Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How to Get Great Palm Muting Tone on Your Guitar

This is another one of those posts (palm muting in this case) about stumbling on to correct technique that experienced guitarists don't even think to mention. My first reaction is always “duh” and I want to be quiet about it to avoid embarrassment. Second reaction is to write a post in the off chance anyone else is having the same problem.

Although I’ve played for awhile now I’ve always been disappointed in the tone I achieve when employing palm muting. I get more of a dead cat bounce than the percussive tone I’m shooting for. I always assumed I wasn’t applying the right pressure with my palm until I stumbled on the fact it is all about where you place your palm; near the bridge rather than over the active pickup like I was doing.

I added a simple diagram to illustrate my point. Since I was muting near the active pickup (‘A’ in the diagram) the strings don’t really resonate over the pickup. By moving the palm back towards the bridge (B), the strings are still muted but they now have an opportunity to resonate over the active pickup and thus a much fatter percussive tone.

Yes, I know, this is obvious and I wish I had figured it out before. Sounds great thought now that I have.

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