Em chord is to loud

Hi guys,

I was wondering if you could give me some tips to improve my strumming. When I change from a Em chord to a Am chord the sound from the thick E-string is so loud it blocks the Am chord. You can hardly hear it.
If I try to play the Em chord less hard it results in me strumming it slower, taking it longer to play the chord. It messes with my rhythm. I don’t know if this is the best way to deal with this problem.

Hope to hear from you, thanx in advance.


Hi Wesley,
As I read it, your fastest solution for now is to mute the E with your thumb gently against it over the neck…But given your question and that you have played for a while in the past, I advise you to do this … (one of the few things you have to pay for)

…and/or But in any case to pick up the curses ( Edit: I mean course :blush: … Oppassen met google vertaling Wesley or maybe your beter in this englisch writing stuff :upside_down_face: ) from grade 1 because then you will encounter it automatically ,watch Justin’s song tutorial and you will come across this too a lot :sunglasses:

Have fun , greetings

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I see that… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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:see_no_evil: :speak_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:
And if this was the first time that the Dutch ‘CURSUS’ what means course… and then the 2nd ‘U’ are typed with a ‘E’ by me ( :blush: ) and then translated with swearing :upside_down_face:, and now you l say it, I’m curious how many people have read it now and before and thought Mmmm :laughing:
I will edit the good word behind it :smile:

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Thanx Roger, I have started the course from grade 1. So maybe I just have to be patient. It’s true, I have been playing in the past, but I can’t recall this being a thing then.

You’re solution to play with the thumb muting the e-string doesn’t works when I play the E-chord. But my problem is that you can hear the e-string ringing when I play the A-chord after the E-chord.

Oh… now it clicks… :scream: I have to mute the e-string with my thumb after I have played the E-chord. So when I strum the A-chord It’s muted before I play the A-chord. That should do it.

My English stuff isn’t natural, the autocorrect works great, helping me allot. At least that’s what I think, maybe nobody understands a thing I write.


That’s exactly it. As your fingers move down from E or Em to A or Am, you’ll find your thumb naturally comes over the top of the neck and lightly touches the low E string.

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Yep mute the E string. Thumb is the easiest option here.

The answer to any question of why is x string making a noise when I dont want is usually mute it somehow.

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Also consider turning down the bass in the EQ on your amp to level out the volumes between strings - I read in your intro, you’re playing electric, right?

And don’t worry too much about it at this early stage. Justin covers string muting later in the course.

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Also look at your pickups and their height. This can affect relative strength of the strings (if its electric…)


Correct, I play electric. That’s something I can look at, changing bass the amp settings. Thnx

Changing the height off my pickups sounds like my last option. I have no experience changing any thing on my guitar. I am scared to mess things up.

Measure it first you can always put it back how it was

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Are you using high gain/distortion, by chance? If so, that will exacerbate the problem. Open chords and high gain often don’t work very well together.

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I like a bit (sometimes a bit more) distortion. This could be a factor.

When I play clean I hear the metal sound of the not amplyfied strings trough the amplyfied sound. I have to put the volume much higer to not hear it. To a point I don’t think it’s good for my ears.

Maybe I have to buy a good headphone. I have spend so many money already🫣

You could also learn not to strum the E string, which, if I remember correctly, is what Justin recommends.

hu ? you have the strum the E string on a Em chord dont you ?

Correct, but not for A or Am.

yes thats his problem ( as far as I understood ) when passing from Em to Am the Em keeps on ringing

theres no way he can avoid playing the E string if its the Em ringing

A few things I wished I had learned at the start -

1.) Knowing how to not play a note or how to mute a string is just as important as knowing how to play a note.

2.) An electric guitar will cause open strings to start ringing out just by playing other strings. Can sound really bad.

3.) The “full” six string chords we’re all taught are basically stacked triads with multiple notes doubled. If tuning is slightly off, may not sound so good and the doubled notes aren’t needed anyway.

4.) The biggest realization was learning that the root of a chord isn’t even required and you don’t even need the 5th. Try just playing the 3rd and the 7th and you’ll see how it will sound good.

5.) I understand that most want to play songs and not be burdened by music theory, but I think that is an obstacle to progress.

Thumb over muting for beginners is not easy and to some degree goes against what they are being taught, thumb behind the neck.

Simple fix is the mute the E string with the middle finger (5th string 2nd fret for both E and Em). Just touch the E string as you move to the Am or any other non 6th string root. You can practice this slowly to begin with until it becomes a natural thing to do.

In time you will have the thumb coming over but this will get you sorted in the meantime.


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