OK, I’ve been thinking for a while if I wanted to share this knowledge with you… This is because I find it so valuable and no one bothered to tell me the secret for years while I was struggling learning bass. This is why I’ve decided to let you in on it. I don’t want you to struggle and sound like an amateur playing bass… even after hundreds of hours of practicing.
The secret technique, which one is it? Bass muting technique.
Now, this is not the famous “palm muting” technique which guitarists use all the time when playing chuggy metal rhythms. This lesson is all about cleaning up your playing and making it sound more professional.
In short, what happens when you play is that when you move from one string to another, some of the strings keep producing unwanted sounds and noises. You want to effectively kill those noises by muting the strings you don’t want to sound.
How to do this? Read on!
Left hand muting technique (fretting hand)
When you’re fretting a note on the A string, you can lean your finger slightly upwards so that it both frets the note on A string and touches the low E string at the same time. This way, you stop the low E string from vibrating and making noises.
Also, you can usually curve your index finger so that it touches lower two strings on the bass (D and G strings) and stops any unwanted noises from those strings as well. When you get more advanced at this, you’ll instinctively press down on the string briefly to mute it if it’s rumbling.
Beginner tip: when the string is vibrating, it’s producing sound or noise. Just slightly touching it with your fretting hand will stop this noise and clean up your overall sound. The idea is that strings you’re not playing on at the moment shouldn’t be producing any sound unintentionally.
Right hand muting technique (plucking hand)
Check this trick out!
Anchor your thumb on the low E string, when playing the A string to completely kill any unwanted sounds coming from the low E string.
Usually, the low E string is the problem for everyone and this is a great way to remedy it.
Now, if you’re playing on the D string and want to mute the A string – just anchor and place your thumb for support on the A string to mute it along the way.
Simple isn’t it?
You can do this for any other string on a bass. Not only this is a good habit to develop, but you clean up your playing significantly doing this as opposed to keeping your thumb planted on the pickup or thumb rest for support.
Task: do the exercise of playing straight 8th notes on the low E string and then moving to play straight 8th notes on D string. The goal is to mute the low E string effectively with the right hand thumb.
Bass Exercise WITHOUT muting technique applied
Bass Exercise WITH muting technique applied
Recording task: once you have learned the lesson, record a video of your performance and share it in our Facebook group.