How to Mute Guitar Strings While Strumming? Easy Tips to Try Out

Guitars are the most romantic musical instruments. It is the best form of self-expression. The rhythmic strings of guitars create magical music when the strings are struck. Playing the guitar needs a lot of practice, especially to make the right kind of music. The guitarists often mute some of the guitar strings to skip the unwanted noise. Deliberately muting the string is also helpful in elevating the guitar sound. There are so many techniques for muting the strings. This post will discuss how to mute guitar strings while strumming? Here is the right way to mute the strings to create quality music.

Why do you want to “mute a string”?

Perfectly playing the guitar requires a lot of practice. It is essential to mute some of the strings to hit the perfect chords. It is also done to mute the unnecessary sounds while playing the guitar. Like most, the E string on the guitar is never meant to be played. It can be done by placing a thumb over it or simply keeping away from the E string. However, it is essential not to place your palm too hard on the string because excessive pressure may lead to the breaking of the strings. Make sure to be consistent while striking the chords and strumming the string.

Best ways to mute guitar strings while strumming

There are so many ways of muting the strings of the guitar. Lets us discuss the most used ones:

  • Muting with Fretting Hands:

Muting the guitar with the fretting hands is one of the oldest and most popular techniques. While fretting the note, the hands should be laid a bit flat on the string in this technique. This way, the strings are muted as the hands barely touch them. In this scenario, the muted strings are mostly above or below the played strings.

  • The Left-Hand Lift:

One way to mute any guitar string is to stop pressing the strings with the left-hand finger. When you lift either one finger or the entire fretting hand, it releases pressure on the string.

So, you don’t need to lift your fingers off the strings, as this could create unwanted noise and re-sound the strings. Instead, stop pressing and “let go” of the grip. To avoid such mishaps, keep the pressure steady while playing the chords.

  • The Karate Chop:

Using the side of the pinky finger of the right hand, you can mute all the guitar strings at once.

This is the best method to end the song, most dramatically, with a hard cut-off. This method will help you end the guitar music abruptly, but not so hard that the strings click against the fretboard. It results in an accented silence.

This muting technique is used extensively in an acoustic or electric guitar playing by using the outside of the picking hand and placing it close to the bridge. Here is a tip, freeze all body motion for a moment when using this guitar technique. It gives a professional closure to the piece.

  • The Plant:

“Planting” is the process when you prepare your right-hand fingers on the strings before playing them. This helps in boosting the confidence and security in the guitar playing. This technique is also helpful in muting one or more notes of the guitar strings. Ideally, you can keep the right-hand technique as intentional as possible so that the hands can be swiftly changed without any break in the guitar playing.

  • Pizzicato:

This method is also known as “muted bass.” Pizzicato is a technique where you can play the thumb while the side of the hand lightly rests on the strings near the bridge. In electric or acoustic guitar techniques, that is similar to palm muting. The effect is like an upright string bass: woody or thuddy sound without much sustain. This kind of technique is often used in heavy metal music. The right-hand chops down onto the bridge, behind the strings. Next, you

can roll your hand forward over the strings. The side of the hand lightly covers the strings. Then the thumb plays the bass strings.

Most Common Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

  • Hair Band:

This is a popular method to avoid unimportant string noise. The hair band technique is great for playing single notes like solos or when you’re about to shred throughout the fretboard. However, it is one of the worst things you can do when strumming the guitar.

When you cover the whole string with an elastic band, you are muting all the strings. The hairband will mute the strings that are supposed to be played without being pressed.

It will dampen not just the string that you have tied with Hair-band but will also mute the strings above and below it. Overall, the music will be muted and awful.

  • Using Unused Finger:

This is a famous trick yet a very inefficient one. Sometimes using unused fingers works like a wonder. It results in a very good sound. But it is not that easy to do. This method would only work if you were playing chords that only require three fingers to press.

The idea here is to use your unused finger just slightly touch the string that you don’t want it to sound like.

Using an unused finger will change how you fret a chord on the guitar. Also, you need to think about which fingers you want to use to mute that particular string before? The result that comes out in music will not be good. So, it is a bad idea to use unused fingers unless you are well-rehearsed in playing guitar with both hands.

Final Thoughts

These are the best methods to mute the unwanted guitar strings. Hopefully, these tips will help create fantastic music now that you know how to mute guitar strings while strumming. Which one of the muting styles you want to use depends on the situation and comfort level. Playing guitar is an amazing talent and requires a lot of practice. You do not worry too much about muting the strings of guitars. What also a matter is creating amazing music and enjoying it. So, play that Guitar carefree!

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