Magazine article Guitar Player

The Art of Muting

Magazine article Guitar Player

The Art of Muting

Article excerpt

One of the most recognizable bass sounds is the use of "muted" or "ghost" notes. If you've ever listened to Tower Of Power's Rocco Prestia or Jaco play a funk groove, you've heard two of the best ever at this technique.

Place your 1st finger on E on the A string and start playing a steady stream of legato eighth-notes, as shown in Ex. 1. Let all the notes in the sequence ring into one another. Slowly bring the other three fingers of your fretting hand down until they are resting lightly against the strings in front of the 1st finger. You will hear the muting effect gradually come in. Don't press down too hard with the three fingers. You don't want to be freeting a note, just muting the E. The "x" symbols indicate muted notes (Ex. 2).

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If you slowly bring your fingers up off the bass, the muting effect starts to disappear. When muting in this way, you will still hear some of the tonality of the note, only it will have very little sustain and much more attack. …

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