Technique often employed by guitarists to soften the noise of their multi-stringed significant other. The palm mute is often effective at making the loud parts of a song contrast much more strongly with the soft parts. It's primarily used with electric guitars, but it can also work on an acoustic guitar. Palm muting deadens the sound of the guitar by taking valuable kinetic energy from the strings and transferring it into the player's hand. Palm muting is utilized in many forms of music, among them jazz, blues, rock and roll, and even heavy metal. For a quick example of how palm muting can be effectively used, you might want to check out the song Hash Pipe by Weezer. In the beginning, Rivers Cuomo as well as the other guitar player and the bassist muffle their notes. However, when the song gets ready to kick some ass, the muting stops and the song's decibel level goes up by a significant amount.

Palm muting is accomplished using the player's picking hand. Y'know, the hand that you hold the pick or that you strum with. It's usually the player's right hand, unless they're Jimi Hendrix or another leftie. A palm mute is actually done with the heel of the hand, not the palm. Place the heel of your picking hand on the strings. Try to do this as near the bridge of the guitar as possible to keep from completely killing the sound. Make sure that your heel hits the strings that you're going to play on, fret a power chord, and just strum around a bit. Fiddle with the balance until it sounds good and each string is muted evenly. Note the difference between muted and un-muted playing. Alright, you now know how to palm mute.

Rock on.

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