Are beginners compelled to learn how to mute guitar strings while strumming or also known as palm muting? Is it really that necessary to add in every guitar player’s arsenal? We are going to find out if there is a point in learning this technique.
So, what is palm muting? Palm muting is a strumming technique that involves dynamic control in guitar playing to dampen the strings, resulting in a limited sustain to the guitar’s sound.
Palm muting is a strumming technique that different genres have frequently used, but it is really widely used in hard rock and metal songs. You can use the palm muting technique for electric and acoustic guitars, but there are different techniques in its execution used in the two instruments.
Even with the different techniques, its main idea is that when you place the lower edge of your palm across the guitar strings, it allows you to control the level of the damping effect. Remember that for electric guitars, palm muting is purposely executed to make the played chords sound chunky, while in an acoustic guitar, palm muting is usually executed to add some percussions to the chords that are played.
How To Execute Palm Muting In The Electric Guitar?
To be able to perform the palm muting technique in the electric guitar, the first step is you need to place the side of your strumming hand as close as you can to the guitar’s bridge as possible. Remember that when you try the palm muting technique, the notes you are trying to play should have some little sustain and not be completely muted.
The second step is to lightly rest your strumming hand on top of the guitar strings. When you execute the palm muting technique, always remember to relax and just lightly rest your hand into the top of the guitar strings because putting too much pressure on it will probably result in an awful guitar sound.
The third and the last step is to pick the guitar strings. When you start to pick the strings, always remember that you keep your strumming hand on the guitar’s bridge while you are picking the strings. It is very important that your strumming hand must not come away with the guitar’s bridge, as it has to stay in its place while you are strumming the guitar.
When doing the palm muting technique, always remember that when you palm mute, use the three lowest strings in executing it. The three strings are the low E string (6th string), the A string (5th string), and the D string (4th string). Palm muting these strings will give you the most power when strumming the guitar.
If you want a thick sound as a result of executing the palm mute technique on your electric guitar, use its bridge pickups, but if you want a more distorted, buzzy sound, you should use the neck pickups of your electric guitar.
If you want to have the best result for executing the palm muting technique in your electric guitar, use an electric guitar that has humbucker pickups rather than single coils pickups, as they are able to produce a very deep, chunky tone when the strings are palm muted.
For guitar amplifier settings, one of the most recommended is to crank up the mids, treble, and gain, as these will cut through the mix when you are executing the palm muting technique. You can also crank up the volume of the guitar amplifier to really feel the produced notes from palm muting.
You can also crank up more gain and add more bass to the guitar amplifier, as it will produce a low-end chug to your guitar sound when executing the palm mute technique.
Lastly, use a thicker guitar pick and heavier gauge strings if you are frequently palm muting in your electric guitar. Using a thicker pick will help you get a sound out of the chord you are playing without having to use much pressure from your strumming hand, resulting in a more relaxed strumming hand.
How To Execute Palm Muting In The Acoustic Guitar?
When palm muting on your electric guitar, you try to put your hand on the guitar’s bridge and strum the strings in order to create a muted sound, but when you try to palm mute on your acoustic guitar, you try to strum a chord and utilize the palm of your strumming hand within its strum pattern in order to create a percussive sound.
The first step in executing the palm muting technique on an acoustic guitar is to pluck the guitar strings with your fingers. To fingerpick, use your thumb and place it on either the low E string (6th string), A string (5th string), or the D string (4th string).
After placing your thumb on either of the three strings, you also put your middle finger on the G string (3rd string), your ring finger on the B string (2nd string), and your little finger on the high E string (1st string).
The second step is when you strum the guitar chord with your fingers; you have two options: pluck all of the guitar strings simultaneously or fingerpick each of the guitar strings separately. Remember that there is no wrong with the two options, and it will all depend on your creativity as a musician on which option you are going to use.
The last step is that when you pluck the guitar chord, you should immediately mute it with your strumming hand. To create a percussive sound on your acoustic guitar while executing the palm muting technique, your strumming hand should look like the shape of a claw, and your fingernails should be connected to the acoustic guitar’s body before picking and slamming the strings.
Why Should You Learn How To Palm Mute Guitar Strings?
There are advantages for guitar players to master palm muting. The first reason is that palm muting enhances your musicality as a guitar player. It will make you sound better, and it will allow you to discover unique strumming patterns that utilize palm muting.
The second advantage is that palm muting will give you a huge, powerful sound. If you want to be felt when you are playing the guitar, there is no better way but to add the low-end chug on your guitar playing as produced by palm muting your guitar.
The third advantage is that it tightens up your guitar playing skills. If you want to be a better rhythm guitar player, then learning how to execute the palm muting technique on your guitar will significantly develop your skills in rhythm playing.
Overall, learning how to mute guitar strings while strumming is a great skill to add to any guitar player’s arsenal. Palm muting will give you a better guitar sound overall.