How to develop proper muting technique | Fort Lauderdale Guitar Lessons

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Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons teacher demonstrating palm muting.

If you are a beginning guitarist and still hearing odd sounds when you play, the problem is most likely not the notes that you are playing—but rather, the problem comes from the notes that you AREN’T playing.   Unwanted string noise is a problem that affects all beginners at some time or another—and is always the result of improper technique.  However, even if you are an accomplished guitarist, according to professional guitarist Dyce Kimura who provides Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons, developing the proper muting technique will take your playing to the next level.


Different ways to mute the strings, from a Fort Lauderdale guitar professional


There are two ways, in general, to prevent unwanted string noise.  The first way to mute strings stops noise on strings BELOW the fingered note(s).  Meanwhile, the second technique mutes the strings ABOVE the fingered note(s).


Muting The Strings below the note: the palm mute

There are actually two ways to mute the strings below the note.  The first, the “palm mute,” is a bit of a misnomer.  Instead of dampening the strings with palm of your hand as the name suggests, you actually should use the edge of your hand.  When combined with your amp’s distortion or your effects pedal, you will get a thick, rhythmic punching sound as you strum.


Rest the meaty part of the edge of your picking hand between the bridge and your first pickup: you’ll feel all 6 strings along the edge of your hand.  From here, just pivot your wrist so that the pick touches the low E string.  Meanwhile, rest your pinky / little finger on the pick guard.  Doing so makes sure that you have all 6 strings muted between the bridge and pickup.   Additionally, with your picking hand, you should strike down firm on the strings to get a nice clean punchy sound.


An alternate way to mute strings below the note


There is also another way to mute guitar strings below the fingered note: just mute the strings with your picking hand thumb for all strings below the fingered note.  This works because your thumb is already near the strings.  By muting with the side of your thumb you reduce wasted motion—and this will in turn actually start you picking faster.


Muting Strings above a note: secrets from a Ft. Lauderdale Guitar teacher

“It’s startling, but many guitarists have no idea of all the possibilities for muting guitar string noise on strings above the fingered note,” according to Dyce.  However, NOT knowing this simple technique is one of the greatest causes of excess string noise—for guitarists of any level.


In fact, there are actually two ways to mute noise from the upper strings.


In the first, use the fingerprint side (underside) of your fretting hand’s index finger to “lightly touch” the higher strings that you want to mute.  “Lightly” is the operative word here: don’t press down so hard that the strings actually ring.  Instead, just gently rest your fingertip on the strings you want to mute, to prevent them from making unwanted sounds.


In the second technique, you can use the unused fingers of your picking hand (these include the middle, ring and pinkie fingers) to gently mute the strings you want to silence.    By implementing this extra layer of muting, you are ensuring that there is no possibility for the strings higher than the one you are playing to ring out.   “This just gives you an extra bonus level of insurance that your sound will be precise,” Dyce adds.


“Putting these techniques into action” from a Fort Lauderdale guitar teacher


Once you have each of these two techniques down, try alternating between the two.  When you can alternate between the two, using the techniques for muting the upper strings and the lower strings, your guitar playing will instantaneously become more precise.


After a little practice, every time you pick up the guitar, the only strings that will be making sounds are the ones that you are actually playing!


Perhaps most importantly, taking the time to learn and use these proper muting techniques will provide an added dimension to your guitar playing.  “The great thing about learning how to pick & mute strings the right way,” states Dyce, “is that you’ll use it for the rest of your career.”  Dyce Kimura provides first-rate Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons, and new, informative articles each week on his blog.




Best Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons.Dyce Kimura offers singing lessons and guitar lessons to students in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area. He also teaches students globally thru Skype. For more information call 7864573687. Also feel free to email Dyce at  Remember its always best to get advise from Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons professional.  For more information click here.