When string noise happens while playing, it can be incredibly annoying. Fortunately there are some beginner techniques you can learn to mute unwanted string noise!

Guitar Muting Techniques

Touching specific strings with your index finger without pressing them down helps in avoiding accidental string noise. If they are dampened correctly, you should only hear a short noise when they're played. A great way to check if you're doing it correctly is to strum all strings and listen closely; the tone you are attempting to play should be the only one you hear. This technique can also be applied on other strings, so use it regularly for damping those unwanted string noises.

Palm muting is quite common in rock and metal, but it's also a nice change of sound in other genres. It adds a new flavor to acoustic strumming patterns, while also making electric melodies and solos more interesting. Palm muting should sound short and crisp. To execute it, position your palm near the bridge directly on the strings (be careful not to apply too much pressure to the string). This will help you achieve cool, short pauses in your playing.

To produce a muted strum, use your picking hand only. As your hand falls down upon the strings, make sure your palm is the first thing to touch the strings. When your hand is falling down, make sure to also hit the strings with the pick after first having touched them with the palm. Remember: if you hear an open string ringing while practicing the muted strum without using your fretting hand, then you're doing it wrong.

One way to make boring strumming patterns more interesting is by adding pauses. It will help you avoid string buzzing at the beginning of a pause, which is also useful for playing melodies.

You've now taken the first steps to using muting techniques in your playing!

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Remember, no one is born a guitar master. But with regular practice, you’ll soon become the guitar player you’ve always wanted to be!