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String muting technique when using a pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by offtehdeepend, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. offtehdeepend


    Jun 17, 2011
    I'm just starting to learn how to play using online lessons because I cannot afford an actual teacher at this time. I have no prior experience. I have learned how to mute strings using the floating thumb method when plucking with my fingers, but I want to start learning how to play with a pick, too. What is the best approach?
  2. This may sound weird, but I use my left hand a lot of the time, to mute them.
  3. I used the edge of the palm of my picking hand. You have to find that sweet spot where the strings don't go completely dead and don't vibrate wildly. Also, like FaithNoMan said, left hand (fingers) muting is another way to do it.
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    When playing with a pick, you gotta do the palm mute thing.

    Check out some guitar video's on YouTube...

    Basically, you rest your palm on top of / just in front of the bridge saddles...

    OOPS! (((adding)))

    or wait... You mean like muting strings from ringing, rather than muted tone!

    Oh, its all about the left hand muting. I lay my fingers across the top of the strings, and only apply pressure on the string I want to fret, its very slight movements...

    This isnt the best video example in the world, but I am only pressing down on the E string with my 1st finger, the other fingers are reaching over muting the B string and the other strings... Your fingers are in a slightly curved shape,

    SLaPiNFuNK Bass Vid
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll agree that palm muting sounds cool on bass with a pick, but doggone if it isn't the worst thing for your hand! If I do it, my hand lasts for about 30 seconds before I have to drop the pick. I strongly suggest checking out Carol Kaye and what she has to say about pick playing because it's the only way I can even play using a pick anymore. It's by far the safest way to play with a pick. You can cripple your hand really good if you're not careful, and I'm proof. I had to give it up entirely for a few years until I learned her method. Sorry to preach, but I've seen quite a few people have hand pains until they learned her method. I've also seen quite a few older pick bass players wearing braces and having carpal tunnel surgery...John Wetton, for one. His right hand is in bad shape from playing bass with a pick.
  6. Jimmy, I agree - my picking hand never hurts muting with my left hand, and it produces nice percussive "X"'s.. Although I actually stop open strings from ringing with my right hand often, I never use it to mute.

    Watching John play his Ibanez in some later UK vids me me cringe, as he anchors his pinky and only seems to move his thumb and index finger.

    Although his tone is phenomenal, it just looks painful.
  7. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    +1 on the palm muting. It's right there and easy.
    But it all depends on what you're play too. I could see how with somethings I would just want to keep a light left hand and press harder when I want a clean note. Picks are unique that way.