Playing guitar, it is inevitable to make a ton of noise. After all, isn’t that the purpose of an instrument; to make as much noise as possible, and turn that noise into music?
However, when it comes to creating that music from noise, not all noise is good noise. There are some noises that are unbearable, and one of these is the noise created by improper fret hand muting.
In this article, we will talk about a few ways in which you can better your fret hand muting, as well as why it is important to do so in the first place. So first off, let’s start off with the why; why is it so important to learn fret hand muting?
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Well, when you learn a piece, you want people to hear that piece, right? Or if you learn a certain solo or a certain riff, you want people to recognize that solo or that riff for what it is, right? The thing is, if you are hitting tons of notes that don’t belong and just don’t make sense while moving around the neck, you are going to start developing a problem, and that problem is called unnecessary noise.
Noise and music go hand in hand, but at the same time they are polar opposites; noise is awful. Noise is messy and chaotic. Music is great. Music is sound that pleases the ear. If you want to play music, and not make noise, you’ll need to learn to control your playing, starting with fret hand muting.
One of the easiest ways to fret hand mute is by using your palm to silence all of the strings that aren’t sounding at the moment. This will stop them from making the noise that we all know they are capable of making when we accidentally nudge them or hit them with your fretting fingers. This involves silencing with your picking hand. This will help you to focus more on your notes being played than on the ones not being played.
Another great way that involves your fretting hand only is a trick called developing accuracy. It means that you will have to take the time with a metronome and build your way up, from slow to full speed so that you are fretting the right notes at all times. This is very effective, and sadly it is often overlooked by musicians, as they tend to rush in head first and not care about proper technique, of which accuracy is a very, very large part.
A great thing to do to ensure that you are fretting the right notes is when you feel overwhelmed, slow down. Don’t worry about what you want to play; worry about playing the correct way. Watch your fingers, and be sure that they are going where they need to go when they need to go there.
In the end, fret hand muting is all about developing proper guitar technique, something that takes both time and patience, so you’ll need to have a lot of both to get it down properly. Good luck!
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