Muting (but fretting instead) with the fretting hand

Hi everybody,
I was wondering if anybody has some experience and advice to share about the best way to mute strings with the fretting hand.

I am following Josh’s course and I realized that, especially when trying to mute the higher strings, like the D and the G, my palm frets them instead, producing a fastidious “after sound” that defeats the purpose of muting.

Perhaps my hand is too heavy on the strings?

Thank you!

1 Like

Perhaps so :slight_smile:

Using your palm or more likely your fingers to mute unplucked strings like this is actually a good thing to develop. If takes time. It sounds like you might be gripping a little hard though; the idea is to lightly mute the strings by lightly touching them or resting across them with the unused parts of the fretting hand.

2 Likes

I’m a little confused how you are muting with the palm of your fretting hand? Maybe I’ve misunderstood?

3 Likes

Me too. Maybe an example would be great.

Palm isn’t the right term, my bad. It’s when I try to mute the strings with the nonfretting fingers that sound is produced.

2 Likes

Yes it’s the fingers I was referring to. Thank you for your reply!

1 Like

Okay so when do you get the sound? Is it when you start or end the muting, ie. when you touch your fingers to the strings or when you take them off the strings? If the former then probably too firm. You should just be touching so the string should not be pushed in at all by the muting fingers, otherwise you might actually touch onto the fret and effectively do a hammer on.

1 Like

If it’s muting action and it makes sound then you may need to adjust your pressure and speed if your muting hand move so fast that it creates sound it defeats the purpose.

2 Likes

Just wanted to add a +1 to the folks who said (including yourself) it needs a lighter touch.

And wanted to add to that - it ain’t easy!
Having touch and control over the pressure of your fingers is not the first, second, or tenth thing that comes together on the bass.
It takes time to get the control!
Good on you for hearing the noisy mutes, and good on your for trying to fix it.
Give it some time and focus, and all will be well.

4 Likes

It is indeed when I start the muting. I thought it could be both a heavy touch and too low an action?

Can you please elaborate on the speed of muting?

1 Like

I can, I just need you to help post the video of what troubles you so I can elaborate on the method. Fretting hand muting is pretty straightforward but everyone’s different.

1 Like

Video coming asap. Thanks!

2 Likes

Yeah video will help immensely. Two main comments -

  • The touch should be really light, you shouldn’t really even bend the string
  • Some frets are where the natural harmonics for the string are - frets 5, 7, and 12 in particular - and these can ring harmonic notes while muting. The answer here is easy too, just move the muting finger off the harmonic.
3 Likes