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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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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