Author Topic: Muting strings while strumming  (Read 3529 times)

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Offline PsychicSidekick

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Muting strings while strumming
« on: January 18, 2012, 03:06:38 am »
I'm really enjoying tha RUST DVD and I'm thinking to moving to the RUST 2 DVD, but first I'd like to sort out this little (?) issue:

I've noticed that my strumming is much more fluent when I'm muting unwanted strings with my thumb around the neck and strumming all the six strings. Let's say I'm playing an A chord, it helps my strumming if I just keep the E string muted and strum across all the 6 strings. Same goes for C and D chords.  Is it a bad habit to get into? Should I aim for 5 or 4 particular strings even if I'm keeping the unwanted strings muted with my left hand? While doing it my way I find that I can focus solely on keeping the rhytm consistent and keeping the chords at equal volume. I'd also like to point out, that when I'm playing a D chords I'm mostly strumming top 5 strings and 6 for A and C.

Should I just practice hitting the "correct" amount of strings or keep going with my method? Is it similar to the string muting lesson from the Intermediate Method? I remember Justin talking about not worrying about it too much and trying to develop as a player first. Is it that kind of deal with the issue I've just brought up?


Offline Bootstrap

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Re: Muting strings while strumming
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 04:37:25 am »
Yep - you should practice hitting the correct strings - but your thumb is good insurance - so do both.
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Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: Muting strings while strumming
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 08:36:43 am »
The answer is somewhere in the middle. To always avoid the low E string while strumming full out is nearly impossible (and there's also sympathetic vibration to consider), but you should try not to hit it on purpose. Muted or not, it will make a sound when you hit it and muddy up the chord a little (esp. audible when you're playing through an amp). The trick is to not let it interrupt a fluent strumming motion. Aim for steady improvement, not immediate perfection.

As for the D chord, that's a tricky one. Since the A ist part of the D chord, it's not that big a deal to hit the open 5th string. BUT that's not the D chord in root position anymore. It's a D chord in second inversion or D/A. And it does sound different from the root position. As I said: not a big deal, but imho you should try to learn to avoid the A string with chords with a 4th string root. You'll have to learn thatanyway, since not all of those chords contain an A and some can sound really horible if you play the A.


P.S. If your hands are big enough, you could actually reach over the neck and mute both 5th and 6th string with your thumb (insurance policy), but let's try for some strumming accurany first, okay? ;)

Offline PsychicSidekick

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Re: Muting strings while strumming
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 04:31:55 pm »
Thanks for your answers. I appreciate them.

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Aim for steady improvement, not immediate perfection.
Man, I'm a huge fan of that sentence.

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P.S. If your hands are big enough, you could actually reach over the neck and mute both 5th and 6th string with your thumb (insurance policy), but let's try for some strumming accurany first, okay? Wink

I'm actually doing that already. I'm muting two low strings with my thumb but I strum 5 strings most of the time, instead of 4.

But yeah, consider your point well taken, I'm def gonna work on my accuracy now.