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#1
So i play metal with a band i'm in, and the guitarist wants me to palm mute a lot of the stuff like the guitars do. Which i've never done before. It just doesn't seem like i should, plus i'm too lazy. And i usually play with my fingers, so that means i'd have to learn to play with a pick.. Yay..
So do bassist (metal bassists at that) palm mute? Or is that just a guitar thing.
Plus, is there a sufficient way to palm mute with your fingers?
#2
Screw him, don't palm mute unless you're planning on using a pick. Some bassists do it with a pick (Jason Newsted) but it doesn't seem to fit in bass like in guitar.
#3
wtf, does the guitarist know what he's talking about. Bassists don't palm mute, i tried it a couple times sounds like crap. Think like a bassist not like a guitarist.
#4
I'm not the expert of bassists, but I've known some local bands to palm mute the bass. I've tried it myself and it's certainly not a bad idea. As for muting playing with your fingers, I'm not sure there's any way to efficiently do so.
#5
There are some bassists that mute. And I've seen a few that put a piece of foam between the bridge and bridge pup to give a constant palm muting sound.

Personally, I think it only works for guitar.
There's VERY few places in a song that it'll work for bass.
Tell your guitarist that just because you can palm mute and get a chugging sound on guitar, the bass doesn't have to follow that, nor will it sound good.

If you do decide to, since you play with your fingers, I recommend the foam idea.
If you try and palm mute finger style, your hand will cramp relatively fast.
#6
I'm sure bassists never palm mute.. only kind of if they're doing slap bass o.O.. I don't know... But I lose respect for bassists when they use picks. If they use them all the time at least. :P
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#7
Thank you!
Thats what i was thinking. Saved me a lot of trouble. Cause i consider myself pretty fast with the fingers to keep up with metal.
I just didn't know if it affected the sound with what they were playing or what.
#8
use your fingers and don´t palm mute.
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#9
Don't listen. Unless you liek to play like Sting (I liek to play using his thumb technique) but seeing it's a metal band, I'm not sure that'll work. So I'd say don't mute.
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#11
It will just make your notes die faster. Its not actually going to change your tone enough to notice it live/recorded. My advice to you is to tell him to stick to guitar and let you worry about the bass
#12
Quote by TrabenBassist22
wtf, does the guitarist know what he's talking about. Bassists don't palm mute, i tried it a couple times sounds like crap. Think like a bassist not like a guitarist.

>,<
I've palm muted, and it sounded fine.
Quote by Religulous
But I lose respect for bassists when they use picks. If they use them all the time at least. :P

I lose respect for bassists who can't accept other bassists' preferences.
Last edited by toyboxmonster at Jun 25, 2009,
#13
palm muting fingerstyle to me sounds good. and adds a nice thumpy sound sometimes. but i think it doesnt work very well for when you are trying to play metal. you need the low end.
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#14
When I was in a metal band I palmuted (i used a pick) the low string to keep it nice and tight sounding.

As for muting while fingery picking, it sounds like a generally inconvenient ideal.
#16
Yea, i'm thinking i'm just gonna stick with fingering normally. He can deal. Unless it sounds like a big problem. Which i suppose i'll learn to play some of it with a pick, just to get my self better with a pick just to do it. No pain in that.
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#17
Quote by Religulous
I'm sure bassists never palm mute.. only kind of if they're doing slap bass o.O.. I don't know... But I lose respect for bassists when they use picks. If they use them all the time at least. :P

Do you care more about how you look when you're playing or what you're playing?
#18
Hah, if you're gonna palm mute while playing with your fingers, then you're gonna have to pluck with your thumb and put the palm by the bridge...awkward for metal since it's fast.
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#19
I have a technique where i mute with just my pinky and pluck with only my index and middle fingers. its a bit tricky, and you cant really do it that fast. but when you find the sweet spot with your right hand, it sounds alright.
#20
He's a guitarist, let him play guitar. A sick, ballsy, full tone beats palm muting a "meh" tone any day, work on that.
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#21
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On topic: I have played around with palm muting while finger picking and it has a nice sound to me, but not for metal because palm muting makes you slow and it just does not have the sound needed in my opinion.
#25
I play with a pick and I palm mute all the time, both for the tone and to stop unwanted string noise. But it doesn't sound the same as on a guitar; the way I'd describe it is more P-bass-y, like, a punchy tight sound, although I'm playing on a Pbass anyway so I don't know if that counts for anything

But I still think you should continue with fingerstyle (ie: don't palm mute), it's a bit faster. As I said, it gives you a tight sound, but if you're playing in a metal band, and allready playing fingerstyle, it can sound kind of...heavier with fingers. especially if you have a low B or are downtuned, you get that loose growly sound (eg: BLS etc)
#26
PMing a bass will make you slow like cliff burton on Speed
and i think hitting the bass harder produces a more aggressive,percussive sound than PM an instrument which bridge is already placed down too far.
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Last edited by Dawnwalker at Jun 26, 2009,
#27
well if he wants a nice chugging sound from both of you, then you should not palm mute, otherwise you'll kill all the bass frequency and it will only sound like a guitar palm muting. (unless you have a ton of tone/treble, in which case you would just being making loud clicking sounds...)
#28
Also, check out the song Melissa by the Allman Brothers Band. The bassist (I don't know the name) palm mutes there.

I don't see why you would limit yourself to only using certain techniques, like someone above me said. So what if palm muting is used more on guitar? You probably shouldn't dismiss an idea without at least trying it first.

I've tried palm muting on a bass while playing fingerstyle. I usually just use my first two fingers, so I've tried "palm" muting by muting the string with my pinky or ring finger near the bridge. It gets a bit tiring after a while though.
#29
Quote by Uber Man
well if he wants a nice chugging sound from both of you, then you should not palm mute, otherwise you'll kill all the bass frequency and it will only sound like a guitar palm muting. (unless you have a ton of tone/treble, in which case you would just being making loud clicking sounds...)


a new genre: dolphin metal

maybe let one of your guitarists play some palm muted notes on your bass and see what he thinks of the tone and if it would fit in with your music?
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Yay fibonacci!
#30
I palm mute, but only when I want to sound extremely "glove". I also cut my High Harmonic mids and roll my tone all the way back and only use my neck pickup. I like "glove", but it doesn't really work well in metal...

Quote by capslockisnton
a new genre: dolphin metal

maybe let one of your guitarists play some palm muted notes on your bass and see what he thinks of the tone and if it would fit in with your music?

All the vocals will be in the form of "Ek ek ek ek ek"
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#32
I'm in a metal band. I palm mute often (I play with a pick in this band). It used to sound like ****, until i focused my attention on doing it right, and now it flows with the sound of our particular band. Its not for everyone, but it is a useful technique. Everyone needs to stop being narrow-minded.
#33
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TesSAq6uY34

Pino palm mutes (while playing fingerstyle) during the beginning of the jam, and it sounds excellent, but I'm not sure how it would go with metal. If you're playing with a pick I guess it would work. Try it out.
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#34
the guy patently has no idea what he's talking about. While it's entirely possible to palm mute a bass, it definitely won't sound "metal" or fit in with the guitars. Furthermore, if for some reason you're too loud during palm muted sections (which is actually pretty unlikely), just underplay and try to keep the song flowing.

EDIT:
a new genre: dolphin metal

^
Please someone make this genre, would be epic.
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Last edited by wouldyakindly at Jun 26, 2009,
#35
To me the main point of a palm mute is to enhance the low frequencies. so if you palm muted it'd actually cut out some low frequencies. I don't palm mute btw.
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#36
You could always just play every note short. Personally I think playing short sounds better than palmmuting.
#37
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Personally I'm just wondering why you're limiting yourself so much. How hard is it to just try it? Maybe it works maybe it doesn't, but it's worth trying it either way.


Well said. What do you have to lose? Try it.
#38
Try a hard sponge at the bridge area. Possibly the same effect as palm muting, and you can say 'Dude, no palms.'
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#39
Your guitarist may be an idiot but probably isn't. You guys need to talk more. Why does he want you to palm mute. Is he actually after the sound of a pick or maybe some of your notes could be shorter in which case you can damp with your fingers and not your palm. Is he after a more staccato sound or just greater variation in dynamics?

You need to talk as equals probably, he may know nothing about bass but by working together you may get a great new sound.
#40
ON some occasions, like in a really calm bit of the song, palmmuting the bass for effect might fit in. On rare occasions. What I do is I palm mute like i'm holding a pick and play with my thumb. But I never really tried it to a large extent and it might not be the most efficient way of doing it.
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