Question: How do I play clean tapping licks and clean sweep picking arpeggios with high gain?

Tom Hess's Answer: When you play guitar using distortion, your number one goal should be to eliminate any excessive string noise that comes for the strings you are not playing. Read this article about muting unwanted guitar string noise to learn how to do this.

Many tapping licks become very sloppy due to string noise that is caused while switching strings (in the fretting hand), or when you rush to tap a note immediately after playing several picked notes. To clean up your guitar playing, work on smoothing out the transitions from string to string in your fretting hand. In your tapping hand, practice slowly (at first) to improve your timing and minimize excess noise.

The key to playing clean sweep picking arpeggios is to effectively mute the strings that are not being played as you articulate each individual note. To do this, make sure to mute each string that is LOWER than the one you are currently playing by using the thumb on your picking hand. In your fretting hand, make sure to mute the notes after they have been played by lifting up your finger from the fretboard (lift the finger ONLY as much as needed for the string to stop ringing). This will mute the strings you have already played while allowing only the string that you ARE currently playing to ring clearly.

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