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silencing adjacent strings

Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 22
Topic starter  

Having a problem with adjacent strings to the ones I'm picking, vibrating and creating a quite noticable noise. For example if I hit either E string even moderatly lightly often the adjacent strings will begin to vibrate and muddy up the overall sound. I searched a little and found other posts regarding this but not any advice on how to mute them efficiently.

The guitar itself is new & seems fine so likely not the problem. If muting is the key, does this mean while hitting virtually any string with moderate picking force, I will have to learn to mute every other string at the same time? The only confusing part is that I see people picking out solos often on the bottom 1-3 strings but not having there hands near the top 3 muting any strings.

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4389

No, you shouldn't have to mute adjacent strings so much. Have you had your guitar set up properly? And, are we talking about an electric or an acoustic? You might just need to take it to your local guitar store and have a proper set up done. It's not expensive and it's definitely worth it.

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"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"

Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 273

I agree with Elecktrablue to an extent, and I'm well aware that everyone has a different technique when it comes to playing, but I think that a little bit of good muting is really important. When I play singlenote runs, I usually mute the string directly above and below the one I'm playing, in some way. Here's what works for me:

Let's say I'm playing on the D-string. I use the palm of my pcking hand to mute the string below it (in this example the A-sting) and I use my fretting hand to mute the string above it (the G here). Using the palm of the picking hand isin't too hard to explain, just gently lay your palm accross the strings, just like palm-muting, only don't mute the string you're currently playing on. Using the fretting hand is a bit trickier. I lay my fretting finger across the string I want to mute as it is still fretting the note on the string I am playing. Hope that makes sense...

Muting the two adjacent strings seems to be enough to get ride of most unwanted noise for me, at least. Once you practice it a bit though, it just becomes habit, so it's not so much actually 'muting' as just a technique. Of course, this is just my take on it. Try it, if it works, awesome...but in the end, play around and find what works for you! :smile:

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