with right hand muting a lot because mostly I can use my thumb to mute the string I am anchoring on, which seems to be the one most likely to need it. I have found, however, that the E string on my Mike Kelly V wants to sing when I am anchoring on the B. It still throws me a bit.
  6. HandsFree


    Dec 23, 2015
    If you're muting just to avoid unwanted sounds, then I see no need to work on new techniques if you are already happy with how you're doing.
    But muting the tone while you are playing it is a different thing. Being able to do that will give you a whole new range of sounds available. Maybe not usable in all styles, so if it's of no interest to you then don't bother. But if the sound of muted tones is usable in the style you are playing it's well worth the effort in my opinion.

    As far as I know the techniques you mention are used for the former though. (I sometimes try palm muting for a different sound).
  7. Orengery


    Oct 6, 2015
    Just to make myself clear, I wasn't talking about palm muting, I was reffering to muting unused strings.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    How are you muting those strings now?

    I anchor my thumb and still mute the lower pitch strings than the one I'm playing with my ring and pinkie fingers. Higher pitch strings get muted with the left hand.
  9. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    Right hand muting is very important if you want to have a clean tone and if you asking yourself this question, it's probably because you're feeling your technique lacking something..
    Sometime left hand muting doesn't work enough with particular grooves (i'm not a big fan of the muting straps either because in my opinion, it changes too much the sustain) or lines so, you need to improve this feature on your right hand technique.
    Everybody has a different approach and is a very personal skill, some people do it floating the thumb, some people mix the thumb with some fingers (my case) of the right hands, other using a combinations of the third and fourth fingers on the right hand to stop the vibration of the strings.
    No one is better than other, it just depends which one feels much comfortable on you. Anyway there are some previous posts where I explained some exercises that can be helpful.
    If you don't find it, just let me know and I'll help you ;).
  10. Logic_11


    Nov 22, 2015
    Atlantic Ocean
    I have a six string and i use a hair-tie to help me mute the Low B and the thinnest string. I like to mute the strings under the note i am fretting with my left hand and i place my right hand thumb on the low b string. My striking finger usually hits the string behind it so I'm covered when i play the middle strings. Although this works for me, it is probably not the best way to do things.
  11. I never thought about muting much until I started playing a 6 string, and it became a necessity. I mute higher strings with my fretting hand, and lower strings with my playing hand. I play the strings with fingers 1 and 2, and fingers 3 and 4 slide between unused lower strings.
  12. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Floating thumb + movable anchor is what I use
    Works for me perfectly
    I mute strings below the note played (by below I mean in pitch) with my right hand (as said, floating thumb + movable anchor), and I mute the strings above with left hand.
    It was hard to get to mute all strings
    My advice to you is, if you don't hear ringing strings, don't change, just keep playing
    If you do hear ringing strings, adapt and learn how to mute them
  13. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Anything that improves your ability to express yourself on the bass is a good thing.