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Thread: i need advice or help plz

  1. #1
    I do what i do Metal4LyFe1993's Avatar
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    Question i need advice or help plz

    when i try to play songs that constantly move to different strings, it doesnt sound right, you can tell im switchin to a differnet string it doesnt go smoothly and when try to switch the other string is still ringing, i dnt know how to stop it and play the next one without stopping. if you know what im talking about plz help. i hope i explained it well so you understand. how can i fix this or get better?

  2. #2
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    Most songs, if not all, involve changing strings on guitar. How's your muting?

  3. #3
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    It does sound like a muting problem.

    However, this sort of thing never used to a problem at all until people started using very high gain pickups and very high gain amp settings.

    We don't discuss equipment on this forum (gear talk is banned), so I won't say much except - you can't do much about your pickups (except change to a lower gain type), but if you turn down the gain on your amp settings, then the problem will probably be hardly noticeable.

    Also - the problem usually sounds much worse if you are trying to play very fast shred type licks, because the speed at which you are changing strings makes it harder to damp one string quickly before moving to the next string. So again - the problem is one that has only really appeared since people started the play shred styles with very high gain.

    Just try a simple experiment - change your amp settings to a softer more blues or jazzy tone, maybe switch to the neck or mid pickup, and then try playing in a different style eg slow blues ... if you don't experience the same unwanted noise problems, then obviously the problem is your high gain setting plus probably your faster playing style.

    You can learn to control that by a lot of practice with left and right hand muting. But in my experience that's not easy and might take you years to get anywhere near perfecting that muting technique.

    If you have Paul Gilbert's Intense Rock DVD, then you'll find a lot of those exercises tend to create unwanted extra string noise unless you have good muting technique. On the DVD, Gilbert is using quite high gain, but he has very good muting technique. So if you have that DVD, then just pick a couple of exercises where the effect seems really bad when you play it, and just work on those few excercise by trying to mute each note with your right hand (using the fleshy part at the base of the thumb/palm) and also try muting with the left hand fingertips as you lift off each note ... needs a LOT of practice though!

    Ian.

  4. #4
    I do what i do Metal4LyFe1993's Avatar
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    My muting is fine with my right hand its jus when i try to switch strings i dnt no how to stop tht one frum ringin and make it sound good. it sounds like crap

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    By muting with your right hand. Not just palm muting like you would for riffs, actually stopping the vibrations with the edge of your palm/wrist.

  6. #6
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal4LyFe1993
    My muting is fine with my right hand its jus when i try to switch strings i dnt no how to stop tht one frum ringin and make it sound good. it sounds like crap
    Most muting is done with the left hand. Ideally, try to have your left hand touching ALL the strings ALL the time, whether you're playing a note or chord or not. (When you play, you just squeeze the string(s) down to the fret.)
    Of course, you can't always achieve this. That's where the right hand comes in, for those strings your left can't touch without inhibiting your playing.

    Muting is one of those topics not often covered in teaching, because experienced players do it without thinking. It takes some thought to actually examine how we do it! But essentially you get used to (somehow) touching all the strings all the time, with either hand. Only let an open string go when you want to play it!

    The effect is worse of course, if you use a lot of distortion or compression, which amplifies all the little extraneous string noises.

    Try this. Practise taking your finger off a string without making it sound (for this exercise, don't pick it, and don't mute it). That means a slow, vertical movement, not a quick sideways one. Is your finger sticking to the string? Does it move sideways, picking it slightly?
    Also practice keeping your finger on one string, fretting it, playing it, then allowing the string off the fret to mute it, but not taking your finger off the string. Repeat this a few times; listen to the effect and focus on the finger action needed. Then try taking your finger off the string (to go to another) - don't lift it more then a few mm above the string.
    This may slow you right down to begin with, but it's an important exercise, to get the feel of the right technique.

  7. #7
    Bedroom metalurgist LaughingSkull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal4LyFe1993
    My muting is fine with my right hand its jus when i try to switch strings i dnt no how to stop tht one frum ringin and make it sound good. it sounds like crap
    Your muting is not fine (Neither is mine for that matter), otherwise you would not hear ringing noises.
    As Jon said, muting is achieved with BOTH hands. Not wan't to repeat all the good advice already given, but just another idea to look on things.
    Consider barre chords.... first finger across all strings (or most). Instead of fretting it, just put it lighly on the strings so the strings are muted. You would be surprised how many things you can play with the rest of the fingers.... specially some long bends, where you don't wan't the neighbouring string to ring.
    In the same manner you can mute E and B string with pinky .... and so on and so on.
    In time this will come as second nature.

    Look on high gain as your friend .... every little mistake and weakness is amplified so you know it is there. And you know you should work on it. When you ease on gain, your playing sounds much more polished again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal4LyFe1993
    My muting is fine with my right hand its jus when i try to switch strings i dnt no how to stop tht one frum ringin and make it sound good. it sounds like crap
    As LaughingSkull said - your muting cannot be as "fine" as you think, otherwise you would not have this problem.

    But I'm not saying that as any criticism. Because almost everyone finds the same problem. Eg - I came from a background of playing standard rock & blues with normal low-gain amp/pup settings, and I never had any problem at all with unwanted string noise .... until I tried learning shred stuff with high gain scooped amp settings and high output pups, and then the problem was suddenly obvious.

    One other thing you can do is to use a "string damper". I think you can actually buy little damping devices, but I think most people just use something like an elasticated women's hair band (wound around the first fret position, against the nut). Of course, that's no good when you do want the open strings to ring out ... I've only ever used it when practicing shred exercises, but I soon discarded it and just came to the conclusion that I needed to learn better muting techniques (itís still not easy though).

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Muting is one of those topics not often covered in teaching, because experienced players do it without thinking. It takes some thought to actually examine how we do it!
    That's an interesting point - why don't people teach muting? Why do none of the numerous shred and metal tuition DVD's/books even mention muting?

    One answer is, as you say, "experienced players do it without thinking". But those instructional DVD's/videos/books are not aimed at such experienced players. They are aimed at players who are trying to learn the stuff ... and without muting it's often impossible to copy the tutorial exercises without crazy amounts of unwanted string noise.

    Having said all that - if Metal4LyFe1993 uses the search function here, then he will get 17 pages of hits on "muting" ... I think EricV even started a dedicated thread to describing exactly how fix the problem.

    Ian.


  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    why don't people teach muting? Why do none of the numerous shred and metal tuition DVD's/books even mention muting?

    One answer is, as you say, "experienced players do it without thinking". But those instructional DVD's/videos/books are not aimed at such experienced players.
    Quite - but my point is, those writers/teachers don't even think about it. It's subconscious, totally below their radar. They've forgotten they ever learned it. They work out all the other fancy stuff: how you actually make the sounds you want. They forget to tell you how not to make the sounds you don't want!

    Because even when they play slow, pretending to be a beginner, going back to the first principles they remember, they are still muting automatically. They don't know they're doing it, so can't focus on it as another essential technique to be thought out and explained.

    I often forget it myself (I mean, I don't automatically incorporate it into my lesson plans). It's easier to forget, too, because your students don't ask you about such things (at least not to begin with). They just want to know how to play certain things. So that's what you tell them, bit by bit.
    Then somewhere down the line, someone will say "hey, I keep getting these open string noises. How do I stop that?". And you say: "Ah!... yeah, that!...!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Quite - but my point is, those writers/teachers don't even think about it. It's subconscious, totally below their radar. They've forgotten they ever learned it. They work out all the other fancy stuff: how you actually make the sounds you want. They forget to tell you how not to make the sounds you don't want!

    Because even when they play slow, pretending to be a beginner, going back to the first principles they remember, they are still muting automatically. They don't know they're doing it, so can't focus on it as another essential technique to be thought out and explained.

    I often forget it myself (I mean, I don't automatically incorporate it into my lesson plans). It's easier to forget, too, because your students don't ask you about such things (at least not to begin with). They just want to know how to play certain things. So that's what you tell them, bit by bit.

    Then somewhere down the line, someone will say "hey, I keep getting these open string noises. How do I stop that?". And you say: "Ah!... yeah, that!...!"
    Yes. And at least you are aware of it.

    But I think many teachers are not aware of such things.

    Not just teaching music/guitar, but in many areas of teaching.

    Teachers don't always seem to realize when they are taking all sorts of knowledge for granted.

    They often fail to appreciate why their "explanation" is in fact not an explanation at all, but instead a re-statement of the problem in different words .... if the student doesn't already understand the topic to begin with, then he/she is unlikely to "get it" simply because the teacher has repeated the same opaque explanation in different terms.

    You have an advantage over most teachers, because you write well, and you can your organise thoughts clearly. But in my experience, that's far from the case with most authors of music/other books.

    Apart from which ... some things are just not easy to explain. And even worse, some students just don't listen lol!

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 10-24-2008 at 12:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    Apart from which ... some things are just not easy to explain. And even worse, some students just don't listen lol!
    Ian.
    Ain't that the truth!

    Mind you, what's worse is when they clearly are listening, but are giving you that dazed fish look. You know what you've said has just gone way over their head...
    So then you backtrack, but it doesn't get any better...
    So then you give up and go back strumming chord sequences again...
    (Theory, who needs it? )

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Mind you, what's worse is when they clearly are listening, but are giving you that dazed fish look. You know what you've said has just gone way over their head...

    So then you backtrack, but it doesn't get any better...

    So then you give up and go back strumming chord sequences again...

    (Theory, who needs it? )
    Ahh... the old dazed fish look. I think I met that last Saturday ... I asked the student, " did you understand that, was that explanation clear? Are you sure? " ... to which he replied " oh, yes, in fact I was just taking it all in, it's the first time I've really understand it! ".

    Great! Eureka!

    Only problem - by the end of the lesson, it was crystal clear that he had not understood it at all! This is the guy who started with those BB Kings licks, if you recall that discussion ... though we've now moved on to all sorts of basic/essential stuff ... it's just some free help ... albeit I do keep each session strictly organised as a formal lesson (except it lasts 3-4 hours at a time ... too much really, with too many ideas covered, & thus a clear danger of him forgetting it all).

    I'm a little surprised at what he can do vs. what he cant. His ear is excellent, and he can quickly copy stuff from listening to me. But he has real problems when I call out fret numbers or string names... "7th fret G-string" is likely to be interpreted as anything in roughly that region of neck .

    I haven't mentioned muting though!

    Ian.

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