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unwanted sounds because of the left hand

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Le Fay, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Le Fay

    Le Fay

    Feb 20, 2013
    Hello people, ive got a little problem and id appreciate some help, thanks for taking the time!

    Today, playing with a more treble eq, i realized my high strings are ringing all the time! and moreover its not that they react to the sound of other strings but because my fingers of the left hand, that are actually playing in the lower strings, lightly touch them and make them start ringing. Any suggestion how I could fix this? It happens in too different ways:

    1- Im playing a note in 8th notes for a while and then i change to another: while im playing the note I can mute the higher strings with my fingers flat over them, but then when changing note they sound, usually it's a g so the g string without being fretted.

    2- when im playing fast riffs thant involve playing a different fret for every note, they simply dont stop ringing at all.

    I have a 35'' scale bass, 5 strings, and my hand is super small, so I dont think I could manage to play without touching the rest of the strings at all, is that the way it should be? i thought touching them was a way to mute them and thats what i thought i was doing until today :/

    Thank you very much
  2. Schmorgy


    Jul 2, 2012
    I doubt you're ever playing all 4 strings at once, and at most fretting 3 strings at a time. Remember that the finger closer to the bridge is the one that will make the sound, so use a finger not fretting a note to mute the rest of the strings to deaden the ringing. Eventually your technique will get to a point where you can play the strings you want without disturbing the nearby ones.

    And slow down and master accuracy before trying to speed it up. Speed kills. Nothing will teach you a lick faster than slowing it right down to the basics and building it up.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Have your teacher take a look at your technique and offer suggestions; it's impossible from your written description for me to tell exactly what your hands are doing/look like.

    The way I personally mute the higher strings (for example, A/D/G when I'm playing on the E string) is to put 2 or more left hand fingers flat over these strings, lightly touching them.

    Here is a pretty good example of the type of left-hand muting I use (my one critique is I don't like his occasional thumb-over-the-neck technique):