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#1
So I have only been playing guitar for 3 months, and I have been playing songs with mostly power chords (since they are easy).

I can play chords pretty well that consist of the EAD strings, but when I try to play the AD chords, it gets a bit tricky for me. I can go from a full out strum up and down for the EAD, but when I try to play the AD, I have to play much more subtly and slower, to make sure that I don't hit the low E string.

What are some good techniques to mute the low E string?

Thanks!

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#2
I use my index finger to mute the low E string, I put it on the side of the string

occasionally I use my thumb
#3
try using the fat of your index finger to mute the string. like lets say you're playing a 5/7 power chord, when your index finger plays the 5 on the A, use the pad of the finger to mute the string, otherwise you can try to use the palm of your strumming hand.
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#4
more your index finger up abit so that it mutes the E string . This helps alot.! but don't depend on that completely. I always try not to hit the E string anyways when strumming these chords
#5
If I'm playing a D power chord, which is
Ex
A5
D7
G7
B
E
I use my first finger to play the 5th fret, then my ring and pinky fingers for the 7th fret notes, then use my middle finger to rest over the chord and touch the E string. It sounds weird, but it works. You will have to learn to do it a different way though, for when you start playing power chords with definitive 3rds in them, like this:

Ex
A5
D7
G7
B6 < Extra note you need your middle finger for
E

But don't worry about that for now.
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#6
I have huge hand, so I use my thumb. But moving the index finder up a little will works
#8
Using a finger to mute the string is something that will soon occur automatically, but I'd still advise to keep an eye on the strumming motion. An economical picking technique is the cornerstone of fast & accurate playing, and always making sure that you're not doing any unnecessary movement is a great way to practice it - strumming is not an exception.
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#9
Quote by druggietoad2k5
If I'm playing a D power chord, which is
Ex
A5
D7
G7
B
E
I use my first finger to play the 5th fret, then my ring and pinky fingers for the 7th fret notes, then use my middle finger to rest over the chord and touch the E string. It sounds weird, but it works. You will have to learn to do it a different way though, for when you start playing power chords with definitive 3rds in them, like this:

Ex
A5
D7
G7
B6 < Extra note you need your middle finger for
E

But don't worry about that for now.


Dont do this, If it sounds funny its not working. your just triggering random natural harmonics. Plus, it will feel akward to shift your middle finger back for full powerchords later on. Just use your index to mute

EDIT: or thumb, if prefered
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Last edited by ratracekid111 at Dec 16, 2009,
#10
Quote by ratracekid111
Dont do this, If it sounds funny its not working. your just triggering random natural harmonics. Plus, it will feel akward to shift your middle finger back for full powerchords later on. Just use your index to mute

EDIT: or thumb, if prefered


No, not the noise of the technique sounds funny, how i described it sounded stupid.

That's Britishisms for you...
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i have no helpful advice

#11
I feel like it's all in your picking hand technique. Practice enough with accuracy and string skipping and give that hand a 6th sense of what to play and it should work out.
#12
Quote by TjerG
I use my index finger to mute the low E string, I put it on the side of the string

occasionally I use my thumb


+1
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#13
First: do NOT use your thumb. It's not good technique, if you need to use your thumb for muting you have bad muting technique and should by no means be explaining to anyone how to mute.

Quite simply in this case, to mute the low E when playing a power chord with the root note (or lowest note for those that are pointlessly pedantic) on the A string just don't hit the low E string. Work on your right hand's accuracy or you'll have problems in the future
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#14
As long as its slow enough that you can down pick the chords,you really dont have to mute anything, just dont hit the E string. If the chords are played quickly so as to require alternate strumming, then it will be a lot easier to mute the E string than to try and avoid hitting it.
#15
Quote by Aleksi
First: do NOT use your thumb. It's not good technique, if you need to use your thumb for muting you have bad muting technique and should by no means be explaining to anyone how to mute.


This is nonsensical. Many of the best guitarists the world has ever seen have muted (and fretted) with their thumb. There's no real need for it in this case, since the index finger works just fine. But there's certainly nothing wrong with it either if it's comfortable and works.
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#16
I either use my thumb or my second finger, but I more frequently use my second finger. It just seems to naturally land there, and gives me a chance to rest it a little bit while playing the chord.
#17
Quote by Even Bigger D
This is nonsensical. Many of the best guitarists the world has ever seen have muted (and fretted) with their thumb. There's no real need for it in this case, since the index finger works just fine. But there's certainly nothing wrong with it either if it's comfortable and works.

Best guitarists in the world is purely opinion and just because a famous guitarist does it doesn't make it good technique.
The optimum position for your left hand is to have the thumb centralised behind the neck. The only times you should ever be putting your thumb over the neck are when performing either bends or vibrato.
So:
Premise 1
Thumb generally shouldn't be over the neck.
Premise 2
Thumb needs to be over the neck if you want to mute with it.
Conclusion
You shouldn't mute with your thumb.

This is purely logical if you accept the premises as true... If you don't accept one of the premises let me know and I'll be happy to prove them.

Plus, I'll also mention that any muting you need to perform can be done without the thumb, I have never encountered a situation when such a thing was required, nor can I think of one... Certainly THIS situation does not call for muting with the thumb.
As a general rule the muting of lower pitched strings than the one you are currently playing can be achieved using the right hand. The ones with a higher pitch can be muted with the left hand. Other than that, don't pick the strings you don't want to play, it's just sloppy and lazy...
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#18
Quote by Aleksi

Quite simply in this case, to mute the low E when playing a power chord with the root note (or lowest note for those that are pointlessly pedantic) on the A string just don't hit the low E string. Work on your right hand's accuracy or you'll have problems in the future



while good technique is nice to develop, use shortcuts such as pointer muting the low E is be easiest way
#19
Quote by iampeter
while good technique is nice to develop, use shortcuts such as pointer muting the low E is be easiest way

Using "shortcuts" usually comes back to bite you on the ass. Good technique will always provide better results. A lot of people end up not using the pinky because it's easier for them to stretch their ring finger, anchoring their picking hand because it's easier, tensing up because they can't be bothered learning to play fast loosely...
These people get worse results and have to work harder to achieve them (in the end), it's also possible that they end up injuring themselves.
Of course it's up to the guitarist whether or not they're willing to put in the hard work and how good they wish to become but in my opinion it's well worth the effort.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#20
Quote by Aleksi
Best guitarists in the world is purely opinion and just because a famous guitarist does it doesn't make it good technique.


Oh horseshit. Decades of the best players ever to pick up the instrument have put their thumb over the top of the neck whenever they feel like it. Remember, we're playing power chords (and hence rock) here. This isn't some nylon string classical with a neck the size of the titanic.

You can argue that all the great guitarists are wrong, and you (an anonymous guy on the internet) know better than they do, but you'll just end up sounding like a child armed with nonsensical "proofs" and ready to play internet. If you really want to do that, go right ahead
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 16, 2009,
#21
Aleksi you're taking this way too seriously. The thumb can and will be over the neck when playing chords/bending/vibrato. There's no sense in acting so damn strict about not using your thumb if it's already there in the first place. True, the GENERAL ideal position is behind the neck, usually. The thing with these "rules" is that they're only there to help you have as good technique as possible. Using your thumb to mute if it's already there or if in that given situation there is no other way to mute will not be detrimental to your technique.
#22
Quote by Aleksi

The optimum position for your left hand is to have the thumb centralised behind the neck. The only times you should ever be putting your thumb over the neck are when performing either bends or vibrato.


dude, every time I see you post in a thread, you always mention this thumb behind the neck thing. what's sad tho is that I don't think the OPs even listen to the correct advice half the time. there are so many people on here who give bad advice.
#23
Quote by Moonshield17
dude, every time I see you post in a thread, you always mention this thumb behind the neck thing. what's sad tho is that I don't think the OPs even listen to the correct advice half the time. there are so many people on here who give bad advice.

Yeah, unfortunately it's something that seems to need mentioning a lot, especially when you get the crowd of people who insist that the thumb should be used for muting. It gets a bit tiresome repeating it but if it helps even one person then it's worth it lol, they should put this stuff in the sticky.

Even Bigger D: Many famous guitarists anchor, many famous guitarists (especially the older generations) neglected their pinkys, many famous guitarists tense up a lot to play fast. The fact remains that these are not good technique... Also, when did the TS say this was about rock?
Classical guitarists put their thumbs behind the neck for good reason: better reach, more ideal positioning of the fingers, less tension due to a straighter wrist, less tension due to the fingers being in better position and requiring less effort to move. Playing with ones thumb behind the neck is not limited to classical, I play both classical music and metal and I've experienced vast improvements in my playing since placing my thumb behind the neck.
I used to play with my thumb over the neck, I was slower, I had issues with finger independence (random flying fingers) and I had less reach. Moving my thumb behind the neck solved all those problems pretty quickly.

fixationdarknes: The thumb does go over the neck for bending or vibrato as I already mentioned. With this in mind, the thumb shouldn't be there in the first place so you shouldn't be muting with it and nor are you required to... If a single one of you can point out a situation in which the only possible way to mute is by using your thumb I will yield this point but I personally have yet to find one.
In the thread starter's case, I play chords with the root on the A string extremely frequently and I never have any excess noise... I do not use anything on my left hand to mute the string above when playing power chords, it is ALL coming from my right hand. So, if I can do it without using my thumb then it follows that it is not necessary to use your thumb.
I know I can be a bit of a technique nazi, but I always work on the assumption that people who ask questions in this forum want ideal technique. Getting the basics down, such as placing both hands in the correct positions, will help you with everything you do in your guitar playing future. You don't build a house on sand and you don't get great technique with a poor foundation.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#24
Quote by druggietoad2k5
If I'm playing a D power chord, which is
Ex
A5
D7
G7
B
E
I use my first finger to play the 5th fret, then my ring and pinky fingers for the 7th fret notes, then use my middle finger to rest over the chord and touch the E string. It sounds weird, but it works. You will have to learn to do it a different way though, for when you start playing power chords with definitive 3rds in them, like this:

Ex
A5
D7
G7
B6 < Extra note you need your middle finger for
E

But don't worry about that for now.



Flip those tabs, they are the wrong way around.
#25
I use the tip of my fretting index finger. Using your thumb feels more awkward than the fretting index, as you cannot stretch nearly as much and feels cramped. I do use my thumb to mute the E string when playing an A5 chord on the 5th string or Amaj/min or Dmin/major. Only when playing chords with open lower strings. Is there any other way?
#26
Quote by Aleksi

Even Bigger D: Many famous guitarists anchor, many famous guitarists (especially the older generations) neglected their pinkys, many famous guitarists tense up a lot to play fast. The fact remains that these are not good technique... Also, when did the TS say this was about rock?


So basically, the best players of the last half century are all wrong, and you, an anonymous guy on the internet are right. Got it. They have no accomplishments. You and your well placed thumb have done everything. Hence why we should listen to you and not them.

I used to think like you once upon a time - as a kid I thought that the key to emulating all my 80's shred guitar heroes was to have a very upright, thumb-behind-the-neck technique. Then I actually saw a couple of them in concert, and realized they didn't actually play that way very much. Why? because it's awkward as **** unless you're playing a classical. Lesson learned. With some experience, you may eventually learn the same lesson.

Oh, and OP said it was about rock when he said he was playing songs with mostly power chords. Duh. You might try reading the posts so this doesn't happen again
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 17, 2009,
#27
Quote by Even Bigger D
So basically, the best players of the last half century are all wrong, and you, an anonymous guy on the internet are right. Got it. They have no accomplishments. You and your well placed thumb have done everything. Hence why we should listen to you and not them.


No, he is saying that they are using incorrect technique and hurting themselves, that doesn't mean that they're not creative.


Steve Morse can play pretty much anything, has a degree in classical guitar, has made a name for himself as a guitar virtuoso and plays with Deep Purple, has signature guitars and amps and... OH SHIT, he has carpel tunnel, coming from ****ed up technique.

Now, I assume that I will never develope carpel tunnel and I assume that I won't be playing with Purple any time soon, however, my technique is "safer".


Quote by Even Bigger D

I used to think like you once upon a time - as a kid I thought that the key to emulating all my 80's shred guitar heroes was to have a very upright, thumb-behind-the-neck technique. Then I actually saw a couple of them in concert, and realized they didn't actually play that way very much. Why? because it's awkward as **** unless you're playing a classical. Lesson learned. With some experience, you may eventually learn the same lesson.



It's "awkward as hell" because they don't practise it, the same reason why every other technique feels awkward. Don't blame something being "awkward" because you can't do it.
Watch Zakk Wylde, when he plays a more complex run you will see him lift his leg up on a stage monitor and place his thumb correctly behind the neck for wide stretches and precision.


Aleksi is right.
Last edited by Nilpferdkoenig at Dec 17, 2009,
#28
Quote by Even Bigger D
So basically, the best players of the last half century are all wrong, and you, an anonymous guy on the internet are right. Got it. They have no accomplishments. You and your well placed thumb have done everything. Hence why we should listen to you and not them.

No, if you play with incorrect technique you can still achieve. My favorite guitarist is Alexi Laiho yet he is miles away from technical perfection. Good technique makes good results easier to achieve; with poor technique you'll have to work a lot harder in the end and you'll never achieve your FULL potential (though you might still be a fantastic player).

I used to think like you once upon a time - as a kid I thought that the key to emulating all my 80's shred guitar heroes was to have a very upright, thumb-behind-the-neck technique. Then I actually saw a couple of them in concert, and realized they didn't actually play that way very much. Why? because it's awkward as **** unless you're playing a classical. Lesson learned. With some experience, you may eventually learn the same lesson.

I don't play a classical guitar and I don't find it awkward at all, you just need to practice it. A lot of things feel awkward in guitar until you've practiced them... A good example of this is alternate picking.

Oh, and OP said it was about rock when he said he was playing songs with mostly power chords. Duh. You might try reading the posts so this doesn't happen again

Yeah... Plenty of other genres use power chords: metal and punk for example. Don't assume.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#29
Quote by Aleksi

Yeah... Plenty of other genres use power chords: metal and punk for example. Don't assume.


You mean like genres of rock?

This has to be a joke. No honest person could actually have posted what you just did. I'm done being trolled.
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#30
Quote by Even Bigger D
You mean like genres of rock?

This has to be a joke. No honest person could actually have posted what you just did. I'm done being trolled.

Since when is metal a genre of rock? It may have evolved from rock but it is certainly not rock... If you think like that you may as well say rock is just a subgenre of blues.
I assure you it's no joke, you're apparently just thick as pig shit
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#31
Quote by Aleksi
Since when is metal a genre of rock?


Since forever, or at least since Burroughs coined the term in a musical context.

Seriously, you can't be this clueless about what you're professing to to be an expert about. If you really don't know, read the first line of

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_music

and then stop pretending to know what the **** you're talking about. Thx.
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#33
I am not playing classical guitar at all. For example some songs I am learning right now:

CCR - Up around the bend
Metallica - Creeping Death
Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Nirvana - In Bloom
High on Fire - Return to NOD
Amon Amarth - The pursuit of Vikings

I plan on taking everyone's advice, I am going to try using the index finger to mute low E.

I do use my thumb to play a G chord, I guess that is improper technique?

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#35
Quote by tronester
I am not playing classical guitar at all. For example some songs I am learning right now:

CCR - Up around the bend
Metallica - Creeping Death
Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Nirvana - In Bloom
High on Fire - Return to NOD
Amon Amarth - The pursuit of Vikings

I plan on taking everyone's advice, I am going to try using the index finger to mute low E.

I do use my thumb to play a G chord, I guess that is improper technique?


depends on where youre playing the G, and what chord shape youre using.
Quote by God
i lol'd
#36
Aleksi- just give it up. If the guy wants to hurt himself with poor technique cuz he sees his idols doing it on stage, then let him be. He's made up his mind. Some people are strong enough to be their own players, while most others just want to mimic the ones they worship.
#37
Are people really having this heated of an arguement over where some guy should put his fucking thumb?
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#38
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Flip those tabs, they are the wrong way around.


If you read my sig, you'd realise that I'm left handed. The tabs are not the wrong way round to me. I have to read (and do so all the time) right handed tabs, so If I can read and flip at the same time, anybody else can. I just always revert to writing them left handed because that's natural to me.
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On slapping on a bass:
Quote by supersac
pretend its a woman
i have no helpful advice

#39
Quote by Lots O' FX
Are people really having this heated of an arguement over where some guy should put his fucking thumb?


when people refuse to accept good advice, it's frustrating. Good technique is important and shouldn't be swept aside... on a guitar forum of all places. This is supposed to be about learning and bettering yourself.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do. - Goethe


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#40
Quote by miss-moose
when people refuse to accept good advice, it's frustrating. Good technique is important and shouldn't be swept aside... on a guitar forum of all places. This is supposed to be about learning and bettering yourself.

Problem is, what one poster is pushing as "good technique" is pretty much the polar opposite of what actually works well in the genre in question.
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 17, 2009,
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