Palm Muting and Alternate Picking HELP please


wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
06/26/2020 11:40 am

Hi I have been playing guitar off and on for about 15 years. No matter what I do or practice, I can't seem to play more than one string up and down strokes fast while palm muting on the bridge. The upstrokes basically just sounds percussive and has no tone. My pick also gets caught on the upstroke which I believe is the problem.

If anyone could please direct me to any videos or steps to resolve this.

It would change everything for me.

Thanks CD


# 1
fuzzb0x
Full Access
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 580
fuzzb0x
Full Access
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 580
06/26/2020 12:34 pm

If you use the search function for the website you should find several lessons on palm muting techniques, hopefully they can help you overcome the problems.


# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,337
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,337
06/26/2020 2:41 pm
Originally Posted by: wwjndjkHi I have been playing guitar off and on for about 15 years.[/quote]

What style of music are you playing? Sounds like rock or metal with an overdriven guitar?

[quote=wwjndjk]No matter what I do or practice, I can't seem to play more than one string up and down strokes fast while palm muting on the bridge. The upstrokes basically just sounds percussive and has no tone. My pick also gets caught on the upstroke which I believe is the problem.

That sounds like basic mechanics. A few things are important in this situation.

1. Relax. You have to be as relaxed as possible to play fast & smoothly. The more tension you hold in your hand, arms, body the harder you are making in on yourself.

2. Light picking touch. Don't squeeze the pick too hard.

3. Lightly graze over the string. Do not dig in with the pick. that just makes it harder to get across the string.

4. Angle the pick so you can glide just the tip over the string. Just far enough that you can smoothly return with an upstoke. You will have to experiment with the right amount of angle to use. It's a little different for everyone. But some amount of angle is necessary to avoid keeping the string parallel to the strings which makes it difficult to graze over the string smoothly.

5. Use very minimal motion. This is the hardest thing to get used to for some people. Fast alternate picking requires extremely economically motion. You want to get across the string with as little motion as possible to get back & forth as smoothly as possible.

I'm not sure what you skill level is. So here's a beginner video aimed at picking technique.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13957

And here's a more advanced picking lesson.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=10335&s_id=287

These tutorials cover palm muting if that is part of the problem you are having.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21152&s_id=1693

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2281

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
snojones
Full Access
Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 694
snojones
Full Access
Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 694
06/26/2020 3:06 pm

I am facinated by muting. It is the key to really unlocking the full voice of the instrument. I have always been amazed at how great guitarists can get so much tonal varriation into a single line. It is the same insturment making sounds like a xylophone on one beat, then a saxophone on the next beat, then an couple of percussive drum tones, then a fully voiced couple of notes, finishing out with a chord and harmonics ect, ect. In my opinion guitar has an incredible range of tonal color possible and I am finding that muting in all it's forms is a big key to unlocking this vast pallette.

You are on the track of a powerful melodic potential. Don't get frustrated and give up! If you really want to make a guitar sing... keep working on muting. This techique has kept me avidly working for the last few years. So far it has been a very eye opening pursuit. NOT A SIMPLE ONE (in fact some of the fingering involved in muting a riff a can be EXTREMELY complicated!) , BUT A VERY LIBERATING ONE. I have learned about it through lessons here on Guitar Tricks, so you are in the rigtht place. Follow Fuzzbox's suggestions on the Mutting Lessons, available here on GT.

The pursuit of perfection is paved with patient persistance.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 4
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,337
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,337
06/26/2020 3:59 pm
Originally Posted by: snojonesIt is the key to really unlocking the full voice of the instrument. I have always been amazed at how great guitarists can get so much tonal varriation into a single line.[/quote]

Well said!

[quote=snojones]The pursuit of perfection is paved with patient persistance.

Astounding and amazing alliteration! :)


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 5
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
06/27/2020 10:51 pm
[quote=fuzzb0x]

If you use the search function for the website you should find several lessons on palm muting techniques, hopefully they can help you overcome the problems.

[/quote

Yes, absolutely I will utilize that as much as possible


# 6
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
06/27/2020 10:53 pm
Originally Posted by: snojones

I am facinated by muting. It is the key to really unlocking the full voice of the instrument. I have always been amazed at how great guitarists can get so much tonal varriation into a single line. It is the same insturment making sounds like a xylophone on one beat, then a saxophone on the next beat, then an couple of percussive drum tones, then a fully voiced couple of notes, finishing out with a chord and harmonics ect, ect. In my opinion guitar has an incredible range of tonal color possible and I am finding that muting in all it's forms is a big key to unlocking this vast pallette.

You are on the track of a powerful melodic potential. Don't get frustrated and give up! If you really want to make a guitar sing... keep working on muting. This techique has kept me avidly working for the last few years. So far it has been a very eye opening pursuit. NOT A SIMPLE ONE (in fact some of the fingering involved in muting a riff a can be EXTREMELY complicated!) , BUT A VERY LIBERATING ONE. I have learned about it through lessons here on Guitar Tricks, so you are in the rigtht place. Follow Fuzzbox's suggestions on the Mutting Lessons, available here on GT.

The pursuit of perfection is paved with patient persistance.

For sure! One of the most nuanced skills and sounds of the guitar. I will be mastering this everyday for years to come.


# 7
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
wwjndjk
Registered User
Joined: 06/24/20
Posts: 4
06/27/2020 10:55 pm
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: wwjndjkHi I have been playing guitar off and on for about 15 years.[/quote]

What style of music are you playing? Sounds like rock or metal with an overdriven guitar?

[quote=wwjndjk]No matter what I do or practice, I can't seem to play more than one string up and down strokes fast while palm muting on the bridge. The upstrokes basically just sounds percussive and has no tone. My pick also gets caught on the upstroke which I believe is the problem.

That sounds like basic mechanics. A few things are important in this situation.

1. Relax. You have to be as relaxed as possible to play fast & smoothly. The more tension you hold in your hand, arms, body the harder you are making in on yourself.

2. Light picking touch. Don't squeeze the pick too hard.

3. Lightly graze over the string. Do not dig in with the pick. that just makes it harder to get across the string.

4. Angle the pick so you can glide just the tip over the string. Just far enough that you can smoothly return with an upstoke. You will have to experiment with the right amount of angle to use. It's a little different for everyone. But some amount of angle is necessary to avoid keeping the string parallel to the strings which makes it difficult to graze over the string smoothly.

5. Use very minimal motion. This is the hardest thing to get used to for some people. Fast alternate picking requires extremely economically motion. You want to get across the string with as little motion as possible to get back & forth as smoothly as possible.

I'm not sure what you skill level is. So here's a beginner video aimed at picking technique.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13957

And here's a more advanced picking lesson.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=10335&s_id=287

These tutorials cover palm muting if that is part of the problem you are having.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21152&s_id=1693

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2281

Hope that helps!

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yes i'm going through the program right now beginners. Ya never know you might learn something new with a novice mindset! I will be studying these techniques and i'm sure I will make much progress! 🤩💯👍


# 8

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.