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Switching our muting attention to the fretting hand, Dan gives us the essential techniques we need to get the cleanest result.
Taught by Dan Sugarman in Sugarman's Shredding Revolution seriesLength: 14:52Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Fretting Hand Muting Techniques
You might think we’re done with muting techniques, but we’ve only just begin! Up next is “Fretting Hand Muting Techniques”
After learning ways to clean up any noise that may be coming from the picking hand, let’s discover ways to minimize and mute out any noise that may be coming from the approach or escape in our fretting hand… These two hands working together to keep things under control is EXACTLY what 2 hand sync is about, though this is the piece that I’ve not heard enough people talk about. With that being said, let’s dive into the Fretting Hand Muting Techniques.
In the last lesson, we focused solely on things that our picking hand could be doing to help better our chances at cleaner sounding playing… Now I want to focus on the ways that our fretting hand can help aid us in this. These exercises will help you master the sensation of all 6 fretting hand muting techniques in one simple and short riff idea… Then I’ll expand that into a second riff that will include all 4 of the previous picking hand muting techniques into the mix as well resulting in 9 muting techniques happening within 4 measures of music.
As a point of reference, here are the fretting hand muting techniques we'll be talking about and using in this lesson:
First, we’ll be on fret 1 on the A string, using the pulse to get the exact note value we want, we’ll be pulsing 16th notes, and then I’ll remain in contact with the string in rest position and fill in some of the interior beats by striking the string with my picking hand to make a click sound… This is a really cool way to create a percussive interior rhythm to your riffs, as well as a great way to practice 2 hand sync with these new muting techniques. I’ll also be using the underside of my index finger to mute out all the higher strings - I call this finger fat muting.
Then I’ll hit fret 4, open string, and then use same techniques as before on frets 1, and 0 on a down-stroke followed by a second downstroke for the click pick, and then we close it out with a index finger roll from the A string, rolling back to the E string… when playing the A string, the E string is essentially muted by the sloppy joe, then we roll on the round-ness of our finger to the E string, thus muting out the A string with our finger fat. Then fret 4 and then an open string It sounds like this slowly, and then up to speed.
For Measure 2: I want you to notice the way that I’m strategically placing my index finger as I strum these first few octave chords… I have my index finger slightly placed sloppily so that the top of it is touching the string above it (the string lower in pitch)… I call that the Sloppy Joe… there’s tons of applications for it, but this is a great intro to it.
You may have noticed that we’ve changed keys here - we’re now playing in G harmonic minor, another one of my favorite keys to play in a drop tuning. Also, notice the way that it changes the way that my index finger arches so that I can use the underside of my index finger to mute out all the strings higher in pitch to the note that I’m playing… This means that I am virtually muting out all the strings with one finger (string all 6 strings playing only 1 note) I call this Finger Fat muting. Note, There is still a curve in this, but it is small and designed this way for a reason - So know that it isn’t a broken arch - that looks like this but it isn’t our typical arch that the other fingers have as well - this is something I am doing strategically and on purpose so take note!
The first 3 octave chords in measure 1 use the sloppy joe and finger fat to mute out everything, but on the 4th chord, I remove the sloppy joe so we can get that low note droning over our octave, but I’m still using the Finger Fat to mute the highest strings - then I slide up to fret 19 with my 3rd finger on the G string, using my thumb butt to mute out the lower strings as I ascend up this D major b6 by rolling on fret 19, then a hammer pull on fret 17, 18 on the high e string, then rolling back down 3 strings - notice the way I roll to mute the notes I’m passing, then supplementing with excess fingers on my picking hand, while using the finger fat on my fretting hand to bring it all home. Play this slow and make sure everything is lining up nicely!
Up next is a riff that will include ALL 10 muting techniques we’ve discussed into a 4 measure riff that loops. Measure 5 is in rhythm playing position, we’ll be up-stroking the first note so that we can accent it - notice the way that I’m also using my upstroke to tilt on the axis of my 1st point of contact to open the string up EVER SO SLIGHTLY so that it isn’t palm muting at all, then when I do my down strokes, or double down strokes on the low E string, they are palm muted and heavy - thus making my accented melody popping out on the A string that much more in your face.
I’ll be using the finger fat and sloppy joe on the first note, and then using the finger squeegee with my index at the very same my that I put my pinky down on fret 12. Then I’ll hit 9 again with the same techniques, and then do a cool little half picked half legato line to close out the measure - this line includes hammer ons, pull offs, sloppy joe, finger fat, and then closes with a squeegeed note on the g string, fret 11.
Then measure 6 is in lead playing position so that all my notes get their full tonal value. This is a cool legato line, starting with the first 6 note legato pattern we learned with the stow away going on, but I pick once with a pull off, then click again to start it up on the hammer to give a unique accent. I then descend down a 3 NPS line, before moving to the position behind it and do a pattern of 5’s with a double pick again for the accent with a stow away below, so its cocked and loaded for me to descending down fret 7 on the b, g and d string with a roll and excess finger muting.
Then we go back to the same riff idea that was in measure 5 with a slight variation, because we ended in this position we’ll use our 3rd finger on the first note, then continue the same way until we get to the legato line… this time we’re going to alternate pick it back down, with a heavier palm mute (rhythm position digging) and then we’ll do almost the exact same riff as measure 1 of this whole lesson, with the click picking/pulse idea, ending with a directional line with a thumb mute to close it - notice on the loop that you’ll need to mute that open G string with your finger fat or else you’re in the mud zone!
Right now, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed realizing there could be more then 1 muting technique - take these exercises slow, taking into account all the notes and details… Practice connecting them in your own creative ways, with and without my riff ideas so that you can perfect it in your own voice. Marinate on this one, and review this lesson again if you need it!
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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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