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Guitar Muting – legaianlight



Posts: 71
From: Colorado, United States
Registered: 04-04-2006
This one's mostly directed towards MastaLlama and Kenman, but I would appreciate any input from anyone else with some guitar experience.

When playing guitar, especially scales, i often will have other strings ringing/sounding as I play, creating a somewhat annoying effect which I would like to learn to stop doing. Any tips? Another place this is common is in string bends, where my finger will accidentally hit a string above/below it, thus making it sound and producing a poor result.

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Posts: 433
From: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Registered: 06-10-2006
If you're playing electric guitar, you want to place the fleshy part of the outside of your palm just a centimeter or so above the bridge. Use the fleshy part under your pinky on the outside of your hand. If this mutes it too much, tweak your pre-amp settings and this should give you more gain. Or just turn up the volume or stand closer to the amp. You can also choke up on the pick so that every time you pick, your index fingernail and tip of your thumb also hit the string.

All the above is for rhythm.

When you're playing electric lead, you can choke up on the pick, and also use available fingers on your left hand to hang limply on the unused strings. When playing the upper strings, hang your left thumb limply over the other strings. When playing the lower strings, let the fleshy part of your upper palm -- right where the fingers attach -- to mute the upper strings.

If you're playing classical or acoustic (or your electric has a clean sound), you have to train your hand to perfectly hit the string and no other strings. Some of the best guitar players in the world are flat-pickin' studio musicians. Their gear is frequently very poor because they insist on playing the guitar that they've been practicing with for years and years. (no joke--I've heard tales of a Sears model guitar from the 70's on lots of country music.) It's not the gear, it's the skill!

If you are working with an acoustic, good luck. After 30 years, I can flat-pick maybe 2 or 3 licks.



Posts: 671
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
JeTSpice has nailed it for you! I don't want to rehash what said, I want to point out one very important factor that JeTSpice hinted at towards the end of his post: practice, practice, and more practice.

As far as the muting goes, JetSpice talked about how it's different depending on the type of guitar you're playing. This is very true and if I play my wife's acoustic guitar, I get all kinds of extra sounds because the action is different, the strings are spaced differently, and have a different thickness and feel. On any of my electric guitars, it's just easier and feels more natural to me because that's what I've practiced on the most.

The easiest way I've found to learn what feels the best is to pick one scale and just play it over and over until my hand mutes the other strings in such a way that it sounds exactly how I want it to. I actually started doing this with the A minor blues scale and start my practice session with it (among a few other warm-up patterns).

4 1 4 1 4 3 1 3 1 3 2 1 4 1 - left hand's finger

and back up
1 4 1 2 3 1 3 1 3 4 1 4 1 4 - left hand's finger

So...while doing that back and forth (starting slow and going faster), I've trained my right hand on how to mute the strings in a way that is most comfortable to me. It's always fun to find out what works and what doesn't work for yourself so you know how to approach new songs as they come along.

I know that it doesn't work for me to do it on the acoustic guitar...LOL.

[This message has been edited by mastallama (edited November 04, 2007).]



Posts: 518
From: Janesville WI
Registered: 08-31-2006
The only thing I can add to this is practice practice practice. It takes alot of practice to get muting down.

Start of slow and build your speed up and you will find that you do it without thinking at some point.

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