Sheet music

The chords uses all strings but the 5th one, the A string, how do I strum strings skipping the A string?

  • 1
    Will someone explain why that 5th string can't be pressed down on the 2nd fret, making it easier to play, and stll sounding good? There's another M3 coming from the 2nd string open.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 8:28
  • 1
    How do you play the all muted chord with all X noteheads? Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 11:25
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    @piiperiReinstateMonica - by muting all the strings! Either by using fretting hand fingers loosely over the strings just where they were, or using the side of the palm on the strumming hand - not so easy. Using all barre chords, some players put a 'scrunchie' over the strings, fret 1 or 2, meaning they can play all chords above, but not touch strings at all with fretting hand for xxxxxx.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 11:29
  • 4
    @Tim The question was for the OP. :) I meant, if muting one string is a problem, how about muting all strings... Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 13:55
  • @Tim it might be a voicing of the G chord that the composer felt fit in with the underlying melody better without the b note on the bass end of the chord. I think the high b (open b string) is more prominent when you take the low b out of the voicing. Perhaps the higher b is part of the melody. In other words - I don't know but there might be a valid reason. Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


You don't skip the string. You strum all the strings and use the fretting hand to mute the string(s) that you don't want ringing.

In this specific case you can mute the 5th string with the same finger you are using to fret G (3rd fret 6th string). You press G like you'd normally do, and use the bottom part of your finger to mute the 5th string. If you position your finger correctly, you can press G and mute A with the same finger, while letting the other strings ring.

This way you can strum really hard and do stuff that you'd normally do only with open string positions. You can also do percussive stuff when muting all or many strings.

It's a very useful skill to have, and pretty much essential in some genres and styles. It's hard to describe with words, youtube has many videos on the subject with different approaches, like this one:

As you can see it's used a lot in funk, but it has uses everywhere. It's a rhythm guitar concept, so it's not the most popular one.

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