Suggestions - Fretting and muting (Low Rider)

Hi folks,
Filing this under “trying to avoid bad habits early”.

I’m new to Bass (3 months-ish). One lesson beyond the dreaded Billie Jean module which I’m still working through.

I have a habit of hearing a song streaming (Low Rider by War in this instance) and think “Oooh, that sounds cool, let me try that”.

Here is the fingering question:
The first five notes are F, G, A#, (B-flat?) C, D. It’s fast and notes are short.

To try and accomplish this I pluck the first two notes, then mute the E string with my index plucking finger and pluck the third note (A#) with my middle finger. I use the “Josh fret role” to fret the third note (F to A#).

I mute the fourth note (C) with my middle plucking finger, while moving my fret hand up to fret the fifth note (D) and pluck with the middle already sitting on the string.

My question: Am I overly complicating this :thinking:? When I fret without the plucking hand muting I can’t move fast enough to prevent big buzzing. I’m working my fret press and lift speed to silence buzzing, which works well on slower songs. Moving fast I seem to be very buzzy (particularly low E and A string notes):man_facepalming:t3:. Perhaps this more advanced than I should play at the moment.

The answer may just be stop playing songs beyond my current skill level :joy:… I kinda like the challenge and the joy of picking out a song I like tho​:upside_down_face:.

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Wow, that’s a complicated one!

WAR_Low-Rider_v1_p.pdf (639.5 KB)

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It’s never bad to challenge yourself but if you’re trying to play something and you’re struggling, the longer you play it improperly, the harder it will be to learn. Slower is always better until you can play it clean, then increase the tempo.

As far as fretting is concerned, I would fret it
F Index (E1)
G Pinky (E3)
A# Index (A1)
C Pinky (A3)
D Pinky (A5)

From C to D I’m just shifting my hand up, since the note after that is F again but 3rd fret on the D string. I would also mute your E string by moving your thumb down and resting it on the E after the first two notes.


What a sick bass line this is, now that I’m playing it I love it so much. Here’s some thoughts after playing this for a half hour or so.

I wouldn’t have been able to play this after 3 months. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get it yet. This is a pretty repetitive line though which is nice cause once you can nail the riff there’s not a lot more to the song.

Pretty much the entire song looks like these two riffs. There are some small variations to these riffs throughout, I’ll learn the song and tab it out entirely

The toughest part of this for me is getting back to F (E1) cleanly after the hammer on on the 5th fret of the G string. The ghost notes are pretty audible as well so make sure to practice hitting those, but for the sake of learning the riff I would exclude them for now and add them in once you feel comfortable with the fretting.

As far as muting is concerned, my fretting hand is taking care of 90% of it. Your fretting fingers should be resting on every string you’re not playing. The only string I’m muting with my plucking hand is the E with my thumb. I’d slow this one down for sure, it’s pretty “jumpy” and I’m guessing that’s where a lot of your unwanted noise is coming from.


Thank you @Ant . Appreciate you thoughtful help. I will try muting with my thumb.

Def will proceed slow. Slow is smooth… smooth is fast. Someone famous said that :smiling_face:

Thank you so much for build on your original. It is a great song :sunglasses:. Thanks for encouragement as well. I need to build some patience. I do love the challenge and hard work tho. Want to avoid creating bad habits. I’m working hard to avoid “flying fingers”.

Thanks again. I’ll let you know how I progress :+1:t2::pray:t2:

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Loved learning the ghost notes and pinky slam note. Super cool and interesting!


Thanks @Whying_Dutchman !

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Here’s where I’ve made it so far

There’s a lot more variation in this than I thought. Some have ghost notes, some have less notes, some have longer notes…(don’t kill me forum) I don’t know who the bassist was on this recording but my guess is he just kinda winged it with the variations so as long as you hit all the notes on the G string you could probably fake your way through this and no one would ever notice

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It’s not a difficult song to mute because the right thumb can almost automatically float down to mute E string. The 2 things you have to nail on this song is the Staccato and syncopation. You want the riff to sound pretty short and tight.

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Thank you @Al1885

I’ll try thumb muting. I am moving back to anchoring my thumb. For a while I’ve been forcing myself to let it float because I was pressing so hard on it… Concentration stress in my hands/arms :grimacing:. Need to relax.

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The best way is to slow it down. if you have apps that can do this like Moises you should try. drop it by 15-20% you’ll find that you have plenty of time to do whatever that needs to be done, then slowly move up to 10% off the original. You should stay here for the bulk of your practice. Once you have all of your mechanics down then up 5% more or go to original speed.

At this point, I usually work in additional 5-10% more speed so when I go back to original tempo, I’m a lot more relaxed.

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Thank you for reco! I’ll get an app for the toolset! :pray:t2::pray:t2:

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There is another way which I always encourage to use!

Are you a gamer, @geoff_red ?

I use ToneLib Jam, as everybody knows by now :slight_smile:
It has a Rockmith like interface. It’s very easy to slow down songs here, though under about 70-80% speed the audio starts sounding s#cky!

ToneLibJam is free to try and often costs about 40€ discounted:

Here is a description how to get the songs: HOW TO: creating a GP5 with synched audio from Rocksmith PSARC songs

You just need to follow the DOWNLOADING SONGS part - it works directly in ToneLib. Ignore everything else in that post!

This is what Low Rider (free download) looks like in Tonelib:

Main edit view

Score view

Rocksmith-like 3d Game view

Different speed selections

You can see the notes you play highlighted in realtime and synched to the original audio.

Oh, and it has some effects built-in. It’s not VST and those are not the greatest ever. But fun!

Examples for other songs:

(Scroll down for prepared videos!)

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Thanks @Whying_Dutchman

Appreciate your taking time to share.
Looks like a sophisticated tool. I think I’ve seen some YouTube videos with this (or something similar?).

I’ll have a look. Def like the ability to slow down songs. Another poster suggested Moises which had capability to isolate tracks which is also helpful.

So many things to learn 🫨.


It’s not sophisticated in terms of USING, no worries. No need to edit anything: just load the song and play it!

I am currently using it for creating practice songs (Etudes) from Marc Smiths “Technique Builder Workbook”, and for simple cases like this I feel that even for creating a simple score it is easier than Guitar Pro. But this is not relevant for you yet, I guess…

Just download and test Tonelib Jam. If you want, I can put some songs for you to test on the cloud. Just send me a message!

Moises is great - I prefer RipX now though. Both Moises and RipX are free to try. Just download all, play with it and see what is best for you!


Apologies for slow reply.

You’re correct I’m early to the community to begin writing/composing… but not for lack of interest! I have a tendency to move to fast 🫨 so I’m trying to balance pushing myself with being smart. Black belt takes years not months.

That said I will check both out and play with them a bit. Sneak peaks have a nice way of leading to happy surprises.

Thanks again for the info and recommendations!