Left hand muting technique?


#1

In the antigravity seminar, in that bit where MAB removes the string dampener to demonstrate his left hand muting technique, he shows how when he frets a note with his index finger, he makes sure to have it touch lightly on the lower string in order to mute it.

I’ve already been doing this for a while but never actually thought about doing the same with my other fingers. Which mean that if for example playing

----------------------------
----------------17---15---13
16---14----12---------------
----------------------------
----------------------------
----------------------------
4     2     1    4    2    1

When removing my index finger from the 3rd string 12th fret, due to the harmonic node, the string rings like crazy. The way I fret 2nd string 17th fret with my 4th finger, it doesn’t touch the 3rd string therefore the 3rd string is free to ring.

So I’m wondering if I need to completely rework my left hand technique to have every finger mute the lower string, or, if I am missing something? I’m trying to do it and it feels so weird. I also don’t think that left hand muting is the answer. Trying to mute that 3rd string with perfect timing seems almost impossible. Also I watched the Marty Friedman interview and his playing is clean even tough he mutes nothing with his right hand.

Also playing that almost anywhere else on the fretboard awy cleaner. It’s really the 12th fret harmonic that’s giving me a hard time, so I’m also wondering if maybe there is nothing wrong with my technique but if I should check my intonation


#2

The whole muting mystery thing has baffled me as well. I’ve noticed it almost seems like the brain has a way of subtly adjusting hand and finger positions to get a cleaner sound over time. There’s no way, at least the way I see it, to adjust for this on a macro level beyond the obvious suggestion of having your hands in sensible places on the bridge and neck that are conducive to muting (e.g. palm muting, keeping the fretting hand relatively straight and not copping a super weird angle).

I know this isn’t the answer that you want but I don’t think you should veer into the territory of trying to over-control everything. Just try out what I said regarding keeping the fretting hand in a sensible position with a relaxed technique and things should ideally sort themselves out. For what it’s worth, everything I’ve ever practiced, and I really do mean everything, has started out sloppy and gotten cleaner as time went on. This includes those ugly harmonics and ringing noises you had mentioned. You can’t expect perfection at the outset, the brain needs to perform its calculations and processing from the inputs (motions, notes, etc.) that you give it. It does this through trial and error, which unfortunately isn’t good news for your ears or your neighbors, but it has to be done.


#3

I see where you’re coming from and I can agree to some degree. However if it was entirely true it then we would all be able to figure out alternate picking on our own without needing to watch CtC videos.

As a former violin player I can tell you that it never ever crossed my mind that my fretting fingers were supposed to contribute to the muting of other strings, unless I was told to.

Anyhow, I’ve been experimenting a bit and I think it’s possible to do all the muting with my index finger. I just need to let my index finger hand in there a bit longer and kind a drag it along the string.

Another example is up until recently I had no idea I would hit unwanted strings with my pick. But because I’ve seen it shown in the antigravity seminar (i. e the Swipe) now I know it happens. And I know that MAB can do it and still sound clean, but I can’t, and I figured I’d rather just learn how to completely eliminate it. I’ve been playing for years and never knew why some phrases I could never play clean even at slower tempos. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have discovered that stuff by myself.


#4

When moving from 3rd string to 2nd string, it’s your right hand that should mute the 3rd string. An extra help from left hand is welcome, but the big work should come from the right. On the other side, when moving from 2nd to 3rd, it’s the left hand that is muting (mostly)


#5

Fret hand muting is pretty interesting.
There is so much going on and I don’t remember working on it
For lead stuff but I have it.
Not saying I never have to address a problem that appears with a new tech but in general

My theory is mine was really developed while working on chords.

Some of the chords require I play two strings with one finger tip and use others to mute. .

That I do remember working on and I think it just carried over.


#6

For the example given above my index finger never fully leaves the third string

I play not on the tips but more on the pads if that makes sense
I can still fret the notes while the tip of the index mutes

Just double checked and indeed my index does come off for a split second but as that happens my second fingertip is muting the third string at the 15th fret

So its a back n forth between fingers 1 and 2 muting


#7

ok this is exactly the solution I’ve come up with now, seems to work pretty well. The wound strings don’t ring out as much so I think I can manage them with right hand muting alone, hopefully


#8

“For what it’s worth, everything I’ve ever practiced, and I really do mean everything, has started out sloppy and gotten cleaner as time went on.”

Well said and I totally agree.

From a totally different perspective, I guess with proper macro training our hands and brains figure out a way to make things tighter; whether we can properly enunciate the more subtle mechanics with proper English is a different matter.

For now guitar will do.