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As Tim describes, there are two different skills here: picking accuracy (don't hit strings you don't need) and muting (don't let strings ring out if it's too hard to avoid hitting them). And you should practice both. Good exercises for picking accuracy are: scales, arpeggios, root-chord-root-chord strumming patterns. Good exercises for muting: funk -- ...


Lots of chords played on guitar are not played using all 6 strings. Mainly it's down to voicing, with a sometimes odd sounding note at the bottom, and sometimes it's because a string somewhere in the middle needs muting, as a good note cannot be found to play on it. Chords can have as few as 3 notes (some argue 2 constitutes a chord), so 3 can be an answer ...

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