Skip to content


Clear all

How do I play this...?

Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 7
Topic starter  

So, Everytime I learn a guitar song, I end up getting stuck at one point because I don't know how to play something... and i give up.
And it's always this:


Now, let it be known it's not always 9 and 7.
However, there's a string right in the middle of the two that I'm obviously not supposed to hit.
This is from 'dying in your arms' by Trivium, a song I recently started learning.
And this has me stuck. Not really a big deal, but I don't want to learn the song if I can't do it right.

I don't know if I'm supposed to play it like
Or if somehow I'm supposed to magically swoop over the string and not hit it.
It's not finger picking, or I'd understand it...

Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485

We get this question a lot here (although this is the first time for this particular song, I think), but it's still good to go over it when it pops up again.

First, it's not always obvious that you're not supposed to hit the string in the middle. Many guitarists would indeed play it like this:


because it's the easiest way to play it. Also, whoever's doing the transcription may not have heard the string muting when writing out the tablature. Not everyone does.

Usually something like this:


is played with the fingers. But it's also good to point out here that some guitarists also use a technique that's usually called hybrid picking. You'd play the low note with your pick (held with just the thumb and index finger) and play the high note with a finger, usually the middle or ring. It's not an easy technique for many people - some just don't feel comfortable with it - but a lot of guitarists do use it. Interestingly enough, it's a staple of lead guitar in country music and some terrific players employ it.

There's also a third possibility which is that on the original recording the guitarist is only playing one note (usually the low one) and using an effect to produce the second note (usually the high one). Or even using two guitars. With today's range of guitar effects, it's not all that hard to do.

Hope this helps.


Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2725

Here's how I would play it . . . I'm assuming your using a pick.

On the fretting hand, index finger on G string at fret 7, pinky on the high e string at 9

With the pick hand, pluck the G-string with the pick and at the same time extend your middle finger or ring finger and catch the e string.

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659

If you want to play those notes without the muted string sound in the middle (not that the muted string sound matters to me!), hitting it with another finger is a good option, as others have said.

BUt don't be married to what the tab says- tab is very rarely 100% accurate. Tab available free on the internet is usually closer to 50% than 100%. Don't feel like you have to do it exactly as written.