Squeaking Strings

I could do with some help preventing the strings from squeaking and making other unwanted noise when moving my fingers up and down the fretboard, playing chords and individual notes. Any advice on this?


Time and practice Claudia :slightly_smiling_face:

I sort of slide/peel my fingers from the strings as they are moving off to the next chord, if you pull them straight off, they can stick causing the string to ring out.

Sometimes you can use adjacent fingers to mute a string with the fretting hand.

Sometimes you can use the side of the hand or heel of the palm to mute with the picking hand……

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What sort of strings do you have? I find that the coated strings, like Elixirs, squeak a lot less for me than the uncoated strings.


Thanks guys. Yes, practice is the key, I guess. I understand about muting strings you don’t want to ring out. But it’s when you lift your fingers off a string, or slide up and down the fretboard that’s tricky. Particularly on songs where you play high up and the strings aren’t close to the fretboard, such as in Sting’s Shape of My Heart. That’s a killer! I use coated strings, but perhaps I should experiment with different makes.

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Maybe you can try a set of flat wound strings. The string windings are flat and will not squeak like the wire wound strings will.

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I would just ignore it to be honest. It probably isn’t as bad as you think, and it’s normal to have some string noise while learning the instrument. In a mix it probably wouldn’t even be much of an issue.

Having too many things on your mind to focus on takes away from just having fun. You can slow things down for five minutes or so and try to isolate where the noise is coming from, but by and large just let 'er rip.


I think some people are more sensitive to this noise , I know I am. The idea of flatwounds seems attractive but they really are quite a specialist thing.
There is however a kind of string called a halfround for electric guitars eg. Daddario EHR310 where the top part of the string is ground flat. I find these a good compromise if you really hate the squeek and dont mind the lack of highs in the tone. I discovered recently that there is also a halfround version for acoustic guitars called flat tops e.g D’addario EFT Flat Tops Acoustic Guitar Strings. These are not quite as effective as the electric version in reducing the squeek and also are less brilliant in tone but i find they do make a difference.

Thanks for the input. I think for now I’ll try and concentrate on getting my technique better. Being aware of squeaks goes a long way towards eliminating them and I’ve found recording myself very helpful in hearing where it sounds obtrusive. Lifting the fingers cleanly off the strings seems to be a key thing, but not always easy to do when you’re struggling to get to the next note!

Hey saturno
I’m having the same problem and I just found your post. I’m wondering how you made out, if you still have the squeaky strings. I noticed for me the squeak only happens on strings 4, 5 6. I like to keep just the slightest touch on the string as I’m sliding to keep my place on the fretboard I tried taking all my fingers completely off all the strings and it is making my chord changes harder.
On strings 1,2,3 there is no squeak at all when I slide. So I’m trying to switch my anchor finger for sliding to make sure it stays on one of the higher strings.
I’m also gonna to look to the actual strings themselves maybe see if I can find the ones that were recommended in your post. And hopefully that will eliminate the squeaking

Squeaking can depend on the type of string. I had some Martin strings on my acoustic and they were so squeaky I hated them, when learning fingerstyle the squeaks were louder than my playing! Switched to Elixirs and the squeaks are much, much quieter.

I think there will always be some squeaking.

Those are the wound strings around a core, it’s that winding that makes the noise