how to reduce guitar attack soften

How To Reduce Guitar Attack: Soften Guitar Attack

So, how do you soften a guitar’s attack? How to reduce guitar attacks? What would happen to my guitar’s attack if I used my hands or pick to strum the guitar strings? Are there any guitar pedals I can use to reduce my guitar’s attack? When it comes to a guitar’s attack, these questions usually come out, and we are here to answer these questions for your sake. It is in our best interest that you will have more profound knowledge when it comes to this topic.

So, what is a guitar attack? A guitar attack is how you pluck the guitar strings either using a guitar pick or your hands. When you hammer your guitar strings, your guitar will usually have a heavy attack, but if you strum it softly, the guitar will only have a soft attack. When it comes to audio in general, the attack is the front edge of the audio.

Does using a guitar pick to strum the strings affect the guitar’s attack? It really depends on how hard you strum your guitar, but using a pick greatly helps to make your guitar sound louder, which means that it adds more to the guitar’s attack. If you also use your hands to strum the strings but with force, the guitar’s attack will also increase, but it would be painful for your fingers to do that consistently, especially if you play for longer hours.

How Can You Reduce Your Guitar’s Attack

Use Your Hands

Although not many guitar players do this, I am one of the guitar players that use their hands to strum the guitar strings rather than using a guitar pick. One of the reasons why I prefer to use my hands in strumming the guitar is that I have better control over the guitar’s attack. I understand that it is not always popular to use your hands rather than the guitar pick, especially if you are a performer that is used to playing for more than two hours.

Strumming with your hands can be a bit painful for your fingers, so the longer you play, the better the chance that the softer you strum the strings because of the pain. The softer you strum the guitar strings, your guitar’s attack will also be reduced. That is how things work. Guitar’s attack can sometimes be distracting, especially if it is cumbersome, so you must know how to tone things down.

Soften Your Strumming

Most guitar players would really be using a guitar pick, as it is the most convenient way to play it. It also has a different feel to it compared to when you use your fingers in strumming the strings of the guitar. When it comes to a guitar’s attack, there is really a difference between using a guitar pick and using your bare fingers to hit the string

When you use a guitar pick in strumming the guitar, it usually has a heavier guitar attack than using your bare fingers. This is why you need to tone down your intensity when strumming the guitar if you would like to reduce your guitar’s attack. It is important that you make this adjustment if you want to reduce your guitar’s attack, or else your guitar will still have the same attack as before. 

If you do not want to tone down your way of strumming, then you can do something else to reduce your guitar’s attack.

Guitar Pedals

Another way you can reduce your guitar attack is to use a guitar pedal. When it comes to reducing your guitar attack, find an attack/decay pedal. This type of pedal is the perfect choice to fix your problem. This type of pedal allows you to adjust the guitar’s attack, so if you want to be reduced or you want to add more if you feel it lacks some, you just turn its knob to the level of your that you prefer.

One option for this type of pedal you can look into is the Electro Harmonix Attack Decay guitar pedal. This guitar pedal has a dedicated attack knob that allows you to adjust the guitar’s attack, so if you want to reduce it, just turn the knob to the left, and you are good to go.


Not everyone has a compressor in their guitar gear. Although many guitar players do not really appreciate the importance of having a compressor on your gear, this is one of the many reasons why you should have one. To reduce your guitar’s attack, using a compressor pedal is a great option for you to do it easily.

If you have a compressor pedal, it can even out attack, depending on how you set it up. A compressor allows you to subdue all the frequencies’ general attack volume, which is great if you want to reduce your guitar’s attack. You should also use a fast attack setting in your setup, as it will greatly help to achieve your desired sound. 

Suppose you are looking for a good compressor pedal. In that case, you should look into the following brands as they have established a great reputation as guitar pedal makers: Boss, MXR, Strymon, TC Electronic, and many more. 


Your last option to reduce guitar attack is to tweak some EQ. EQ helps you shape your guitar’s tone, but one thing that you can also do with it is you can reduce your guitar’s attack without softening your strumming too much. 

Using your EQ, you start to drop 3kHz to 3dB. If you feel that it still needs some adjustment, try to cut the mid-range frequencies. When it comes to EQ, you should really try everything to your preference, but if you want to tone your guitar’s attack, remember to always cut and not to boost.

So, how do you soften a guitar’s attack? There are many ways you can soften your guitar’s attack. First is, you use your hands when you strum a guitar. The second way is for you to soften your way of strumming the guitar. The next thing is to use an attack pedal or use a compressor. The last method is you use an EQ and tweak it.

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