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Picking Hand Muting Techniques (Guitar Lesson)

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Dan Sugarman

Picking Hand Muting Techniques

Now we get to muting techniques. Starting off, Dan gives us all the details on muting techniques for the picking hand. These are a must if you want to truly reign in that beast of an instrument!

Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 12:49Difficulty: 2.5 of 5

Picking Hand Muting Techniques

Besides the Lead vs Rhythm Position muting technique in your picking hand, I want to cover some of the other techniques that can be implemented with “Picking Hand Muting Techniques”

Having covered the approach and escape of the note in our fretting hand focus earlier, as a complete guitarist, we have to consider covering our bases with the picking hand muting techniques just to insure that our 2 hand sync isn’t being masked by sloppy excess string noise in our escape of the note. In this lesson, we’ll cover 3 techniques that I like to use in my picking hand for you to explore and experiment with - the Stow Away, Excess Finger Muting, and Thumb Muting.

In the last lesson, we strategically broke down the approach of the picking hand into two pieces and their associated positions… We have rhythm and lead playing position… Now, we’re going to use those, mostly lead playing position, and we’re going to start grinding our 2 hand sync with some new ideas. I’m going to introduce you to a new legato pattern of 7s, as well as an introduction to economy picking, or directional picking as I like to call it.

First, we’re going to explore what the stow away is - I use this idea typically on a legato line, or when I need to mute out any strings below in pitch on a vibrato or anything like that. It’s essentially the act of tucking your pick underneath the string below you in pitch (lower strings) similar to a rest stroke in classical guitar or bass.

Stow Away - Level 1 - This first line is a legato line in 7’s, which is weird because we’ll have to stay in time even though your mind is going to tell you to put a rest for the 8th note that isn’t there. This longer legato line will give us time to get our stow away tucked in there right after stroking the first note.

Stow Away + Excess Finger Muting - Level 2 - This time, we’ll descend straight down the D major scale again the exact same way, but with 16th notes! Notice how the excess fingers come into play when I hit the G string… my middle finger comes up as its in a relaxed position and just touches and kills the high E string, then when I play the D string, my ring finger covers the high E as my middle finger covers the b string… all while the lower in pitch adjacent string to the one I’m playing is muted out by the stow away.

Stow Away + Excess Finger Muting (Advanced) - Level 3 - More advanced legato line using 5’s, and connecting with a slide, then we’ll use the first 6 note legato pattern we learned on the second string, and then a 7 note pattern on the g string before the last two notes on the D string, all using the same shape as before, and the same excess finger muting.

Thumb Muting - Level 1 - This technique is used in lead playing position once again, so make sure that thumb butt is down pat and snug on the strings, and that the front side of your picking hand is open so the strings can get their full tone. This technique is also best served in a economy or sweep picking line… I prefer the term directional picking though. The term economy picking is labeling the effect… But doing WHAT is economical? Playing directionally! By taking advantage of the first pick stroke that you start with a line, know that ODD numbers will keep you going in that direction - Down up Down DOWN to the next string… this mini “sweep” is a fast track to the following string, as you are effectively cutting out 1/3 of the movement required to do this. At the same time, Even numbers will turn your picking direction around from the starting stroke on your passage.

In this exercise, we’ll be traveling up in 2 string fragments of shape 3, using what I call “octave portals”. This means we will take the same 6 notes up 2 and a half octaves using directional picking with thumb muting. We’ll do 8th note triplets first, then 16th notes.

Thumb Muting (Stow Away + Excess Finger Muting) - Level 2: Up next well be using thumb muting in an arpeggio setting… We’ll be making an F major 7 arpeggio - it will be 1 note per string sandwiched by 3 notes on the a string and high e string. We’ll Directionally pick through 7 8 12 and double down stroke to begin our sweep through these notes, thumb muting each string that we pass along the way. After we upstroke 12 on the high e string for our slide, be sure to stow away your pick under the b string to get ready to begin the upstroke sweeping back down the arpeggio using excess finger muting to cover your tracks. We’ll do 8th note triplets first, then 16th notes.

By now, you should begin to have your ascending and descending noise under control… But if not, don’t worry just yet as we’ve only just begun to open up pandoras box on muting. Feel free to review these exercises often to practice the components that go into these 3 muting techniques, including the rhythm vs lead playing position idea.



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Sugarman's Shredding Revolution

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Sugarman's Shredding Revolution is all about discovering and creating ways to develop a new and unique level of understanding of two-hand synchronization, which is one of the core foundations of clean playing.



Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

Length: 5:13 Difficulty: 0.0 FREE
The Speed of LightLesson 2

The Speed of Light

Dan begins his series by revolutionizing the way we approach our instrument. In this lesson, Dan shares a concept he calls The Speed of "Light".

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The PulseLesson 3

The Pulse

Finding the "Goldilocks" zone is key to getting your hands in the best position possible to shred, by finding the right amount of pressure to apply to the strings. Dan helps us find the touch that's "just...

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Speed of Light Application ExerciseLesson 4

Speed of Light Application Exercise

In this lesson, we put into practice what we've talked about so far in this series. This exercise is designed to help you find your Goldilocks Zone, and practice it enough to put it on auto pilot!

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Perfect Practice PostureLesson 5

Perfect Practice Posture

Contrary to what some say, good posture feeds into good technique, which feeds into great guitar playing. In this lesson Dan gives us examples of good posture for two different ways of holding the guitar.

Length: 5:21 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
50/50 Finger FrenzyLesson 6

50/50 Finger Frenzy

Distributing the right amount of pressure throughout your hand is a key foundation to achieving two hand sync. In this lesson, Dan analyzes this concept and helps to get us on the right track.

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chromatic Finger CrawlLesson 7

Chromatic Finger Crawl

This lesson is designed to work on the hand to brain connection during the string change, and to help you "fall" into position as opposed to "flail" into position.

Length: 2:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Finger IQ: Hammer-OnsLesson 8

Finger IQ: Hammer-Ons

Now it's time to sprinkle some legato playing into the proceedings. Starting with hammer ons, Dan shows us how to use "weight" not "strength" to achieve this technique.

Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger IQ: Pull OffsLesson 9

Finger IQ: Pull Offs

Now Dan shows us the next element of legato playing: Pull Offs.

Length: 3:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
True Legato: Three Notes Per StringLesson 10

True Legato: Three Notes Per String

Using hammer-ons and pull-offs that we learned in the previous lessons, Dan now gives us an introduction to true legato - using three note per string patterns.

Length: 5:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Home PositionLesson 11

Home Position

Now that we've spent a good deal of time on the fretting hand, it's time to turn our attention to the picking hand. Dan starts with examining how to get the best tone from our instrument, using what he...

Length: 11:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Home Position ApplicationLesson 12

Home Position Application

In this lesson, Dan helps us apply some exercises to the home application that will help it become second nature in no time!

Length: 8:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm and KonokolLesson 13

Rhythm and Konokol

A solid rhythmic foundation is a must when addressing the basics of good technique. In this lesson, Dan shows a very fresh and cool way to approach rhythm, with the ancient Indian method: Konokol.

Length: 7:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Time and Rhythm TableLesson 14

Time and Rhythm Table

Now, Dan moves the Konokol rhythm system that we looked at in the last lesson to the guitar, exploring different rhythm configurations along the way.

Length: 3:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Polymeter and PolyrhythmLesson 15

Polymeter and Polyrhythm

When it comes to complex rhythm, understanding the difference between polyrhythm and polymeter are very important. In this lesson, Dan gives us a crash course on how to tell the difference.

Length: 3:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 1Lesson 16

Sync or Swim Part 1

Now it's time to put our hands together (so to speak). We're bringing what we've worked on for the left hand, and what we've worked on for the right hand together to get a firm grasp of our two hand sync....

Length: 8:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 2Lesson 17

Sync or Swim Part 2

In this lesson, Dan continues to emphasize two hand sync, adding the new ideas of inside picking and outside picking.

Length: 10:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 3Lesson 18

Sync or Swim Part 3

Now Dan introduces some 2 string patterns into our two hand sync exercises. In each lesson, he's ratcheting up the difficulty level!

Length: 3:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 4Lesson 19

Sync or Swim Part 4

In this lesson, Dan explores more two string patterns, this time emphasizing odd two string patterns. Finger twisters and brain teasers for sure!

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Sync or Swim Part 5Lesson 20

Sync or Swim Part 5

Endurance is the name of the game in this lesson. Dan shows us one of his favorite techniques he calls "Phalange Laps".

Length: 4:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rhythm vs. Lead PlayingLesson 21

Rhythm vs. Lead Playing

Subtle hand positioning can go a long way in determining the proper position for lead playing or rhythm playing. Here, Dan analyzes this concept in great detail, getting you on the right path and putting...

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Picking Hand Muting TechniquesLesson 22

Picking Hand Muting Techniques

Now we get to muting techniques. Starting off, Dan gives us all the details on muting techniques for the picking hand. These are a must if you want to truly reign in that beast of an instrument!

Length: 12:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fretting Hand Muting TechniquesLesson 23

Fretting Hand Muting Techniques

Switching our muting attention to the fretting hand, Dan gives us the essential techniques we need to get the cleanest result.

Length: 14:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learning to Fish for OurselvesLesson 24

Learning to Fish for Ourselves

In this lesson, Dan teaches a great way to analyze our own playing, focusing in on our mistakes and how to correct them. It starts with quarantining our playing.

Length: 9:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
NuancesLesson 25

Nuances

What gives you your unique voice on the guitar? Well, there are a number of things that go into that equation. In this lesson, Dan takes a look at some of the key techniques that will go a long way in...

Length: 18:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 1 - Rhythm vs. Lead PlayingLesson 26

Substrate 1 - Rhythm vs. Lead Playing

Now Dan will help us focus on growing our weaknesses. First up is Rhythm vs. Lead Playing.

Length: 5:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 2 - LegatoLesson 27

Substrate 2 - Legato

Up next in working on strengths and weaknesses? Legato.

Length: 3:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 3 - Alternate PickingLesson 28

Substrate 3 - Alternate Picking

Up next in the world of substrates - Alternate Picking.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Substrate 4 - Directional PickingLesson 29

Substrate 4 - Directional Picking

The last substrate Dan takes us through is Directional Picking.

Length: 7:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Creative Application of All TechniquesLesson 30

Creative Application of All Techniques

In the last lesson of the series, Dan gives us a musical, full band exercise that ties in all of the techniques that we've learned throughout the series.

Length: 6:25 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
JamPlay Interview with Dan SugarmanLesson 31

JamPlay Interview with Dan Sugarman

Who is Dan Sugarman? Get to know a little about Dan - his background, his music, and what drives him to excel at guitar in this JamPlay interview.

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Dan Sugarman

About Dan Sugarman View Full Biography

Dan Sugarman is a 26 year old guitarist, producer, teacher and songwriter hailing from the South Bay of Los Angeles, CA. His tenacity and dedication to the art of music and guitar led him to the lead guitar position in the internationally touring band, As Blood Runs Black. Now as a solo artist, Dan continues to work on his original music being released through Patreon, and is currently producing and engineering other bands & artists at Sugartone Studios, and composing for film & television. He also maintains an ever-growing student body as a private guitar teacher, mentor, and educator in the crafts of songwriting, creativity, and modern day recording techniques.



Dan is currently working on his "living album", Inside Out - Part I, available on patreon.com and completing an album for his new group A Mind Made Me, featuring singer//actor Sarah J Bartholomew.

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