Striving for perfect technique... MUTING

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Striving for perfect technique... MUTING

Post by naota808 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:47 pm

We all want to play clean. The question is how?'

When alternate picking and ascending strings (say a minor scale), going from the low E string to the A string, I just played notes on the E string and I don't want them to ring anymore (unwanted noise), and now I'm going to pick notes on the A string. Should I be using the meat of my thumb to mute it? I've been trying this, and it works pretty well when I'm not discombobulated; it takes me a little time to find the right positioning of my right hand.

Information on muting for descending strings B to G, for example? That would be really helpful.

Lastly, muting while string bending. Obviously, (I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with this) we push the bent string into the adjacent string, and when we release the bend to sound the original note, the adjacent string starts ringing. I've tried to mute this string with my left index (fretting hand index finger), yes, it's kind of weird, but just experimenting. I've also tried to mute that adjacent string with my picking hand's thumb, and this works well when I don't fail, in other words, when I don't mute the string I wanted to sound by accident.

Not sure what the correct techniques are, or if there are any. I'm sure the physical and scientifically correct methods are out there. Knowledgeable responses are greatly appreciated.
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Re: Striving for perfect technique... MUTING

Post by Ianuarius on Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:54 pm

You can explore using
  1. the palm of you picking hand for muting the lower strings and
  2. lower parts of the index finger of your fretting hand for muting the higher strings.
There are a lot of great videos about this subject. Here's one:

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Re: Striving for perfect technique... MUTING

Post by ROBOT on Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:33 pm

naota808 wrote:We all want to play clean. The question is how?'

When alternate picking and ascending strings (say a minor scale), going from the low E string to the A string, I just played notes on the E string and I don't want them to ring anymore (unwanted noise), and now I'm going to pick notes on the A string. Should I be using the meat of my thumb to mute it? I've been trying this, and it works pretty well when I'm not discombobulated; it takes me a little time to find the right positioning of my right hand.

Information on muting for descending strings B to G, for example? That would be really helpful.

I tend to use the fretting fingers to mute the last string I played. Usually using the index finger. I also use the picking hand edge of the palm to mute the strings I am not playing. Now, when descending strings it is almost all or could be 100% me using my index finger to mute the last string(s) I was playing by using the non tip of the finger to lay across them lightly. You can use your picking hand fingers to also do this but I haven't personally developed that too much. I know Eric Johnson has and he has very nice and clean playing.

naota808 wrote:
Lastly, muting while string bending. Obviously, (I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with this) we push the bent string into the adjacent string, and when we release the bend to sound the original note, the adjacent string starts ringing. I've tried to mute this string with my left index (fretting hand index finger), yes, it's kind of weird, but just experimenting. I've also tried to mute that adjacent string with my picking hand's thumb, and this works well when I don't fail, in other words, when I don't mute the string I wanted to sound by accident.

Not sure what the correct techniques are, or if there are any. I'm sure the physical and scientifically correct methods are out there. Knowledgeable responses are greatly appreciated.

I don't usually bend with my index so when I come back from a bend I make sure to use the index finger to lay across the strings to mute them. Steve Vai does this in a very easy to see way as well while playing. I often have trouble causing noise WHILE bending the string and I need to make sure my picking hand is doing its job of muting the other strings during the bend.

This is a great question that many players might really benefit from and I bet many of them never think much about. Having control over the instrument means cleaner more precise playing but remember that at times, some of that rogue extra string noise makes it magical. Certain string bends where you want that gritty sound (Think SRV). But unless you have control over it it is just noise and a weakness.

Keep up the hard work and keep us all updated on your progress with this!
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