Muting unwanted harmonics

Hey good folks

I’m trying to learn Livin’ On A Prayer, classic rock tune. The main riff is a mix of open E string and fretting on the 5th and 7th frets of the E and A strings.

With my current (and obviously not good enough) muting technique I’m getting a ton of unwanted harmonics coming through. I’m trying to fret away from the harmonic node but it doesn’t sound as good, and I feel like I can’t mute with either hand since I’m jumping between the E and A strings fairly quickly. I can’t use a fret wrap since I need the open E string.

How can I improve my technique to avoid this? Obviously I need to mute better but I just don’t know how.


Problem solves. :laughing:


Nope, definitely didn’t solve my problem.

I learned this piece some time ago and unfortunately there is no easy trick to avoid unwanted sounds… This is what learning the right technique is all about :sob: You must learn to synchronize your right and left hand in muting the strings (and yes, it can be done at the same time)…
That main riff, it took me an >>insane<< amount of time to get it almost right. Start slowly, control what your hands are doing, rinse and repeat. After -many- tries, you will do it automatically…

But! I’ll try to get back to this song tomorrow (it’s almost midnight in my place), maybe I’ll be able to write some specific tips :see_no_evil:


@Hann is right. It takes time to learn certain phrase. If it’s too much for your system don’t overload it. Just take it really slow. Until your brain has build up the awareness and your body lock it in as a muscle memory.

Plus we are wired differently so don’t be afraid to explore other route. There’s more than one way to play the same note. When I’m stuck I usually find the alternative route that may serves me better than the conventional.

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I returned to this song, but as I didn’t get any feedback, so I don’t know if it makes sense to write it all…
But I will always be happy to exchange experiences :wink:

One thing you might try. Stuff a piece of foam under all your strings right in front of the bridge. Tony Levin discovered this trick when they recorded sledgehammer. He was getting sounds that he did not want so he pulled a diaper out of his kids diaper bag and shoved it under the strings between the bridge and the bridge pick up. It provided just a slight amount of muting and it actually improved his sound.

You might try that, I have a piece of foam under my strings for just that purpose. It provides just a hint of string drag which stops harmonics but still allows the note to come through when you pluck it.