Palm Muting


Palm Muting

A very common technique in guitar playing is the palm mute. The effect of it is to make your notes sound shorter and more punchy and percussive, almost like a marimba.


The most popular situation for palm muting is when playing distorted power chords. The technique is widely used in metal, rock, punkrock and hardcore.


Palm muting can also be used when playing clean arpeggios for a special effect.


Another use, less common though, is palm muting in solos on single note lines. Superfast guitar player Al DiMeola uses this technique very often in his solos while doing fast runs, making his playing instantly recognizable.


How to palm mute

Palm muting is fairly easy, although it requires you to change the position of your picking hand.

First, the fingers of the right hand have to be outstretched, except for the fingers holding the pick.

So make sure your little finger and ring finger of the right hand (picking hand) are in line with the hand itself.


Then, place the heel of the picking hand on the strings, as close as possible to the bridge, so that you are slightly touching it. The heel of your hand has to be placed a bit diagonal to make it possible to pick the strings.

guitarhow lesson palmmuting
...and hit the strings while the palm is resting on the strings, next to the bridge.


The next thing is to use right amount of pressure with the heel of your hand on the strings.

Not too little and not too much.

The amount of pressure will determine the sound you will get from your muted strings. What you want is that they sound punchy and short, but still powerful at the same time.


Try playing some powerchords on the three top strings of your guitar while muting.


After that, practice muting and releasing the strings, and muting again, all the time while playing a steady rhythm of power chords. The use of some unmuted chords to place accents makes the muted powerchords sound even more powerful.


Good luck, and have fun!


guitarhow lesson palmmuting1Palmmuting: place the back of your hand on the edge of the strings...