Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar very basic beginning guitar question

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  • #22305


    I’ve been playing classical guitar for a month or so, and have a very elementary question. My problem is that when I descend from a higher string to a lower one, the higher string continues to resonate, thus interfering with the lower one. Eg, if I am playing a descending scale and go from an A (open fifth string) to a G (third fret, sixth string), the A is still sounding after I strike the G, thus creating an unwanted harmony.

    Silly question, perhaps. But I’m baffled.


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    • #73606

      The same as I mentioned. I imagine most players do it; it seems the most economical way of cutting the open ringing. I didn’t do a lot of theory, though. Any coaches or coached players with an op?

    • #73608

      Well using your example, from the open fifth to the 3rd sixth, when i want to mute the A note i just strech the same finger that’s on the 3rd fret of the sixth so that it slightly touches the fifth.Just use that little piece of skin to mute it. Anyway i agree that everyone has his own style, so try figuring out how you wanna do it. This method might be ok with me, but maybe it’s not what you’re looking for…

    • #73612

      Interesting point, Tim (more later…) but it’s a bit shameful that Guitarsite looks at a really good Q like this and two bassplayers respond. C’mon 6-stringers; stop posting about my tennis inadequacies and do something useful ❓ 🙂

      Back to the point. I played plec-bass a lot, so a lot of muting was done with the fretting hand. Most of it concious, but some of it ‘just happened’. Interesting that you’ve found the same, Tim. I’ve been making an effort to do more fingerstyle and, yep, it’s more of a combination.

      Some 20 years back, I would put down the bass for a band I didn’t want to join and then go through it with the (even worse than me) ‘regular’. He was sharp eyed, though. When I played plec, he noticed that I’d kill a ringing ‘E’ by slipping the thumbnail of the fretting hand around the neck and touch the string. Danged if I’d noticed it; and I realized later I tended to avoid this if it was going to produce a ringing harmonic (esp 3rd, 5th and 7th frets).

      Just the bizarre styles that come from playing “Whose Line is it Anyway?” improv.

      EDIT – must point out I have very long thumbnails. I didn’t slip the bitten stub under the string, more like I’d kill the vibe from above using the white bit.

    • #73618

      Having just played I can confirm I also do this (Mute with both hands) I knew I muted with my fretting hand when playing with a pick but I hadn’t actually realised I was doing it fingerstyle to, like the man says it’s finding what flows best with your style of music and playing…and the shape of your fingers (seriously!)

    • #73707

      Another bass player ❗ but I’m with Tim. I use strategies for damping an open string that involve either the plucking or the fretting hand. Whichever is the nearest available and doesn’t interfere with playing the next note(s).

      Playing guitar is a bit like playing pool – the more you’re able to think ahead and get your fingers in position, the more flowing and natural your play is. In the specific example you give, Bananas (open ‘A’ to 3rd fret ‘G’) I’d casually ‘dip’ my fretting finger to damp off the open ‘A’.

      That’s only how I’d do it. You may find your own way that works. One of the great things about guitar (and bass) playing is that so many people pick up what is, essentially, the same instrument; and yet develop their own style as unique as a fingerprint.

      Good luck with the playing.

    • #73655

      I’m only a lowly bassist but when I play fingerstyle I mute the previous string with other fingers on my picking hand, I assume, if you play classical you’re picking with your fingers? This is why I play bass…people who can do this well scared me off learning guitar!

      I think practise is probably the key, if you’re worried about unwanted harmonics after only a month playing you’ll probably go far.

      Is this right? I find classical guitar a bit of a Dark Art.


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