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What Is Palm Muting?

Muting is actually the process of keeping a ringing string from vibrating. When you put your palm on the strings at the point where they connect to the bridge, you silence the vibration a little – you mute it. This is why it’s called palm muting.

Here are three keys to getting that palm mute just right:

1. The Sweet Spot

You can change how muted the strings are. The more you move to the right, the less you mute and the more the strings ring out. Move to the left and you’ll mute more. There is a spot in the middle where the note will sound chunky but not dead. This is the sweet spot.

2. Firmness of the Plant

Your palm needs to be planted firmly enough for the mute to even happen. Try pressing your palm against the strings with different levels of firmness.

3. Volume Adjustments

You can adjust the volume of your sound by strumming harder or more lightly as you mute. You need to balance the palm pressing against the strings with the strumming to get the sound you are looking for.

Each of these three elements impact your effectiveness at palm muting. By trying different combinations and adjusting based on what you hear, you’ll eventually get what you need for the song you’re playing. Palm muting is a really dynamic technique that can make the simplest playing sound professional.

Learn more about palm muting in this video from Fender Play. And if you're not a member of Fender Play yet, click here for a free trial.

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