I'm learning in bloom - nirvana atm. So I'm playing with a lot of distortion. The song has a lot of muting from the left hand but when I try to do so it makes a terrible noise. It's loud and dark if I mute in the first fret (which I don't really have a problem with) but when I try to mute on frets lower than the first it starts to squeal. How can I make the squealing go away?

Thanks for the help in advance.

  • What fret is "lower" than the first fret? You may be touching harmonics. It's hard to tell based on your description.
    – user50691
    Jun 26, 2018 at 1:01
  • How loudly are you playing? Could it be feedback?
    – b3ko
    Jun 26, 2018 at 2:17
  • I mean every position that isn't the first on my lower E string. And no it's not feedback, I don't think. It's like I'm hitting harmonics in every position. Jun 26, 2018 at 20:48
  • Can you edit your question to explain what type of muting, exactly where you mean, and ideally a sound clip so we can hear it. Otherwise it is difficult to tell whether you mean harmonics, acoustic feedback or electronic interference.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Aug 20, 2018 at 10:29
  • could be the spring in a tremolo setup vibrating...
    – Yorik
    Sep 18, 2018 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


Make sure you mute with as many fingers as you can to smother and deaden completely without creating unwanted harmonics. Harmonics can also be limited by changing where you are hitting the strings with your pick hand. Try move up closer to the neck during those times you want to completely kill that. use your pick hand to help mute also. When you are playing that hot, the default should be to ALWAYS have your pick hand muting everything, killing all harmonics, feedback, and grounding hum as much as possible, and only off to allow enough room to play the notes/string you want, like a human noise gate.


There are a few ways to stop feedback:

1.Stand in a different proximity to the amp.

2.Face a different direction (away from the amp)

3.Use less volume or gain (sounds like a non-option if you like the tone)

4.Use a noise gate/suppressor

I play at extreme volumes and use a Noise Suppressor pedal with knobs, which allows me to target the right level of suppression to apply to the signal, as well as the attack time before the suppression kicks in. It allows all strumming to get through and feedback to be silenced, if set properly. I generally put this pedal first in my effects line, but if you want to also suppress the noise from other pedals (like Distortion or Chorus) you can try putting the pedal nearer to the end of the signal chain.

  • Thanks for the answer but I don't think I'm dealing with feedback. I've tried your 4 tips but none of them worked. It's like I'm doing harmonics in every position and I don't find a way to not do so. I've tried various amounts of pressure. The only string I make the squealing sound with is my first string. Jun 26, 2018 at 20:29
  • Unintended squeals while muting during distorted riffs is a kind of feedback. We may need to hear some audio to determine exactly what is going on, as phrases like "mute in the first fret" and "frets lower than the first" are a bit confusing.
    – JacobIRR
    Jun 26, 2018 at 20:32

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