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?
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)
- thumping their chests
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.
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.