I've been playing electric guitar for about 12 years and it seems the better I get the worse I feel about my playing. I start to notice things I didn't notice before. I also just went to the dark side and purchased my first tube amp and...maybe it's just me but it seems to illuminate my flaws. In the last few months I've come to realize that the main thing that separates average guitarists from great ones is the ability to play clean and reduce string noise. I've been practicing some muting techniques with both hands but it's definitely not coming easy. Any tips to play more cleanly?
I know what you mean. That's pretty common the more advanced you get.

Troy Grady has a sight called Cracking the Code which completely dissects the technique of great players. You can sign up at his site or you can check out his YouTube Channel. a quick Google search should get you there. He's got a lot of stuff up there for free and it's expertly done and entertaining as well. Pay particular attention to videos about pick slanting and string hopping. Very enlightening stuff.

Good luck!
"it seems the better I get the worse I feel about my playing."

I feel your pain man, I really do... I try to slow stuff way down and mute as much as possible, but it doesn't always go to plan. I also tie a sock or something around the nut if I'm recording and try to find the 'just right' level on a noise gate. I've heard a lot of people bang on about those jimmy clip things but I've not tried one yet...
economy of motion not only makes playing fast easier, it also reduces the chance of making unintended string noise. not making the noises in the first place is better than muting them.
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If you play any kind of highish gain music, even rock, you need to employ proper muting... if you're used to acoustic and classical guitar, those styles are more suited to letting notes ring out and stuff. That style comes off pretty sloppy on electric guitar though, you really want to use your left hand to mute in conjunction with palm muting. It's kinda important in lots of styles and for adding rhythm too. Whether you're playing red hot chili peppers or slayer, you're gonna need it.
Basically you need to mute with both hands. So, if you are playing a note on the G sting, the B and top E are muted with the left hand's fingers (put them next to the strings on the fretboard, for example) and the bottom E, A and D are muted with the right hand's palm. So you need to learn how to move across the muting in synchronism with moving across the pick. Like every thing guitar it's about practice and more practice.
Last edited by PSimonR at Apr 15, 2016,
it's been mentioned before but definitely check Troy Grady's stuff. It helped me tremendously for cleaning up my technique and becoming more aware of everything
I should also point out that your amp and FX settings could have a lot to do with this, in combination with your technique.

I used to play a lot of Metal in the early stages of my career and I used to just crank the gain on the amp or the distortion pedal (depending on my rig at the time) up to 11 and just go balls out.

Over time I realized that I was using all that gain to mask relatively poor finger technique at the cost of having to figure out how to mute and dampen everything because the noise was just terrible.

With practice, I cleaned up my finger technique so that I could get the full pitch out of each fret with each finger. Does that make sense? With more pitch and tone going to the amp in the first place, I could dial back the gain a few points and minimize a good chunk of that noise. The result is a good tone with plenty of gain AND articulation, WITHOUT all of the noise from the strings.

Sadly, there's no quick fix for this. It all comes down to meticulously analyzing your playing and your rig, making the choices to fix it, and then practice and patience to make it all work . It's totally worth it though!

Good luck!
Last edited by koshaughnesssy at Apr 15, 2016,
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