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Do you use a bass mute and why ?


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For certain tapping styles they free up the fingers from muting duties.

I've never used one, but having just started on 6-string I've noticed that my muting isn't quite up to speed with the extra string. It's the first time I've ever thought that maybe a sweatband around the nut could be handy! Hopefully I'll be able to assimilate the C into my technique, but the option is always there should I fail.

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2 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

maybe a sweatband around the nut could be handy

I used miss RB’s hair bands for years before Fretwraps came out , she wasn’t too pleased sometimes 😁

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Well, this is speaking as someone who doesn't use one, but I'd say that if you don't have an issue with open strings going unmuted, it's a solution to a problem you don't have. Like sticking a plaster on healthy skin or buying a sledgehammer with nothing to smash!

Others with more experience of them may have more detailed advice, but if you don't have an actual purpose for it, you can keep it tucked away in case one day you get into some wild technique which it can help with.

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I occasionally stick a bit of quite squishy foam up against the bridge when I'm seeking to emulate the upright tone.

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I occasionally use a Nordymute on my bass that is strung with flatwounds, as it allows you to get that palm muted tone, whilst having the freedom of playing fingerstyle. I guess it's emulating what old fenders with the foam mute under the bridge covers sounded like.

If I'm playing old Jamerson lines I'll use the Nordymute: https://nordstrandaudio.com/products/nordymute

 

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I've never used the kind that sits by the nut, and probably never will as I don't go in for slap tap or similar party tricks.

I've never got on with foam at the bridge end as it either deadens too much or not enough for me. I tend to use palm muting where I can control the pressure on the string with more precision.

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I only use a fret wrap when I’m playing John Davis style dub bass because it allows me to tweak effects and perform more without having to prioritise constant perfect muting that would mess up the octave pedal tracking.

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I use a cut off from an extra-thick Minky Sponge as it is just the right height to fit under my Jazz bass  strings.  But you can use anything, didn't Tony Levin use a nappy during the recording of Don't Give Up with Peter Gabriel.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Extra-Thick-Sponge-Wipes/dp/B009R0HI86/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=extra+thick+minky+sponge&qid=1620504618&sr=8-1

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Killed_by_Death said:

pros use it to make roundwounds sound like flats

 

Think You will find Carol only uses Flats the (bridge) mute is to cut overtones.

Edited by BoomTing
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Posted (edited)

Is it really a 'crutch'. They were factory fitted on the majority of basses from the 50s to the 70s. Removing them was making something different. They allowed you to play fingerstyle with that almost upright bass kind of sound. You can't palm mute and play with fingers at the same time. James Jamerson's sound was all about playing with fingers on flatwound strings muted by the factory foam glued to underside of bridge cover.

Whilst I confess that my own personal favourite muted style I play is with palm muting, playing with a pick, soloing the neck pickup, the foam mute is a iconic sound, not a crutch :)

If you're talking about the scrunchie type mute that people use at the nut end, that again is a godsend for players who like to tap at the dusty end, as it kills all those nasty overtones at the lower neck end, that even the best left hand muting can't always cure.

My take is that with bass playing, everything is valid. Different strokes for different folks.

😊

Edited by bassment73
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12 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

I prefer not to use 'crutches' because I think muting should come from the player. The only time I think they come in handy is for tapping or slapping, but I don't go there.

Do you prefer not to use 'frets' because intonation should come from the player?

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12 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

I prefer not to use 'crutches' because I think muting should come from the player. The only time I think they come in handy is for tapping or slapping, but I don't go there.

So they are a crutch, but they come in handy for tapping and slapping?  So, not a crutch then.

I don't use the hair tie/fretwrap thing often, although I have them on a couple of my basses. (A hair tie went straight on my bass after aayching Victor Wooten on the Bass Day 98 video). I mainly use them with certain monophonic synth pedals which are sensitive to sympathetic vibrations and tend to glitch at the slightest overtone.

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12 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

I prefer not to use 'crutches' because I think muting should come from the player. The only time I think they come in handy is for tapping or slapping, but I don't go there.

Jamerson and Babbit would like a quiet word…

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On 12/05/2021 at 10:10, Doddy said:

So they are a crutch, but they come in handy for tapping and slapping?  So, not a crutch then.

I don't use the hair tie/fretwrap thing often, although I have them on a couple of my basses. (A hair tie went straight on my bass after aayching Victor Wooten on the Bass Day 98 video). I mainly use them with certain monophonic synth pedals which are sensitive to sympathetic vibrations and tend to glitch at the slightest overtone.

So I would be better using a fretwrap rather than trying to become the best I can be at muting. Fair enough.

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