Strings ringing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by a3holerman, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. a3holerman


    Nov 21, 2002
    I'am not sure if this is the right place to place this post but hopefully someone will be able to help me. First off I am a beginner. Bought a Fender Jazz a couple of years ago and tried to learn but after a couple of months I had to put it away as things were too hectic around the house for any serious practice. Now the timing is better and I am picking it up again. The problem is when I am practicing some of my strings start singing or ringing and I need to dampen them with my hand. I finger pick and do dampen the next string but after a few seconds some of them start ringing again. I know I am not quite wording this correct but I bet you know what I mean. I have seen posted where you can put a piece of foam under the strings near the bridge to dampen them out, but this looks kinda hokey I think. It may very well be my technique but I could use some advice.


    Cape Cod :meh:
  2. Well, without seeing you do it, an accurate answer will be hard to reach.

    I personally believe that it is technique. If the actual string is vibrating, you will have to adjust your technique to eliminate them. It could also be harmonics, but they will only sound if you don't damped properly.

    I hope that helped!!
  3. +1 on technique. Although, the action could be a little low. The toughest lesson I had to learn, and am still learning is to let me finger rest on the next lower (in tone) string after striking a note. I'm basically relearning my entire style, but it has improved the string-rining considerably - its also improved my tone quite a bit. HTH.

    - Andrew
  4. beadgc

    beadgc Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    The problem will lessen as your technique improves, and you learn to almost subconsicously mute the other strings with both hands. One thing some players to do cut down on open strings ringing is to put a "scrunchie"--one of those little circles of elastic fabric that women use to tie back their hair--over the strings just in front of the nut. I've seen some famous players use that (Victor Wooten, for sure) but can't find a visual example. Maybe someone else knows of a photo?
  5. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Try searching for "string damping" or some such in the Technique forum. Should be lots of info.
  6. I saw Reggie do that at the Toronto show... I was wondering why they were there.

    - Andrew

  7. I agree it sounds like technique. When you are playing a note on a particular string, generally you use your fretting hand to mute the strings which are higher than the note you are fretting, and the picking hand to mute the strings which are lower than the note you are fretting.

    I recommned taking one or two lessons with a good teacher to start you off. You can certainly learn without doing that, and I did, but all of my students have said they started progressing much quicker even after their first lesson.
  8. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    If you put the bass away for a while like years, then the bass may need a decent setup. Over years, wood warps and the strings are suddenly not where they were before and are buzzing on the frets. Technique could also be an issue.

    get a Pro setup for like $35 if your technique doesnt fix the ringing. Lighten your fingerstyle and maybe try fretting on different areas to fix it.

    The bass would need a truss rod and probably an action and intonation adustment to fix your needs if technique fails.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Exactly. The issue is technique related, and muting is the key.

    You really need to have at least one or two lessons with a good teacher to learn some basic technique.

    You can search the Technique forum for 'muting' and 'rest stroke', that will get you started.

    Moved to Technique.
  10. a3holerman


    Nov 21, 2002
    Thank you all....I found a book called "Essentail Bass Technique" and it has a section on muting and this is where my problem or lack of knowlwdge was. I am taking lessons....second one this Thurs and perhaps I will ask for some hints......gotta get back to practice. ;)
  11. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    After playing cello for years one day I thought to watch my left hand while I was playing. I was surprised to find that my fingers were doing things that I had been completely unaware of - they were taking care of damping strings and I had never even thought or heard of the concept!

    Vic and Reggie on one of the bass day DVD's...