Saturday, January 07, 2006

Guitar Lesson - String Muting

By: Bill McRea

String muting is another technique that can help you define your
own personal style. There are two types of string muting, the
palm mute with your picks hand and the string mute with your
fret hand. They serve very different purposes, but both are
important to good guitar playing.

Fret-hand muting is particularly important when playing chords
and power chord. The purpose is to use part of you finger tips
and fingers to mute the strings you don't want to include in the
chord being played. For example the C majors chord is played
from the 5th string to the first, your are not supposed to hit
the 6th string. I use the tip of my 3rd finger that is holding
down the 5th string 3rd fret to rub up against the sixth string
thereby muting the string. I use this same technique with power
chords, but in addition I use the fat part of my index finger to
lightly lay across strings 1,2,3. with just enough pressure to
mute the strings. The beauty is if you get a little wild with
your pick it still sounds right. Fret-hand muting is used

Palm muting is more commonly used in distorted rock songs. The
technique involves resting the heel of your pick-hand palm on
the strings as you pick. Most people rest it directly over the
bridge, but you can experiment with different positions for
different sounds. Also try different levels of pressure to
regulate the level of muting. This technique creates a
percussive, muffled or chunky sound. Combine fast down strokes
with palm muting in various patterns with moderate distortion
for sounds similar to Metallica or other metal bands.

Both fret hand muting and palm muting are very individual and
stylistic techniques. Incorporate practicing this technique
every time you pick up your guitar and before long you'll master
this necessary skill.

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of
and Bill has been an owner of a
successful guitar retailer and a guitar teacher.

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