Getting Rid Of Unwanted String Noise Through Fretting Hand Muting
A lot of guitarists struggle with having excess string noise when you play. Either soloing or strumming.
When professional guitarists strum their guitars, if you watch – they are hitting the strings really hard and hitting all the strings. The way they avoid the other strings from ringing out from the chords is through muting.
In this article, we are going to focus on left hand muting and all the different ways you can mute around the chords you play.
And learning how to mute your strings to avoid excess string noise is especially important when you are playing 5th string barre chords, chords that don’t require all the strings, and especially triad chords.
There are a number of different ways you can use your other fingers to mute the strings around the chord you are playing.
1.Using the tip of your fingers
When playing chords, you can use the tip of your finger to mute the string next to the chord.
2.Use an independent finger to lay over the strings
Use a finger that is not required to play the chord, use it to lay over the strings you are not playing gently.
3.Use the bottom of finger in between the knuckles
a) When your finger is leaning over a string to press down on a note on the fretboard. You can use the fat pads underneath the finger in between your knuckles to mute the strings above your note.
b) You can also use the fat pad above where the tip of your finger is on the string to mute the string above as well.
4.Using your thumb:
a) You can use your thumb to mute the 6th string (lower E string) by wrapping your thumb around the fretboard. This only works with certain chords. For some chords, you won’t be able to use this method.
b) If you are playing a bass note with your thumb, you can use the edge of your thumb to mute the 5th string.
To work out if you are doing it right, make sure you are testing each of the string. You want the strings that you are playing to sound out without buzzing, and the other strings are muted.
One thing you want to look out for is when you are trying to mute and you end up playing harmonics with the muted string.
When this happens, you want to move any muting to an adjacent fret, because it’s only the 5th, 7th and 12th fret that it really effects.
When practicing these chords with the muted strings, it takes a lot of time. But it’s worth it long term to make your playing sound really professional and it will really separate you from other guitarists.
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