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Author Topic:  kill the sustain
Ronnie Boettcher


From:
Brunswick Ohio, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 6:19 am     Reply with quote

I want to kill the sustain on my electric bass. Is there a inexpensive effect pedal to do this? I love the sustain on my steel, but not on my bass. Help
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Ken Metcalf


From:
San Antonio Texas USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 6:24 am     Reply with quote

You could use a mute or mute with your fingers.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bass+guitar+mute&oq=bass+guitar+mute&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.4951j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 6:56 am     Reply with quote

I saw a guy put a piece of foam rubber under the strings at the bridge.The sound was kind of like an old stand up bass.
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Mike Wheeler


From:
Delaware, Ohio, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 7:52 am     Reply with quote

Try tape would strings.
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Edward Rhea


From:
Medford Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 8:37 am     Reply with quote

You can mute/deaden the note on the string simply by letting off pressure with the fretted finger...it may take a little practice, but you won't have to raid the garage, cut up any usable furniture, or even open your wallet.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 8:45 am     Reply with quote

When I bought a Fender Precision bass back in 1955, it came with a chunk of foam rubber under the strings by the bridge.
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Darrell Birtcher


From:
Phoenix, Arizona
Post Posted 13 May 2017 8:59 am     Reply with quote

Victor Wooten popularized the use of a women's hair band ("scrunchy") around the nut, now it's available as a product called Fretwrap.

http://www.gruvgear.com/fretwraps
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Bill Hatcher


From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 10:19 am     Reply with quote

Darrell Birtcher wrote:
Victor Wooten popularized the use of a women's hair band ("scrunchy") around the nut, now it's available as a product called Fretwrap.

http://www.gruvgear.com/fretwraps


that is not for muting past the nut. thats for stopping the open strings from ringing while he does other stuff like tapping and such.

i had a 62 fender jazz bass that had from the factory individual adjustable string mutes under the bridge cover.

easy is to just put some foam under the strings at the bridge. flatwounds help.
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 11:26 am     Reply with quote

There's a bass mute called Fump, made by Gruv Gear. Available from Sweetwater or Sam Ash, even eBay. Costs about $20. I had a Gibson Ripper that was equipped with a pivoting mute with a rubber strip under the strings at the bridge. I never really found it to be useful.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 13 May 2017 11:36 am     Reply with quote

What Mike Wheeler said. There's joking in some circles about flat wounds killing sustain or just never changing them. My bass playing friend says he changed strings a few weeks ago for the first time in several years.

I know another fellow that absolutely kills every bass note he plays just by his technique. It's not a very desirable characteristic anyway...at least in my opinion.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 13 May 2017 11:41 am     Reply with quote

Dick Wood wrote:
I saw a guy put a piece of foam rubber under the strings at the bridge.The sound was kind of like an old stand up bass.


That's what Carol Kaye did and she didn't do too badly.
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 13 May 2017 11:45 am     Reply with quote

Tony Levin used a diaper as a mute on some Peter Gabriel tracks. I'd heard that he was traveling with his family at the time and had diapers stashed in their bags and instrument cases.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 14 May 2017 7:15 am     Reply with quote

I admit I don't spend a lot of time on bass, but I've heard my dad talk about this issue, both for upright and the E-bass.
Avoid the open strings, since you can't control them. The amount of finger pressure on the fretting hand will hugely affect sustain and articulation of tone. Letting off a touch will give you a natural, but faster, decay.
Rather than kill the available sustain, I'd manage it at will.
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Mel Bergman


From:
Camarillo, California, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 10:48 am     Reply with quote

This:

https://youtu.be/tg0xh3q6BTs
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 11:10 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I saw a guy put a piece of foam rubber under the strings at the bridge.


^This.

I've played bass off and on in bands for 30 years and have used this when I needed a "thump" sound. It works great.

But - it also kills the tone of your bass. There are *very* few band (or recording) situations where this technique - killing sustain - is called for as it generally sounds awful by itself. It's normally used to double "normal" bass sounds.

So it'll work - but I wouldn't advise it and I don't understand why sustain is disliked. In normal playing notes are cut off with the fingers (usually the left hand) and there's not much long sustain at all - unless it's intentional.

The foam rubber gadgets installed by manufacturers were for very dated techniques/sounds just not heard much nowadays. And as mentioned, open string should normally be avoided unless played *for* a sustain effect.

90% of "muffling" is achieved with the fingers.
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Ronnie Boettcher


From:
Brunswick Ohio, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 7:03 pm     Reply with quote

Thank you for all your input. Why I wanted to kill the sustain is I was playing bass for bluegrass music, and wanted it to sound more like a upright bass. I agree that you need the sustain for good country music, and I love it on steel. Maybe I should stick to steel, rhythm guitar when I sing, and banjo for bluegrass.
THANKS AGAIN< YALL ARE WONDERFUL!!!
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