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I've been learning

for a bit, and whilst the notes are pretty simple the percussion noises are giving me problems. I've noticed that in the tab the x's for percussion are on the D and G strings, but at the moment I can only do the noises by slapping my thumb on the E string.

In the video the kid seems to use his index finger on those two strings which allows both the base and melody to ring out. When I'm using my thumb the bass line stops. I'm at a loss as to how to get the percussion using just my index finger on those two strings and I'm not sure what to google, please help its an awesome song!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can get this kind of percussive strum by using either your thumb or fingers to pluck/strum the strings and immediately damping them with your palm or other left hand fingers. It can be tricky to mute only the strings you want and no others, but with a little practice it should be no problem. The more of a snap you give the string, the more the percussive sound will punch through.

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Thanks, I guess I'm trying to mute the string and then play it whilst the string is muted, rather than play the string and mute it. I guest I can strum the G string followed by the D, and then use by second finger to mute the G string and the strumming finger the mute the D. – avid Feb 7 '12 at 14:43

It actually sounds like he is using his thumb the same way you would for slap bass (see this Victor Wooten lesson) - on a guitar this gives you a lot of percussion but less ring than a bass.

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