Introduction to The BassMute
In addition to "Slapping" and "Tapping", the style of playing with muted strings as used by players like James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, Anthony Jackson, has become popular again. The simplest way to imitate the sound and playing style of these players is by muting the strings with the palm of your hand and picking the strings with your thumb.The disadvantage of using this technique is that it limits your playing speed and the freedom to pick the strings in different positions towards the neck.
Using a piece of rubber foam to mute the strings could solve this problem, but it is not really handy fumbling it under the strings between different songs. For this reason some manufacturers of basses were providing in a muting system on their bridges. The adjustability and results were not always satisfactory, so in the end they were hardly used.
In the summer of 1993 in the Netherlands, luthier Ellio Martina designed a new muting device for bass guitars in cooperation with Edwin van Huik from the Bass Connection. The original idea was to design a muting device with excellent muting capabilities, to be engaged quickly and easy to install on almost all known models of basses being around.
Ellio with his background as mechanical engineer developed the design, while Edwin, being a skillfull bass player, did the testing for improvements.
The Bassmute presented here, is the final result of their efforts. Within the physical limitations of a minimum height between the basses' body and the strings plus enough room between the rear pickup and the bridge to install, they succeeded.
To be able to use the BassMute, your bass must meet the following requirements: The distance between the strings and the body must exceed 10.5 mm. ( 27/64" ) Since the width of the base plate of the BassMute is 15 mm, there should be enough space between the base plate of the bridge and the bridge pickup to accommodate.
The BassMute is designed for flat bodies. If your bass does not apply to these requirements, some minor adjustments may help to allow using the BassMute. First read the "Adjustments" section to check out.
The BassMute is supplied with double-sided adhesive tape to be installed. The tape is sufficient to hold the BassMute under normal circumstances, but in case of excessive heat of the sun or stage lights for example, there is a slight chance that it will come off. This will only be the case in the beginning after installation when the adhesive tape is still fresh. Just check it once in a while. If you feel that the BassMute peels off easily, then change the tape. Mind to use only good quality tape, the type that is enforced with a linen fabric. So if you don't want to drill any holes in the body, leave it fixed with the tape.