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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / String mute ??

bongo122819
Contributing Member
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usa

All I need is one more guitar
Jul 11th, 2018 08:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

just saw one for the first time - in all my years of playing I never saw/heard of a string mute.
What does it do?
anyone use one?
Please enlighten this clueless Geezer

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jul 11th, 2018 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

There are all kinds of string mutes available for guitars, basses, and other string instruments. Even pianos!

Some Fender guitars, such as the Jaguar, came from the factory with a flip-up string mute. This creates a percussive, low-sustain sound that is great for certain effects in a tune.

Fender also issued basses, such as the Jazz Bass, with a built-in cotton felt mute under the chrome bridge cover. Rickenbacker did the same with their basses and guitars. Muting electric bass strings makes the bass sound tubby and more like a standup acoustic bass: more thump and less sustain.

Jennifer Batten created and marketed a flip-down string mute that attaches at the nut end of the neck, designed for use when doing two-handed tapping and keeping open strings quiet.

You can buy a string mute for a banjo that clips over the strings at the bridge for silent practice.

Here's a pic of a Rickenbacker bass mute. Turn the thumbscrews and it raises the felt pads to contact the strings; gives you adjustable sustain.

Ric bass

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jul 11th, 2018 11:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you do any recording and are looking for alternate tones not available anywhere else, you can use string muting in very creative ways. Here's one example:

Straighten out a paper clip, weave it between the guitar strings, and slide it down the strings so it's parallel with the bridge, about an inch from the saddles. It gives you a very weird, cool "low-fi" metallic sound with reduced sustain. Great for single-note stuff.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Jul 11th, 2018 11:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

"... in all my years of playing I never saw/heard of a string mute."

In the world of classical music, it has been around literally forever. Used on violins, violas and cellos. If you ever attend a string quartet concert, you'll see the musicians place them on and off their instruments (near the bridge) periodically during the musical pieces that call for it. I would imagine they use them even on large double basses in orchestra settings, too.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jul 11th, 2018 05:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just use you damn hands to mute! Come on man! (:oD

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Jul 11th, 2018 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Just use you damn hands to mute! Come on man! (:oD"

Tough deal if you are missing one. I modified a bass for a very good friend who lost his right arm while being robbed in the mid '70s.

He plays with tapping technique. The mute is need between the tapped fret and the nut to prevent over-ring. I placed it under the strings between the first fret and the nut. A secondary foam mute is used near the bridge to control overtones when needed.

5Strats, no offence was taken by your post. I just wanted to point out a string mute could be used to modify an instrument for a different technique if needed.



stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jul 11th, 2018 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

And also not particularly suitable on bowed instruments. Guitars? You bet!

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

our time in hell
Jul 11th, 2018 11:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

We call that "prepared guitar", Mr. Goo.

Works great with all sorts of things (for a variance on the paperclip that takes a little of the rasp off, go with a paper or plastic-covered wire from a breadwrapper or something) - I have a few things in my desk drawer for use there, and go with the plastic garbage bag twist/clip thing that's a thick but flexible piece of plastic and allows to both weave and rest on top of some of the strings instead.

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 12th, 2018 06:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

Back in the 60's I had a Domino hollow body with gold foil pickups and a flip down mute. When you want a short percussive sound, as in some 50's tunes, it works very well. Played that Domino through my Vox Berkley II amp. Not a bad sounding rig as I recall!

Peegoo
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Ooo that sandwich

is gonna get et
Jul 12th, 2018 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

Rev, I've also recorded with a guitar that had the strings tied together with upholstery thread; a single piece of thread, with a knot on each string. It made a weird, spacey tone that you simply cannot get from a plug-in effect.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jul 12th, 2018 03:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Jennifer Batten pioneered a built-in string mute way back in the '80's when she was playing with Michael Jackson. She did (and does) a lot of 2-handed tapping, and still uses something like this.

Attached above the nut

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jul 12th, 2018 08:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here is a cool one. One of these days I may try one.

Bass Mute

greg1948
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jul 13th, 2018 06:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a Gretsch 6120 DC that has a string mute. It is a foam pad connected to a toggle on the guitar body. I don't use it too much, but it does make some interesting sounds. Think Herman's Hermits Mrs Brown.

Gretsch 6120 DC

walshb
Contributing Member
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Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Jul 14th, 2018 03:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have one for my banjo, easy to install below the bridge and awesome for practicing in hotel rooms, etc.

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / String mute ??




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