Extra string noise is one of those things that will never, ever have a purpose beyond that of an annoyance with serious musicians.
No one wants to hear a jumble of accidentally struck notes ringing out and fighting for recognition against the actually intended notes.
This is true for musicians of all levels. Luckily, there are ways to be sure that you aren’t making tons of excess noise while playing the bass guitar.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits and the techniques of palm muting on bass guitar.
So what is bass guitar palm muting? Well, let’s take a look at the name. Seeing the words palm and muting together, we know that the palm will play an important role in this technique, just as the fingers play in important role in fretting notes. Muting notes is one of those things that we all need to learn to do, as it makes our playing cleaner and more coherent.
Palm muting is a simple bass technique, but even so it takes a bit of time to really master. Most of the technique lies within your timing and your coordination. Palm muting will take place with your picking hand and your picking hand only.
When you palm mute, the last thing you want to do is to try and assist the movement with your picking hand. Why? Because this will completely defeat the purpose of learning to mute without causing extra noise. Using your picking hand to assist will only increase the chances of you hitting open notes and causing the exact noise that you are trying to eliminate.
To properly palm mute, you want to situate your picking hand so that it is just before the bridge. This will allow you to make quick adjustments without having to move around too much. When you want to mute, firmly rest your palm over the desired strings.
It is best that you use a grabbing technique to mute the higher notes, as not only do that make less noise, but it will also be very difficult to lay your palm across the higher string without affecting the notes that you are playing on the lower strings.
When you want to mute the lower strings, put firm pressure with your palm on them, just above the bridge. If you play the bass with a pick, you can get away with resting your palm on the edge of the bridge when playing so that access to the strings for palm muting is much easier.
In the end, the technique involves a ton of practice, and if you want to get good at palm muting on bass guitar, you’ll have to put in some work. Try adding some palm muting to your favorite riffs or licks.
Try muting between notes so that you get better at quickly dropping the palm into position. Don’t be afraid to try different things with your muting, because you never known what results you may wind up with. Have fun, and good luck with your palm muting technique!
JamPlay has thousands of video lessons that are conveniently arranged in structured lesson sets. With high quality instructions from world renowned bassists, Jamplay is an unparalleled learning resource. Whatever your genre preferences, you’ll find something here to help you improve your current level of playing.