This Is Why You Suck at Guitar: Your Muting/Dampening SUCKS! Ditch the Hairband!

Uncle Ben Eller explains the secret muting techniques every good guitarist uses that nobody ever talks about!

Ultimate Guitar
Hey, lords and ladies! It's Uncle Ben Eller here, back again with another episode of "This is Why You Suck at Guitar!"

This time we are going to take a look at the most important technique that nobody ever seems to talk about: muting/dampening with both hands. No, I'm not talking about chugga chugga Metallica style palm muting, I'm talking about cleaning up the ringing strings, sympathetic vibrations, and wild overtones that erupt from your guitar every time you hook up to that Line 69 amp and crank up that "Insane" setting.

Utilizing left and right hand dampening techniques will make ANYTHING you're playing, from fast chunky riffs to 16th note shredding, sound better instantly.

It seems to be the usual these days to go buy a string mute or steal a hairband from your sister and wrap it around the strings at the nut, thus killing out any nasty noises... but that just isn't necessary. Look at it this way: Yngwie didn't use one on "Rising Force," and I think we can all agree his playing was pretty doggone clean. If YJM doesn't need it, neither do you, so go give that scrunchie back to your sister, and tell her I said "hi." And also tell her to give me my REO Speedwagon shirt back.

(And yes, Guthrie Govan, the beast himself, uses a hair band sometimes; that is addressed in the video.)

First we will take a look at right hand dampening techniques, which are mainly used to keep the bass strings quiet; after that, I'll break down super secret left hand soft capo muting tricks to clean up those high strings. And after all that, I'll show you a couple more muting tricks that I've picked up from dudes like Joe Satriani!

So tune up, strap in, and mute out with me, and let's make the world a cleaner place, one player at a time!

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15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Guthrie Govan uses a hairband for two handed tapping stuff, when he can't mute the strings with either hand.
    Wow he's so incapable of properly muting sympathetic vibrations when his other two hands are busy being ridiculously epic. Good lesson now I can clean up my sweeps.
    I always use a hairband when recording. In fact, I've just done it a minute ago.
    I've been muting strings and like lying my right hand on the unused strings without actually knowing or watching a lesson I just realized it when he mentioned it, guess I kinda adapted?
    nice stuff heard about this before but was never actually told just how to do it!!!Thanks
    I just assumed Sympathetic Vibrations was another Chris Cornell side project.