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Killing a note noise..?

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BlankRune
(@blankrune)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

I have a question about dampening or killing a note after you play it. This is probably something you learn really really early, but I've never seen it mentioned anywhere...

Lets say I've got this tab:
e----------2-------0-------2------
B--------2-------2-------2-------2
G------4-------4-------4-------4--
D--0-4-------4-------4-------4----
A---------------------------------
E---------------------------------

I understand that to play this it would probably be best just to keep your fingers on the strings, but lets say I wanted to play this tab with only one or two fingers on my fretting hand (for whatever reason, as an example). I'd play open D, then the 4th fret D, then 4th fret G...but when I take my finger off of the 4th fret D, the note doesnt only continue playing, but it pulls off to Open D.

Is there a way or technique to play ONLY the 4th fret D note, and stop the sound before continuing? I hear this done all the time in regular guitar playing, but like I've said, I havent seen anywhere say how it's done.


   
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Fretsource
(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 973
 

You could release the pressure on the string that you're fretting a fraction of a second before lifting your finger off the string. Alternatively, you could mute the string with your picking hand.
But the real problem is why you can hear that open D in the first place. You can control the way you lift your finger from the strings so that it doesn't result in an audible pull off to the open string, then you won't have to worry about muting them. Maybe you're lifting off too forcefully resulting in an unintentional audible pulloff.


   
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Blueline
(@blueline)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1704
 

Nothing to add to what Fretsource told you except that I used to have the same problem. With practice you will see that start to disappear if you follow Fretsource's advice. Muting the strings was not the easiest thing for me to grasp. It takes practice, but you'll get it!

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Palm muting would be a workable alternative. How important is it that the notes ring out when you play them?

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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firstnamestorm
(@firstnamestorm)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 5
 

When it comes to muting in general both hands can be involved in getting the job done. But the technique you're looking for involves just the left hand. Play the 4th string note with the tip of the fretting finger. To play the 3rd string note, roll to the pad of the same finger to fret that new note. At the same time the tip of the finger lifts up off the fingerboard but still touches the previous string, muting it. Kind of like how you press on an inkpad stamp. You roll the pressure. Sounds the new string while mutes the previous one at the same time. Important technique!

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BlankRune
(@blankrune)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Awesome, thanks for the advice guys.


   
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jeffster1
(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 231
 

A lot of times arpeggios are played in this fashion. The finger lifting is good advice, and will work almost always. The problem is if you're playing near a harmonic (5th, 7th, and 12th frets especially) you will sometimes get the harmonic overtone when you lift your finger. Something that will come with time is what your picking hand is doing as well. Usually if I'm playing an arpeggio that requires muting, my picking hand sort of lays on the previous strings as I move down to pluck the higher strings. This kills the harmonics that may arise. For the tab you showed, this probably isn't an issue, and it might not even be one until you're playing an electric where the harmonics really come out. Just an additional tip.


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

On some guitars, especially resonators, even when you effectively mute the strings you'll hear a metallic ringing going on for a bit. That's just the nature of the beast. On some acoustics I hear a very high pitched ringing for an instant after muting the strings. It can sound a bit like a "clank," which is surprising coming from a wooden guitar. It comes from the string sections above the nut. Again I consider that "the nature of the beast," though I suppose if it bothered you, you could stick a piece of foam between the strings and headstock or some such.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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BmanCV-60
(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 135
 

I have the same problem/questions as BlankRune; how best to mute so as much extra sound is damped as possible but not have what you play sound clunky and dull? In listening to recorded music or my teacher it always sounds so clean :(

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
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kent_eh
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

how best to mute .....
In listening to recorded music or my teacher it always sounds so clean :(

Don't compare your playing to professional studio recordings. That way lies madness. :wink:
Keep in mind that in the studio, they have a lot of processing going on, even for a "simple" acoustic recording. Plus the player has probably been at it for a lot more years than you have.

As to your teachers' playing, it's all in the technique. Pay close attention to his hands, and ask him to show you s-l-o-w-l-y how he does it.
Then practice. Subtle techniques take time to develop.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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Sin City Sid
(@sin-city-sid)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 735
 

I had to pickup the guitar to play that... I would roll my fingers to play and mute that, basically the same as others have said by lifting just slightly.


   
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BmanCV-60
(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 135
 

how best to mute .....
In listening to recorded music or my teacher it always sounds so clean :(

Don't compare your playing to professional studio recordings. That way lies madness. :wink:
Keep in mind that in the studio, they have a lot of processing going on, even for a "simple" acoustic recording. Plus the player has probably been at it for a lot more years than you have.

As to your teachers' playing, it's all in the technique. Pay close attention to his hands, and ask him to show you s-l-o-w-l-y how he does it.
Then practice. Subtle techniques take time to develop.

Thanks, I should know better but it can be a little exasperating.. makes you think of the old line, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" :P

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
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