#1
Hi guys, I was just wondering what the best way to mute the string below is when doing pull offs to an open string?

For example, when pulling off the 5th fret of the b string to an open b string I always seem to hit the high e string and hear ringing from it. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Chris
#2
I suspect you're moving your finger too much parallel to the fret as you pull-off, so colliding with the E string.  Pull-offs are not large yanking motions.  However, the solution is muting, while you have this issue (below).

Make a loose fist with  your picking hand, and place on a table top.  Rotate your forearm, so you can see your curled pinky.  The area around the joint nearest the pink tip can be used to rest on the treble E string.  Experiment with the angle of your fist to the guitar strings, from flat, to rotated a bit.  The idea is to make a "tunnel" so the string you want heard rings out clearly.  Everything else is muted by your picking hand.

However,  the puff off you mention can be done with no pick-hand muting.  

Experiment with just lifting your finger upwards off the B string, with no motion towards the E string.  Than try different angles so, as well as upwards,  your finger tip is travelling towards the E string at say 45 degrees.  Regardless, stop before you get there.  You can try this (45 degrees) with your tip moving towards the head stock or towards the body.  You should find a sweet spot where the string is pulled enough to get a good energetic sound.

There are two schools of thought on how much energy you should put into hammer-ons/pull-offs.  The pull-off motion is naturally weaker than hammer-ons.  We're designed to grab hold!

1) with an ascending pattern, e.g. 5, 7, 8 on same string, once a finger has been placed on the string, it stays there.  So, if this pattern is repeated (5,7,8, 5,7,8 ...) the pull-off from 8 needs to be strong to make the 5 sound clearly.

2) alternatively, only have one finger on the string at any time.  With this approach, the emphasis changes to making use of the fact that hammer-ons are naturally stronger.  So, with 5 -> 7,  hammer on 5.  Relax 5 off string as 7 starts to hammer on.  Same for 7 -> 8.  But now, for 8 -> 5, the same apprpoach is used:  RELAX 8 off the string as 5 is preparing to hammer on.  See how this doesn't use lots of energy for the "pull-off", whihc is now "relax-off".

The 2nd method makes more use of the stronger muscles.  

Another problem with first approach occurs wth changing strings, when ascending a scale.  e.g imagine playing 5, 7, 8 on B string, then on E string.  WIth the first approach, your 1st finger is still on the 5th fret, B string when time comes to move to the 5th fret E string.  Whereas with the second approach, as your 1st finger is not on the B string at this time, it can prepare (move into place on 1st string) while the 8th fret is played on the B string.

At low speeds this makes little odds.  At high speeds, every bit of conserved motion and energy counts.

I use the 2nd approach.  It takes a bot of getting used to.  When practicing, you have to consciously send messages from your brain  to your finger to "relax".  This has to be developed from very slow speeds so the correct muscle and joint actions occur.  Plus of course, a pick is often involved to impart energy.

But everyone is different.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 23, 2017,