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Old 02-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
realsmoky
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Blocking empty strings

You know how some 7-8-9 string guitarists use a hairtie or something like that to block their empty strings?

I can't find anything useful to block my 6 string guitars empty strings.

What should I use ?


Also, what should I use to block the heavy 5 string bass strings?

Thanks in advance?
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:00 PM   #2
Sid McCall
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Do you mean while strumming or something? Those are just to subdue little ringing sounds and stuff when doing lots of tapping (I believe), not a replacement for good technique. You should be muting the string you don't want to strum with your thumb and sides of your other fingers or something.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:45 PM   #3
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Learn to mute unwanted noise. To use a hairband or whatever to mute strings in every day playing is cheating yourself.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Don't let these guys make you feel like using a dampener is "cheating" - that is nonsense.

I personally just like the sound, and even when its present there is still an audible difference between palm muting and open strumming.

Use whatever works, whether it be a really small hair band or a piece of shoe string. The smaller the better, usually. If the hairbands you are trying to use are too big, you can add a paper clip and hook the back of the band to the machine heads on the back of the headstock.

Using the same logic, you could say that using a whammy bar is cheating. You could say that using effects is cheating. You could say that using a Floyd Rose to keep your strings in tune is cheating. Using a tuner instead of tuning by ear is cheating. Using a pick instead of your fingers/finger nails is cheating. Using different tunings is cheating. Using a capo is cheating. Aside from having something else play the guitar for you, there is no real way to "cheat" when playing guitar. It's really all about your personal preference. If you like it, go for it, if you don't - then don't.

Its as simple as that.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #5
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These are what all the cool kids are using these days: http://www.gruvgear.com/fretwraps
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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Using effects and whammy bars is not even close to the same thing. People don't use the hair bands because it makes your guitar sound any different, it masks the lack of clean playing. It's to mute unwanted string noise. You start using hair bands to mute, you're always going to have bad technique. I don't care who uses them, I'm just saying it's not going to improve your actual playing.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
Using effects and whammy bars is not even close to the same thing. People don't use the hair bands because it makes your guitar sound any different, it masks the lack of clean playing. It's to mute unwanted string noise. You start using hair bands to mute, you're always going to have bad technique. I don't care who uses them, I'm just saying it's not going to improve your actual playing.


Hairbands and that sort of stuff are used to mute the noise you can't mute with your hand such as the string vibrations behind the nut, I don't understand how could that be cheating, it's impossible to stop that kind of noise with your hands.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:12 PM   #8
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Justin handels this issue in this vid. He uses a sock but the idea is the same. Muting unwanted noise when you are unable to do it all the time.




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Its not cheating, its just another tool you can use. Technique comes first but there are situations where you want to get things perfect all the time, IE studio.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:32 PM   #9
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^ +1
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:49 PM   #10
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Batio sells a special mute that attaches to the guitar and can be flipped into place during a song.

As for muting the strings on a bass, just rest your palm/thumb on the lower strings while you play. If your hands are big you can also play with your hand wrapped around the neck and mute the strings with your thumb and index finger.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnyc
Batio sells a special mute that attaches to the guitar and can be flipped into place during a song.


Jennifer Batten uses (and sells) one as well, last time I looked.

The one she sells is plastic and can be had from allparts:



But she uses a Van Eps (George Van Eps used these on his 7-string back in the day:

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Old 02-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
realsmoky
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Thanks for all your input guys!
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:55 AM   #13
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The most common thing I've seen is a hair tie. Or a sock. But let me just say that dampeners are typically used in the studio for difficult lead parts. While they are good to use then, avoid becoming dependent on them to get a good sound. Using one of those live makes you look like a chump.


When I saw how Paul Gilbert played 'get out of my yard' I was a lot less impressed.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairmetalguy
The most common thing I've seen is a hair tie. Or a sock. But let me just say that dampeners are typically used in the studio for difficult lead parts. While they are good to use then, avoid becoming dependent on them to get a good sound. Using one of those live makes you look like a chump.


When I saw how Paul Gilbert played 'get out of my yard' I was a lot less impressed.



Aye. In a studio when you take multiple takes on different parts its useful. You dont want one take to be ruined just because you botch up muting for a second and waste precious studio time.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairmetalguy
The most common thing I've seen is a hair tie. Or a sock. But let me just say that dampeners are typically used in the studio for difficult lead parts. While they are good to use then, avoid becoming dependent on them to get a good sound. Using one of those live makes you look like a chump.


When I saw how Paul Gilbert played 'get out of my yard' I was a lot less impressed.


If you're thinking about anything other than the way something sounds then you're the chump.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
If you're thinking about anything other than the way something sounds then you're the chump.


+1. If freeing up more fingers lets you play something that makes you happy then just do it. Donít worry about impressing people who think means are more important than ends.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:09 PM   #17
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Amen. Play how you want to. I was just saying that you'll get a lot of negative attention from guitar nerds in the audience if you use a dampener live.

That's where you come in with the old comeback: "Wheres your band playing tonight?"
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairmetalguy
negative attention from guitar nerds


Guitar nerds are literally the worst audience. I say that with no hint of irony or hyperbole.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackovSlayer
Hairbands and that sort of stuff are used to mute the noise you can't mute with your hand such as the string vibrations behind the nut, I don't understand how could that be cheating, it's impossible to stop that kind of noise with your hands.


I have never heard string noise from behind the nut, ever. Unless you have a rattling string tree that's too loose, I don't see how it's even possible. The kind of guys I see using these are the shredder types that want their sweep picking to sound better without learning how to mute properly. I'm all for the use of these in the studio where you don't want to do a million takes though.

Last edited by J_W : 02-13-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
I have never heard string noise from behind the nut, ever. Unless you have a rattling string tree that's too loose, I don't see how it's even possible. The kind of guys I see using these are the shredder types that want their sweep picking to sound better without learning how to mute properly. I'm all for the use of these in the studio where you don't want to do a million takes though.


Yes, of course, in the studio it's a normal thing to use stuff on the fretboard to mute strings to get the best sounding performance. But people do use stuff to kill vibrations behind the nut, there's a lot of videos on youtube of people doing that, try finding some, Gruvgear Fretwrap that Zaphod mentioned in earlier post is often used for that.
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