Lesson For Palm Muting

This lesson will show you how to palm mute, a simple technique any guitarist should learn. Find tips and stuff in this lesson that might help.

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Ultimate Guitar
18
*NOTE: you can skip this first paragraph if you want to* I've seen two other palm muting lessons on UG, and I gotta say, I didn't get a lesson that was in-depth enough for me. Before I read these lessons, I already knew how to palm mute. Anyway, I'll show you in the best way I can right now how to palm mute, and give some tips and that good junk. Palm muting is a widely used technique that every guitarist should know how to do, whether they use the technique or not. It's just placing your palm (hence the term "palm mute") over the strings by the bridge, and playing notes to give that tight, staccato-like sound. When I said that palm muting is just placing your palm against the strings by the bridge, you don't actually place your palm on the strings, just part of it. What I do is I place the fulcrum point of my hand and forearm on the bridge, therefore the fulcrum touching the strings, which enables you to pal mute when you play notes. *NOTE: Don't confuse the bridge and the tailpiece. The bridge is closer to the neck, while the tailpiece is farther from the neck. For those acoustic guitar players, in case you don't know, the tailpiece is the wide brown piece of wood, and the bridge is the narrow white piece of wood.* If you play a palm muted note that sounds a half-tone higher than you wanted (for example, you would play a B but a C would sound), you're probably pressing too hard, so loosen up! If you are playing palm muted notes with non-palm muted chords such as this:
e|-----------------------------------|
b|-----------------------------------|
g|-----------------------------------|
d|-----------------------------------|
a|-7---------7---7-7---------7-----7-|
e|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
  PM -------   -     -------   ---
By the way, the dashes indicate that you should palm mute those notes. So if you're playing something like that, you'll notice that you either lift your hand or move your hand towards the tail piece when you play non-palm muted notes, but it's most likely that you'll just lift your hand. Also you notice that when you lift your hand to play the chords, you sweep the pick (or thumb) in a circle-like movement, but when you play the mutes, you pick perpendicular to the strings. I don't know why I put that stuff in, but I thought it would help. Two more things: 1 - You might find it hard to play pinch harmonics (if you know how to play them) after playing a palm muted note. Observe your hand when you play the harmonics and when you play the palm mutes, there's a difference in angle in how you play the two types of notes. 2 - There's also a difference in angle when you play non-palm muted notes and palm muted notes. When playing palm mutes, you might find your hand to be "controlled" and by that I mean not swinging your hand all over the place, and that your hand is more closed in and closer to your palm. When playing normal, non-muted notes, the hand is more relaxed and is farther from the palm. If you give this lesson a bad rating, it's OK, I was bored and had nothing to do, and it's my first lesson. Hope this helps!

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    JAHGoVeg
    thats like a freakin awesome lesson for a beginner to understand. i would have loved this lesson when i was starting out.
    Blagaquondo
    Not sure if it a guitarist term or a general term, but what the hell is a fulcrum??
    clwnz
    Blagaquondo wrote: Not sure if it a guitarist term or a general term, but what the hell is a fulcrum??
    Isn't it like part of your wrist or maybe IS your wrist? Not sure.
    alo333
    its cool that you desided to do others a kindness when u had nothing else to do but never the less thanx guy
    the-13th-floor
    hey, how do you mute open strings....? i know that may be worded wrong but....nm. if you have any advice on how to do that....it would be really helpful.
    dreamerthinker5
    I'm sorry I read through like the 1st 2 paragraphs and I was like whaaaaa..? and I read the rest and I still didn't get it sorry it just didn't make sense to me with all the terms and stuff. I need a dumb version!
    dreamerthinker5
    Should one be able to mute with an electirc bass? Maybe that's my problem... All of the muting lessons I've seen are for guitar not bass guitar help? please?
    BVBKilljoy
    the-13th-floor wrote: hey, how do you mute open strings....? i know that may be worded wrong but....nm. if you have any advice on how to do that....it would be really helpful.
    The same as how you mute a fretted note.