#1
I've recently discovered that the reason I sound so sloppy especially with high gain stuff is that I'm not properly muting strings that I don't want to play. I'm getting better through patience and practice at muting the low e after playing it but I'm having a lot of trouble with the higher strings (g, b and e) ringing out even if I haven't played them. When playing clean I don't hear them at all it's only with higher gain stuff but it sounds awful. Any advice on how to keep them muted?

For what it's worth at the moment I'm trying to learn Master of Puppets and that's where I'm noticing the issue most but it's pretty bad through all my playing.
#2
Use left hand muting.  Rest your index finger on the higher strings to keep them from ringing.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#3
Pracrice playing arpeggios at high gain. The trick is to only press down hard the note you are playing and slightly release but still hold the string lightly for a split second while playing the next string. It's like a wave motion with your fretting hand to follow your picking hand.
Last edited by risingforce1 at Apr 13, 2017,
#4
Songs like Master of Puppets are pretty good for practicing this actually, because most of the riffs only use the lower strings. As well as doing what Junior#1 said, you should also make sure your right hand is only picking the correct strings. Some people might disagree with this but if you are muting correctly with your fretting hand then your picking hand muting technique doesn't actually have to be perfect.

Could be that you are removing your hand from the fretboard when you are not fretting? If so, don't do this. Keep your hand in place so that you can mute the strings where needed.
#5
ThrashingDeath For the best results, you can use both fretting hand and picking hand for muting.  This does depend on your picking style (in particular, whether you rest a finger or more on the scratch plate, or not).  If you don't rest on the scratch plate, you can form a tunnel in which only one string can ring out, by curling your hand into a very loose fist (so your fingertips aren't touching yur palm), and rest the top joint (at least) of your little finger on the treble string(s), so your little finger nail is nearly in contact with the unmuted string.  Experiment with the heel of your thumb to mute the bass strings.  This is not easy initially, but gives very good results.

As you change strings, the tunnel follows to maintain the mute.

Experiment with the best place for your overall fretting hand to be positioned, depending whether you want a clean or damped sound for the unmuted string.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Apr 13, 2017,
#6
If the strings are unwanted, just take them off like Max Cavelera.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
Quote by theogonia777
If the strings are unwanted, just take them off like Max Cavelera.

Or have a 2-string bass like this guy.



#8
Thanks for all the advice guys! I need to slow this down and practice what I've been told.

Also just wanted to say that the bit that is giving me the most trouble is the "second" riff:  

e|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------| 
D|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----2-----3-----4-----3-----2-2-----2-----3------5\4---5\4---5\4---|
E|-0-1---0-1---0-1---0-1---0-1-----0-1---0-1---0-0--3\2-0-3\2-0-3\2---|



It's really hard to mute the higher strings while my finger is fretting the 1st fret on the low E. Although I think I might accidentally be hitting them, causing the noise. Gonna have to slow right down and really pay attention to what I'm doing.
#9
Quote by ThrashingDeath
It's really hard to mute the higher strings while my finger is fretting the 1st fret on the low E. Although I think I might accidentally be hitting them, causing the noise. Gonna have to slow right down and really pay attention to what I'm doing.

That is probably what is happening, yes. With that riff your picking technique has to be down as well because, as you said, muting with your left hand is going to be harder than during the verse riff, for example.