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To mute, or not to mute...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CrawlingEye, Apr 5, 2001.


  1. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Your wife's in the bass world too? ;)

    And bigger means better for certain things, if you have a bass with a huge body, you can't play fast otherwise notes ring and catch each other, that's never good!
     
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Of course, if you are playing wih proper technique you can control how long a note sustains.
     
  3. Starrchild

    Starrchild

    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    good one embellisher, i think that went over everbody's head.lol
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It's probably best that way, starchild;)
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah, Brad's probably right. As always.;)
     
  6. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Proper technique? Actually if you have a bass that vibrates a lot, you can stop the note, but it'll still be ringing. Especially while playing fast, sometimes it's difficult to FULLY stop a note.
     
  7. A bass that vibrates a lot? :confused:
    Sounds more like this would be the case if you mute a string with your fretting hand, but on a harmonic. In that case, yes, you "stop" the note but it still rings.

    IMHO, this would indeed be a case involving proper technique. If one is unable to mute strings to their liking whilst playing fast, then one should slow down until the proper technique is achieved. Interesting issure, though. It would make a good thread for the technique forum ;).
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Stingray -

    Amen! You da man.

    Playing staccato requires good muting technique, and while I'm not the world's greatest at muting I can do it well enough to play staccato on any bass I have ever played, be it $3500 Modulus or $99.00 Danelectro.:)
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I hear ya, Jeff (and other times I don't, must be your technique;))

    I've yet to come across any bass that was difficult to mute...of course I haven't tried a 9 string (yet).

    Learning how to make the notes stop is as important as learning how to play them in the first place.


    Practice...and don't blame the bass.
     
  10. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Actually, I don't mute at all. I find it easier to use alternative techniques such as playing with a different rhythm that sort of jives with the guitar and makes it more melodic.

    I can play very fast and so fourth, but I've played on some basses where it's very difficult to stop notes from ringing (opens and such) because the basses vibrate too much. I suppose somewhat comparable to feedback from an electric. That's why I would never really want a bass that has a HUGE body. I suppose it's another subjective topic.

    I'm not gonna take this WAY off subject, but I just figured I'd clarify that.
     
  11. But I think that on any bass, big or small, if you don't employ some sort of technique to dampen a string, ESPECIALLY an open one, it will continue to resonate.

    A bigger body doesn't necessarily = more sustain. It's also not relative to the string spacing or width of the neck.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with the others, that stopping notes ringing is totally down to your technique and nothing whatsoever to do with the bass size or any other attribute unless you are talking foam mutes under the bridge!! ;)

    As embellisher said, I am pretty sure that if you gave me any bass I could mute and stop any string ringing - no matter what size the bass was. I have played a short scale Mustang and a Yamaha TRB6P with a very wide neck and it's just a case of paying attention to muting no matter what the bass. I don't think this is "subjective", but rather a case of learning the correct techniques to achieve what you want - not buying a different bass! :rolleyes:
     
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, just improper technique. IMO, the best way to mute is to use your right thumb and "rest" it on top of all the strings lower than the one you are playing. The left hand will get the higher notes. Basically, its the floating thumb technique, but with thumb slightly rested to prevent ringing.