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I am arranging a piece for a choir, and as a starting point for the bass I am looking at bass-guitar tabs. I figured out how to translate the tabs to staff notation, except muted strings. I do not play bass (or something similar), so I don't really know what exactly it means for the sound to play a string muted, and thus how to translate this to staff notation. Do I just use A if it is the A-string, for example?

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    You may just notate an x for the muted notes. – Albrecht Hügli Oct 15 at 19:38
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Playing muted strings is a percussive effect with lots of attack, hardly any sustain, and no clearly discernible pitch (in theory). A section of vocalists could achieve a similar effect by using:

  • plosives (unpitched "T", "K", or "P" sounds)
  • grunting
  • thumping their chests

Be creative.

That said, sometimes the muted string is really more of a really short staccato note, so giving the vocalists a pitch and marking the note staccato or staccatissimo might be a better approximation of what the bass guitar part sounds like. Which pitch? Hmm, probably the same as (one of) the pitch(s) around it.

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Muted notes in standard notation are marked by an x like this picture shows: enter image description here

Source:

http://smartbassguitar.com/muting-bass-guitar/#.XaYg27LKGhB

and the choir could sing/articulate these x notes by a toneless t- k

The example would be interpreted:

dum t-k dum t-k dum dum dum dum,

dum t-k dum t-k dum dum dum dum.

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