How can I prevent string squeak when sliding between triads?

This is a bit off the focus of the lesson, but does anyone have any helpful tips for minimizing the string squeaking that comes from moving grips up and down the fret board? As a beginner, is it just a matter of slowing down and relaxing the grip until that becomes more of a habit (soI can then speed up)?

Lifting your fingers off the strings is the solution, but it’s easier said than done. I recently fitted these strings to my acoustic and they helped reduce squeek. They aren’t cheap though.


Yes. Practice with technique that minimizes the string noise is probably your best bet.

You could also try different kinds of strings; instead of round wound try flat wounds or ground wounds. (Looks like the “flat top” strings @jacksprat mentioned are what I’m calling ground wounds.) But note that the strings will sound different. There’s always a trade off.

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I suggest you practice the following:

  1. play triad,

  2. mute with picking hand,

  3. move fretting hand to new triad position,

  4. play next triad

  5. repeat

If the goal is to slide between triads without “squeaks” and maximize the volume of the increase/decrease in pitch, first practice sliding on a single string, varying the string pressure you maintain during the slide. You’ll eventually find the right amount of pressure to maintain to minimize “squeak” and maximize sustain, but it takes lots of practice. It’s best if you get comfortable and competent sliding single notes before trying triads. I found that a pressure of about 50% of my normal fretting pressure works best for me, but getting this to work when sliding 3 fingers is MUCH more challenging than a single string.

This is something that can take a while to master, so don’t let it stop you from progressing through the lessons. Just keep this as a 5-minute practice item as you continue your journey.


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It also occurred to me that the squeaks obviously come from the wound strings. So, at least for strings 1-3, I’m able to actually keep my fingers in position on strings 1 and 2 when moving one grip, and then “drop” the appropriate finger on string 3 (the wound string). That virtually eliminates the squeak. Of course, that approach won’t work for strings 4-6 (i.e., 3 wound strings).