Palm muting on Fender style bridges

JWK

Member
Messages
350
I use a lot of palm muting when I play. When I play my tele, I lose a lot of control with this technique, especially on the high E and B strings. I use a six saddle bridge, so the issue is the same with any kind of strat.

The reason became obvious when I really looked at it. The saddles are big and flat (compared to TOM saddles) and the strings fit down in grooves.

The upshot of all this is that I can't bring the flesh of my palm gradually over where the strings break over the saddle. This is not a problem with the low E, A and D strings, as these strings are thick enough to be exposed over the break, where the smaller strings get lost in the groove, so to speak. On the high E string, the note is almost muted dead by the time I can get enough palm on the bridge to effect it.

Anyone know what the hell I'm talking about?

Is there a solution without going to a three barrel bridge or a TOM?
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,152
I do the same as you.
I have an old Zion that had a prototype bridge installed that sounds like it has similar saddles to yours. I got used to it after a while and don't have any problems now. I can't describe why though! Maybe the side of my right palm got fleshier or I instinctively use more pressure on that guitar, I dunno!

Best, Pete.
 

Garrett Bagby

Member
Messages
1,214
I played nothing but Fender-esque bridges for about the first 8 years of my electric playing, so it just comes natural to me. I'm not near my guitars right now, but I think I actually mute slightly in front of the bridge instead of right on the saddles.
 

mbratch

Member
Messages
2,379
Originally posted by Garrett Bagby
I played nothing but Fender-esque bridges for about the first 8 years of my electric playing, so it just comes natural to me. I'm not near my guitars right now, but I think I actually mute slightly in front of the bridge instead of right on the saddles.
+1
Cut my teeth on the Strat and it came naturally. Probably an issue of "what you're used to".
 

tiptone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
752
I use Graphtech saddles and none of the strings sit "down" in a groove so it's not a problem. This is on my Strat, not sure if they make them for Teles.
 

JWK

Member
Messages
350
Originally posted by tiptone
I use Graphtech saddles and none of the strings sit "down" in a groove so it's not a problem. This is on my Strat, not sure if they make them for Teles.
OK, that's what I'm looking for. I'm sure they make them for teles.

It's worth a shot. Thanks.
 

aeolian

Member
Messages
6,362
I put a Callaham bridge on my Tele which has the "compensated" skewed brass barrels. This is much easier to "feel" the strings under your hand, and it intonates perfectly. Previously, I had used a Dremel to grind down the American Standard saddles for the same reason as you mention. The strings are way down there! Vintage Strats have the string going over a bent piece of steel so that's no problem. I'll have to look into the GraphTech saddles for my Strat Ultra, do they change the sound much?

Or, you could learn to do it like Ford where he holds his hand in the air over the strings and is still able to mute with the bridge (karate chop part) of his hand. Simply amazing.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,344
Originally posted by Garrett Bagby
I played nothing but Fender-esque bridges for about the first 8 years of my electric playing, so it just comes natural to me. I'm not near my guitars right now, but I think I actually mute slightly in front of the bridge instead of right on the saddles.
+ another 1
 

ducmike

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,701
Originally posted by Garrett Bagby
I played nothing but Fender-esque bridges for about the first 8 years of my electric playing, so it just comes natural to me. I'm not near my guitars right now, but I think I actually mute slightly in front of the bridge instead of right on the saddles.
And another +1.
 

JWK

Member
Messages
350
Originally posted by Garrett Bagby
IMO the Graphtech saddles destroy the tone. Blech.
You've tried them? What guitar and what did it do to the tonal response? Thanks.
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,369
I got my first Tele last Dec. It's very resonant I have experienced the same thing on the top 2 strings. My solution has been bring my hand forward towards the nut, move it towards the floor and twist it to be sure to get those strings under control.
 

Garrett Bagby

Member
Messages
1,214
I haven't tried the Graphtech on any of my guitars, but I played a Strat with them one time. I guess I could only describe the tone as "plinky". Since the saddles aren't metal, they seemed to muffle the attack and it had zero of the characteristic Strat "spank". I had been wanting them for one of my guitars but quickly changed my mind. I'd hate to think what they'd do to a Tele.

I don't know if you've ever compared a graphite/plastic nut to bone, but it's the same kind of effect, but greatly multiplied.
 

avenerjimmie

Member
Messages
269
yeah, i think i have a different technique on my start. i honestly have never been conscious of what it is, and there isn't on here for me to figure it out, but i definitely like palm muting less on my strat than my sg.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I don't have a problem on a strat either. But if the saddle height screws are long, they can stick up too much and your hand won't sit on the saddle to allow for muting. I think you can get shorter saddle screws for this.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,344
And for anyone who still thinks that you can't palm mute on a Fender trem, I have four words for you:

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

:dude
 




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