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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3370
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 4:15 pm:   Edit Post

Some of the tracks I play on my reggae gigs involve stops starts etc so I need to play notes and dampen them immediately afterwards.

I have noticed that if I play a note on any string at the first fret and release the pressure on the string to stop the note but still making contact with the string to dampen the note, the note still rings out rather than stop as it does anywhere else on the bass.

I haven't had much experience with non alembic basses so I can't say whether this is normal on all basses, something needs adjusting or something to do with my technique.

Any suggestions?

Jazzyvee
that_sustain
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 119
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 4:55 pm:   Edit Post

Man, I'd could help you but Jimmy Johnson posts here. He's probably a better advisor. lol
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2810
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 6:20 pm:   Edit Post

I like to use what I call the Rocco Prestia Technique of muting . with the palm and thumb of the plucking hand. There are many other players who illustrate this such a Jaco did as well. It works for me to get that punchy staccato style heavy on the sixteenth notes. Rocco has an education video out where he teaches this technique ; "Finger Style Funk"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6x--c9SZak

Jaco said " it's all in your hands man !"
that_sustain
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 121
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 8:34 pm:   Edit Post

There's also the floating right hand thumb way of doing so. This means the thumbs rests on all the strings, not just the low E or low B.

There's also a technique Ray Brown uses on his upright called "crab claw". This is where you lay your fingers flat across the fingerboard. This enables you to fret a note with the rest of the finger(not just the tip). One finger per fret. The crab also has muting advantages.

.

(Message edited by that sustain on March 12, 2013)
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 594
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

Then there is the actual string mute, as on a Stingray, Rickenbacker, and the old Gibson bass, but I don't usually recommend that one. However, when recording I sometimes stick a piece of foam under the strings on bass and guitar for a mute-like effect.
jimmyj
Senior Member
Username: jimmyj

Post Number: 436
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Jazzyvee,

If I understand correctly you like to stop the note by lifting off the fret and leaving your finger on the string to stop it's vibration? But when you are near an open string (first fret) this is not working very well? That could be because the string isn't moving enough at that point to stop it whereas further up the neck you're really in the middle of the vibrating part... Always interesting to hear how other guys do it!

I have a couple ideas - but I'm no teacher and I prefer everybody to find their own style. There is no "right way", only "your way".

As you say your technique works better further up the neck so the simplest answer would be to play your bass part up higher - meaning instead of playing low-F on the E-string, play it on the 6th fret of your B-string (on your 5-string). The strings will also have a heftier tone up there which could work with reggae!

I had to pick up the bass to figure out what I do and another simple way is to play (for example) low-F on the E string with your index finger while touching the string with the other fingers of your left hand. You can vary the length of the note by how hard you press the other fingers down - barely touching means slightly muted while pressing harder will really shorten the sound. As long as the bass part isn't too intricate you can use this technique and play ALL the notes with your index finger. Looks funny though! Ha!

The other way (as the guy above are hinting at) is to work out some kind of right hand muting scheme. The only version that I know how to do is to lay my arm on the string and pluck way up high with my thumb to emulate an upright. But that's mostly for comic relief, not very usable

Let us know what you find!
Jimmy J
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3372
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for your input Jimmy it's good to get your perspective on it and it all makes sense for there to be very little string movement up there. I have tried moving up the neck as you say to the 6th fret and that does give me the ability to dampen the string and add more meat to the tone.

However one of the tracks has a pickup note on low C before I hit low F and it is that combination that I need to control more. I will try some of the methods described here in my practice sessions this week as I have a gig this weekend with the band.

This is one of the tracks it's called Hard Times by Pablo Gad.
The bass line I play is slightly different to the original and has a pickup low C before the first note of the intro which we play a number of times in the track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rgS57eymbE

None of the band have ever noticed anything untoward with the way I play the track or its sound, Its just a personal thing about wanting a bit more control of the note.

Jazzyvee
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1853
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 7:39 am:   Edit Post

If you are looking for more meatiness switching to your thumb will help. It will also make using a right hand muting technique easier.

You could also try a variation of the technique used for false harmonics. I use my thumb to dampen the string while using my normal plucking fingers (many times "expletive" fingers) to strike the note. By adjusting the thumb pressure and timing I was able to get a decent muting when I tried it just now. It also has the advantage of using a technique I already know.

Keith
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3375
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 1:25 pm:   Edit Post

I'm not looking for a more meaty sound I have all the meat I want I'm just looking to dampen the string properly at the 1st fret. Everywhere else is not a problem. So I will have a go at some of the techniques shared here. :-)


Jazzyvee
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3376
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 1:32 pm:   Edit Post

I'm not looking for a more meaty sound I have all the meat I want I'm just looking to dampen the string properly at the 1st fret. Everywhere else is not a problem. So I will have a go at some of the techniques shared here. :-)


Jazzyvee
tubeperson
Senior Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 425
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Jazzy, may I suggest you explore bassbooks.com for a book that deals with right hand (Picking hand) techniques for bass? Either Mel Bay, or the like has (have) published a book or two about this topic. There may be additional pointers for you to explore. I am always trying out suggestions and techniques offered by other players either via this forum, magazines or method books.
mario_farufyno
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 888
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 5:04 pm:   Edit Post

It is very dificult to damp a string near its ends, as Jimmy Johnson explained. It has the most energy acumulated there and almost no movement. So let our fingertips in this spot may not damp fast enough a huge mass like a vibrating B string.

Why can't you just use your pluking finger to help the fretting hand? Can't you rest it on B string at same time you are lifting your other hand's finger? Plucking hand is placed more toward the neck and can mute a string quick and ease.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1854
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 7:40 pm:   Edit Post

"... and add more meat to the tone." You said it not me. :-)

Keith

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