Techniques for muting strums on an acoustic (1 Viewer)

Oye

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This past week, my assignment includes working on Bob Dylan's "Hurricane" which incorporates muted strums with regular strums.

E.g. down/up/muted down/up/down/up/muted down/etc....

One guitar teacher uses palm muting.

The other uses the pinky finger on his fret hand and if the pinky is not available, he relaxes his fingers on the fret hand to get the muted strum.

They said I should find a way that's most comfortable with me.

I did some googling and youtubing, but most of those I found were how to palm mute an electric and I wasn't sure if it was the same principle - because the electric still produces a tone, it's just more subdued.

And a lot of the "acoustic muting" produced threads about being able to practice in such a way that the guitar makes no noise so they can practice without bothering neighbors, spouses, etc....

I am not tied to one method or another - and thought before I started practicing one way to make it routine, I'd as the SR.com guitarists what their preferences were.

Thanks in advance!
 

HouDat

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I like to use the butt/edge of my strum hand (along the base of the pinkie, down to the wrist) for muting, both electrics and acoustics. Rest it lightly on the strings, above the bridge.
 

philipkw

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I also (mostly) use the edge of my strum hand. However, I'll also use the finger(s) of my fret hand when I'm looking for a harmonic/mute.
 

johnnyrockets42

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I always used my fret hand when I played but like your teachers are saying, it just felt more natural for me.
 

TheMike62987

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I do a combo of both, but mostly use my strumming hand to mute the strings. It just came easier to me.
 

Mamba

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Sometimes it depends on what style of music you play. For a heavier, distortion-driven sound, using the edge of your strumming hand is the most common technique. But for a clean acoustic-driven style, sometimes using the fret-hand is better (and I usually just relax my fingers). Nevertheless, many guitar players use a combo of both regardless of musical style.
 

ULL_Scott

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What you saw on google and youtube is palm muting and it's different from just muting with your strum hand. A palm mute is when you rest the bottom of your hand(right by the wrist) on the bridge and you essencially "Choke" the sound, prevent it to ring out which gives it a quick bust with a deeper tone. For the Dylan song, he isn't going to be palm muting but he is going to mute with his strum hand. When I play acoustic I mute with my playing hand while strumming so the portion of my hand that mutes is the right side if you hold your hand right in front of you. Now you shouldn't try to just aim for a portion of your hand to mute with, just strum and try to mute while in your strumming motion. This is be more natural than just aiming for a portion of you hand and will allow your to keep time with the music. The other mute is with your playing hand and you can use all, some, or none of your fingers, whichever works best.
 
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Oye

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Thanks so much everyone! I tried several methods last night for a few minutes at a time to see if any felt easier and more natural than the other. I think the easiest way was something along the lines of what those of you mentioned in reference to the fret hand. The biggest difference was what Scott pointed out:
This is be more natural than just aiming for a portion of you hand and will allow your to keep time with the music. The other mute is with your playing hand and you can use all, some, or none of your fingers, whichever works best.
keeping time with the music was eventually made the difference for me - the strums are fairly quick, so having to shift my strum hand back and forth just wasn't working. So I use my fret hand, relaxing them a bit (which Post mentioned) ended up working the best. It allowed me to keep time better and not lost the rhythm with my strum hand - I am not that fast moving from Am to F - which I have to do quickly when there's a change - so trying to negotiate the chord change on the fretboard with my fret hand and managing a shift with my right hand for the muting was too much for my amateur brain and hands to process.

Maybe it will get easier with time.

I really hate the open F. I can ace "Wild World" by Cat Stevens, "House of the Rising Sun", and now *most* of "Hurricane" except for that open F.

It has gotten faster, but I just can't see me ever being able to really hit it smoothly :( I'm hoping it becomes automatic eventually. But getting there is really sucking.
 

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