Right hand muting (floating thumb and more!) – Bass Lesson with Scott Devine (L#38)

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In this bass lesson I discuss the different techniques of right hand muting including the floating thumb.


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Cosmo 2000 says:

How do you do it when string skipping? Let's say you play a disco bass line with an octave (G on E string to G on D string). Do you anchor the thumb first on the pick-up, then on the A string? Or do you just stay on the pick-up and mute the A string with index/middle finger while playing the higher G note?

Speaker Builder says:

Very helpful, too bad I didn't hear about this ten years ago, and now because I have been emulating your playing and wanting to play all the arpeggios you have been teaching, I found I was having all kinds of string ringing problems, because I could no longer adequately mute the strings with my left hand. So I literally have to start over from scratch and learn this fundamental before moving on. New players take note – this must be learned from the very start.

Todd Walker says:

Cool! I just realized I am using the exact system you do, Scott! I feel much better about my playing, now.

Jared Raga says:

7:14 anchored thumb

Manny Jamz says:

these are great thank you, just started playing bass got my first bass 2 days ago after playing guitar and this helps a lot!

Pow Barabajagal says:

Hi Scott, I am a beginning player and a fan of Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. Can you tell me what sort of technique he uses? I know he does thumb playing and finger muting, plays with flat wounds and it’s more of an upright bass/rockabilly vibe on a Danelectro. I just would like to start off with that sort of style.

Jack Graham says:

Right hand muting is such a high level skill. Very difficult to master. Jaco was very adept.

Scott Smith says:

@ScottsBassLessons thanks for the tips! This is something I've been struggling with as a beginner bass player. Do you also have a video on how to mute the G & D strings as you descend through a scale or chord (i.e. moving up the strings)? That's another problem I have and don't know how to solve it. Thanks!

Nonya Bidness says:

This is probably why I got discouraged from the bass was not having a good right hand approach that I could even try let alone develop. As a guitar player, I can see myself getting into trouble with both now lol. Thank you for providing some insight there.

Jonah Scantlin says:

Wow Scott, this video is a decade old and it still helped me, thanks!

luci_5721 says:

Looks like Scott forget to drink his coffee

Joshua Berkoff says:

This is awesome for traveling from E to G strings. But does it work the other way around? Going from G to E?

Yan The Yam says:

Didn't know that what I used was called floating thumb. Played guitar that way so it made sense to me.

David Lopez-White says:

Fun to find this tonight!

Rich 50 says:

What ‘s with the glove? Just curious. Never saw a musician play a stringed instrument with a glove before.

Lisandro Curia says:

Muy Bueno, muy claro. Gracias.

No Life King says:

Learning bass and I ended up coming up with the same system as you while noodling around trying to figure out proper right hand muting. It's the only thing that feels good. My one question is about right hand position while plucking. I see you and Victor Wooten anchoring near the bridge side pickup and plucking, but that forces me to have my shoulder back which makes me rest my forearm on the body of the bass which cuts off circulation. I prefer to bring my shoulder forward so I have a much straighter profile with my arm, but when I do this I'm plucking at an angle which seems to make things more awkward for my fingers since they aren't plucking perfectly perpendicular to the strings. Is this plucking at an angle thing considered legit / okay to do? My arm and hand look much more like I'm about to use a pick if that makes sense.

Frank Cavallo says:

what about muting with a pick?

Old Uncle Mick says:

I started with the hybrid but switched to floating to get away from the pickup and allow more motion along the strings.

msspi764 says:

Interesting. From the start I've been inclined to use the floating thumb since I moved from guitar and I mute on slide with a mix of palm muting and floating thumb. But the online instruction I got was mostly focused on anchoring, which I found awkward above the A. Now I find that floating thumb is a thing (though it appears to be less common). Who knew?

Castle Transport says:

The only thing I would have thought is if you just did that technique, on the way back down you would end up hearing the notes because they wouldn't be muted because you're thumb is on the top of the bass. How do you fix that? Thanks Scott

Kurst One says:

It’s so hard for me to take him serious with that glove 😂

Redridge07 says:

How do you mute with the slap technique?

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