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 donít 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
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 extensively.
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
www.guitarwarehouse.com and www.kansasfans.com.
Bill has been an owner of a successful guitar retailer and a