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I started realizing that the picking hand was actually very important (probably as much as the fretting hand): it is always moving and it has to be extremely precise. I wanted to ask a question about some technique I saw in a video but I don't quite understand what's going on. In the video below starting at 1:57, the guitarist does some kind of "crunch/mute" sound in between the notes he's playing. I have a hard time figuring out how he's doing it. Is he doing that sound by using his right hand against the strings and then quickly lifting it off to play the notes or is he just doing that "crunch" mute sound with the left hand by just lifting his fingers off the strings between the notes? This seems to be related to his right hand doing a quick double movement (at 2:01), if someone could explain it, I would appreciate it because it seems that's how he's doing that sound.

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This is mostly right hand muting (although I wouldn't be surprised if he also uses a quick left hand lift, as that helps kill the sound more quickly)

You have described it pretty accurately, he does quickly press his right hand against the strings between notes.

It's a very common thing to do, especially when using a lot of distortion and gain - it helps stop squeals and extra noise, and as he also has a compressor on this it helps drop the sound level quickly to give a sharper edge to the note. With practice it's almost automatic.

EDIT: what your updated question shows is actually the damping plus a quick pick to give a very short crunch/click noise. But the same process is true.

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Thank you Dr Mayhem for explaining it. –  16278263789 Feb 18 '12 at 18:01
    
No worries - if it helped you then you just click on the tick to the left of my answer and it indicates an accepted answer. This helps others who have the same question. –  Dr Mayhem Feb 18 '12 at 19:09
    
Dr Mayhem: I just realized the first link I posted was the wrong one. I edited my post and corrected the link and linked to the video I first intended to link. Could you please look at it again and tell me? Thx. –  16278263789 Feb 19 '12 at 6:59

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