A percussion technique in which the vibration of one or more strings is suppressed with the help of the hand or the fingers. Both the fret hand and the strumming hand can be used.

Muting with the fret hand

If the fret hand is used, both downstroke and upstroke can be used to attenuate all or selected strings to a chord completely or partly. The strings to be muted are not pressed down as in harmonics but only slightly touched to suppress their vibration.

This happens differently depending on the finger position in a chord. E.g., in the D major chord in C6 tuning, the upper three strings are already in use. One of the free fingers is put lightly on the open 1st string, while the pressure on the remaining strings is reduced until they no longer produce a sound. In the C major chord in C6 tuning, on the other hand, the pressure on the 1st string being played is reduced while the open strings are blocked, e.g., by the index finger in bar (chord) mode just so far that they do not sound.

Common muting techniques for selected chords

gray = lightly blocked with fingers

Palm mute

Chunk / Chuck

Palm mute (also called chunk or chuck) is a technique of muting with the strumming hand. It is used with the downstroke. The ball of the strumming hand mutes the strings.

In a variant, first place the thumb across the fretboard to achieve cushioning, then beat the fingers down before the palm touches the strings. The strings are played but can not swing.


Muted chords can be used to percussively perform the unstressed beat in a rhythm (backbeat). A chord muted in this way is called chop.

Dead note

A muted note is marked with an „x“ in the tablature and called dead note or ghost note.


Ukulele Underground: The Left Hand Mute

Aldrine Guerrero: How to Chunk