Palm Muting While Strumming
Hey everyone - I have a little technique question for you guys (as I usually do...). Whenever I am strumming, and I want to get a few percussive beats in with muted strings, I have trouble continuing to strum. I really enjoy barre chords because they make it so easy to get that feel of strumming chords, but getting some muted strings in (just release tension in the left hand). When I am playing open chords, I can usually continue to strum down strokes with my palm muting the strings, but if I try to strum up, the pick is usually in a really strange position because when I hold the pick to strum, the pointed part is looking up towards me a bit, so if I strum up with it in that direction, it catches on the strings, and just doesn't work (does any of that make sense??).
If I tilt my hand for the upstroke (like I do when I am not palm muting) I can make it strum up a little smoother, but then I loose the muting because my hand comes off of 4 or 5 of the strings.
Hopefully all this will make a bit of sense to you guys, as I am sure you have some great suggestions, but not sure if I am really expressing what my problem is clear enough. Anyway, thanks in advance! :)
I know exactly what you mean. My best advice is after you read this, don't think about it, relax and practice. Put on some reggae and work with it.
Try practicing just palm muted upstrokes. Don't start with a palm muted downstroke. Find out how your hand works for that.
I find it easier if I almost remove/reposition the muting hand in between palm muted down and up. I don't really, but the thought is there in the back of my head as it's two different things, the up and down.
It can be done, but also be aware that it's a very different sound when you start with the higher strings. It's okay that it does. Get used to the sound.
Second thing, a palm mute is a percussive effect, so getting all the strings isn't necessary. Really relax and try hitting only strings 4,5 and 6 on the way up.
Third, be aware that your hand on the upstroke does indeed hit the strings at a slightly different angle than on a down. If you are looking at the guitar the pick travels like the lower half of a ) In other words it should feel a bit different. It's okay.
Just relax and allow the hand to adjust Don't try to hit the strings hard, but hit them light but percussively and with a fluid follow through. Almost like hitting a snare drum with a stick and letting it bounce back up.
i use palm muting/percussion a lot on acoustic guitar and i dont use my palm at all, during chords other than barre chords i put my pinky across the strings to mute them all, sounds awkward but its so easy! i can do it and still use the pinky on a string in between up-down-up-down strokes, i find that a lot easy than palm muting plus it gives it a louder and cleaner muted sound
Nick, thanks for the advice. I think you may be right about the relaxing thing. I do tend to get a bit tense - practice, practice, practice, right? Hopefully I can get this down - I really do love the sound of a bit of distortion with some really quick palm muted strums in between chords - love it!
cole, I will have to give that a try - sounds like it could work, but it would seem to tie up the pinky when it could be being used for other things, though?