Picking hand accuracy & middle strings


I recognized that I am having problems with my right (picking) hand accuracy. I notice it especially for chords that involve playing a middle sets of strings, although I'm do have problems with single strings as well.

Lets say I'm barring strings 4,3,2 at the 5th fret with my index finger. I'll find myself accidentally hitting the 5th string A at times. If I'm playing along, maybe some barr chords or something then go for that chord keeping the same rhythm 'picking' pattern, or the way my right hand is moving, I'll hit the open A. It's like I'm doing a full stum but when my hand comes down I want the pick to hit the 4th string up, but sometimes I hit the 5th string. I don't know if I should stop the motion of my right hand and position it above the 4th string to do so or not? I guess I could try to mute the 5th string with my index finger, which I do in some other cases.

I feel like I should be able to find the string(s) I want to land on without really stopping the motion of my hand, if that makes any sense.

Another case is playing a 7th chord, root 5th string and not wanting to play the high or low e strings. I try to use my index finger to mute the low e, and my index finger that's on the 2nd string to mute the first. This works but if i'm playing something faster it gets sloppy and I can't mute them quick enough.

Are there any specific exercises that you guys know that will help this? This really came about after working on Tomo's AVGP DVD, the rhythm sections. I've been playing really slowly, trying to work on it, but I don't know if maybe it's my technique, hand laziness, or what.



It's largely a matter of experience, practice, and finding what works for you. For the examples you cited, you can try muting the lower strings with part of your right hand (e.g., the heel), or use the tip of your left index finger that's holding the barre to lightly touch the fifth string to mute it.

For the higher E and B strings, using your left pinky is one method that Tomo mentions, I believe. Sometimes I might rest my free right-hand finger(s) on those strings -- for picking passages at least.

Keep at it and try different techniques. I'm sure others will offer great ideas (if they haven't already, as I slowly text from this mobile device).
If I were strumming that chord, I extend the tip of the index finger to mute the A string. There's a good chance that my thumb would wrap around to help mute as well.

Part of strumming a guitar is hitting strings that aren't part of the chords, it's our job to mute them. Otherwise you go to fingerstyle or a precise picking technique. Everything has its place.......


You want the pick hand to strum in a slight arc. It will learn to clear the strings you don't want included. As a back up you learn to slightly mute out adjacent strings just in case you hit them when your guitar is around your knees and your jumping off a marshall stack as you strum that chord. that's a back up and you still want to develop clean strumming and only hitting the correct strings.

Takes awareness and practice. You're half way there already.


on barre chords it very very very very important that you hit the string accurately work constantly on that, really the notes are redundant, advanced players rarely play a barre chord, partial chords are much easier, and only a couple notes are needed to sound a chord, root and 3rd, 7th if you got one.

soloing you should mute the strings around the one your playing the flesh of the fingers will do this when you postition the finger correctly, really hard not to do actually an advanced player can and often does pick all the strings and sound only one, it helps keep the established rhythm, and on stage an undamped string can and will sound, so its something we often have to do anyway. Thumb over the top can mute a lot of strings, the finger playing the note the rest, so hitting the right string really goes away, and we can play more rhythmically.


I think most important part is how you hold your guitar!

Make sure use a strap and when you straight your body... the instrument is steady.. (your body and your right elbow ?) hold your guitar.

Left hand is FREE! So you should be able to play anything without your left thumb.


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