String Muffling

A question that will become an easy-peasy later on, but can startle some beginners: how to muffle the strings?

There are two options

  1. When we play with strumming, the hand almost always goes up and down, like a pendulum. The catch of muffling is to muffle the strings instead of strumming the strings down, but without losing the rhythm, the hand continues to go up and down.

    Technique

    After you strum the string downwards, quickly put your hand on the strings. As the strings are strummed with a fingernail and the hand is put on the strings immediately, the sound has no time to resonate. This creates a unique sound, frequently called a muffle.

    However, if that option doesn’t work out for you, then take it gradually, step by step. Simply place your palm on the strings: you strum the strings, they vibrate, you place your hand on them and continue to play.

  2. While fingerpicking, some songs require muffling, but the above mentioned option wouldn’t be very convenient to use in that case.

    When muffling, the fingers should be placed on all four strings, but very sharply, so that not only the muffling will make a sound, but also fingers hitting the instrument’s body will do. That way, the muffling is way more prominent.

Lifehack

Another common beginners problem is the pain in fingertips when forming a chord. When I first started playing, I have frequently put the guitar aside, as the pain became unbearable, but I still wanted to play. I started with a guitar with metal strings, so it’s easier with Ukulele and nylon strings, but the pain might still appear.

Because of that, try to release the fingers from the strings a bit when muffling them. The fingers should still stay on their positions, but not pressed against the frets. Even if it’s just half a second, the fingers will rest. Plus, it will eliminate the unwanted sound while muffling.

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