How to stop open string vibration as you DWPS?


Since I’ve been here on the forum, my DWPS has gotten much better and as an unexpected but pleasant side-effect, my tremelo picking has become MUCH cleaner and very consistent. However, when I am not palm-muting, or when any lower strings are open (unmuted) they ring out as I play other strings. case in point:

I was recording this riff last weekend using DWPS

D -----------555555555555------------------------------44444444444444---------------------

It was very consistent and smooth and my string switching was close to flawless, however,
I could hear the E string slowly start vibrating even though I didn’t touch it and by the end of the riff, it was pretty noticeable.
How do you mute lower open strings as you DWPS on higher strings?


Good question. Im struggling with this also.


I see what you mean, for me this is particularly evident in ascending figures (e.g. a penta scale). For the phrase you posted however, I would simply play all the notes with fingers 2 3 4, and lay the left-hand index flat on the strings to mute them.

Or if you are not using open strings for the tune, a good old sock tied around the 1st fret will do the job… the stinkier the better obviously :smiley:

EDIT: Actually in the lick you posted you can probably even avoid the floppy-barre thing I was proposing, and simply fret the notes with flatter fingers to mute the strings below. In general, if there’s nothing to stop the low strings they will inevitably resonate when you hit certain notes, there is not much you can do about it I think.


…then you need to be left-hand muting!


DAMN! you make it sound so good. thanks for taking the time to do this \m/ \m/


Troy’s death metal album to land any day now


it’s actually from the Transformers G1 cartoon series, I just turned those notes into tremelo picked ones and plan on putting blast beats behind them, but regardless, I think I would pay for Grady DM album!


I’m not your guy, but Brendon Small is! Great interview with him coming up. In the mean time, here’s his new video which is damn beautiful. All the ships are actual physical models, like the original Star Wars:


I should have brought this up yesterday also, but look at this player:

It seems like he might be doing DWPS but maybe his right hand is close enough to the strings so that when he ascends, his pick hand is lightly muting the strings? really clean playing…


I started working on some of the beautiful Marty Friedman lines from the MofM interview. A muting nightmare :sweat_smile:

I highly recommend to work on those!


and did you mute with the palm of your right hand as you ascended scales? were you DWPS also?


Hey, I didn’t say I solved it :sweat_smile:. But those Marty Friedman lines definitely put this muting challenge into focus.

Looking at how Marty holds his pick for this kind of licks (zero palm muting), it seems that left hand muting is the way to go. Which is a technique I haven’t mastered yet.

But I love the fact that I can work on this technique while playing something really melodic. Which is why I recommended the interview.

Cheers \m/


But what if i am ascending with a 3 note per sting style of pattern, for example just going 1 2 4 finger wise through all strings. I won’t have a spare finger to mute lower strings to mute with, or at least I think I would not.
I never got my DWPS to work but with the help of a guide to a picking motion my UPWS is developing quite good (thank you for that Troy!) but I am still trying to do something with DWPS and muting is really a problem. I can get some kind of DPWS happening if I oversature it but then I can’t mute lower strings at all. So how you downward pickslanters deal with it in these kinds of patterns?


yes, this is what I meant, you just wrote it more efficiently!


Here’s a crash course on why your open strings ring even when you’re not touching them. This was pretty helpful to me and Uncle Ben makes a note of Marty Friedman’s style here.


thanks. this is going to be more difficult than I originally had thought!


Yes, it takes a lot of work. I actually changed my entire right hand posture a few years ago for this very reason. I went from a MAB-style pinky anchoring thing with nothing near the 6th string to resting the base of my thumb (the thenar eminence) on the bridge just where the 6th string meets the bridge (a bit like that guy in the video). I don’t always use this position, because in some situations I find it can actually create noise if it bumps the string and then lets it ring free. I also find it slows me down a bit on faster runs compared to the pinky anchoring. You also need to work on left hand muting too, as Troy suggested, but experiment with your right hand position to see what works best for you. You may find your right hand anchoring point needs to track across the strings too, so that also takes practice.

As my general technique has improved I’ve found the muting thing has improved too, no doubt partly because I’m less likely to hit the wrong string at the wrong time.

One thing I find useful is to sometimes play using the highest gain, noisiest setting I can find on my amp modeller and use the bridge pickup so it accentuates any noise and lets you work out when you aren’t muting properly.


yeah man. You are looking at at least a couple weeks of experimenting and then habit-building practice. But it’s worth your while in the long run.


that’s a really good idea, albeit probably a frustrating one. wish me luck


Yep, it made me sound terrible, but short term pain for long term gain. Good luck!