dead notes

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jeff2287, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Hello. For some reason the concept of dead notes (depicted as "X" on sheet music) confuses me. How exactly are they supposed to be played along with the rest of the music? How do you play them? Whenever I attempt playing a dead note I try muting the string but I always end up producing a harmonic. Is that supposed to happen?
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Just relieve some pressure on the left hand. If you're over a harmonic node (or even if you're not), lightly place one or more other left-hand fingers on the string at the same time you're relieving pressure on the fretting finger.
  3. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Getting good 'tone' on dead notes is surprisingly difficult. The more flesh you have on the string the better. Ideally you want more than one finger on the string. Some of the dead notes I've encountered in transcriptions appear to be there to assist a position shift. In these cases you can flatten the hand on the strings during the shift, which gets a lot of flesh on the strings.