Electric guitars are often the go-to for playing unplugged. Nylon strings, no amp, it was a quiet and low-key gig. They’re not electric guitars. But they’re also not acoustic guitars either. They’re much less loud and they have a softer sound, like other nylon string types.
That’s a tough situation because acoustic guitars typically aren’t all that loud. If you want to play without offending anyone though, you’ll find it difficult to find the sweet spot wherever your audience is.
The acoustic guitar is well-loved for its blend of delicacy and resonance, but it’s not well understood. After all, most traditional string instruments have a mute or other way to control amplitude. We think the time has come to level the playing field and share our wisdom on how to tame those wild apples!
- Quiet Guitar Techniques
- 1. Pick
- 2. Plug In
- 3. Palm Mute
- Quiet Guitar Products
- 1. Extra-Light Gauge Strings
- 2. Quiet Picks
- 3. Feedback Buster
- Simple Tips on How to Make an Acoustic Guitar Quieter
- 1. Fill the Soundhole
- 2. Use a Feedback Dampener
- 3. Use an Acoustic Guitar Silencer
- 4. Tie Something Soft Around the Neck of the Guitar
- 5. Use Palm-Muting
- 6. Pick With Your Finger Tips Not Your Nails
- 7. Use Lighter Gauge Strings
- 8. Get a Travel Guitar
- Alternative Variants
- Top ‘Silent’ Acoustic Guitars of 2022
- 1. Yamaha SLG130NW
- 2. Traveler Guitar Pro Series
- 3. Sojing 020A-U
- 4. Aria Sinsonido AS-101C
- 5. Miranda S-250
- 6. SoloEttte SongBird Jazz
- 7. Koopal EG100
- FAQ for Soundhole Damper
- What is a soundhole damper for acoustic guitars?
- When do you use a soundhole damper?
- How do soundhole dampers for acoustic guitar work?
- What are the different types of soundhole dampers?
- Can you use a soundhole damper with any instrument?
- How do a soundhole damper affect tone and pitch?
- Affect soundhole damper on tone and pitch the guitar?
Quiet Guitar Techniques
Sometimes you don’t want to fiddle-fart around with household items or spend a bunch of money to play quieter. Sometimes all you need is a softer touch.
Learning a few chords on a guitar is required to play this technique, but doing so with your fingers instead of with your nails produces a softer sound. Put the picks back in their box and let your fingers do all the work.
2. Plug In
It sounds contradictory, but don’t plug in your headphones to the output. You need to use the input. To do so, buy a pair of headphones and plug them into where they fit, There are two types of guitars- acoustic and electric. If you want the sound that only you can hear, buy an electric guitar.
A physical object is converted into an electrical signal through a process called electromagnetic induction- in this case, it’s done by the metal strings on an electric guitar vibrating from a string being hit which in turn makes electrons flow through wires that jump.
3. Palm Mute
When it comes to muting sound, it’s not what you think. The way this works is the side of your hand is used to block off and muffle noise. As you play, you use your pinky to dampen the sound by running it down the bridge… The way this song uses the instrumental accompaniment from the guitar to fill out without overshadowing the vocal is pretty cool.
Quiet Guitar Products
It may be simpler to purchase something that doesn’t require you to play with your guitar as much. It’s an accessory for your guitar, so you can just put it on and take it off. See our suggestions:
1. Extra-Light Gauge Strings
Because they are lighter, they can’t move air as well as heavier strings. They also don’t produce as much energy to vibrate on the soundboard because they have less mass. If you are a beginner and want to make it easier on your fingers, this might be an option. However, you might become more comfortable with lighter gauge strings. You might also find the sound too thin if you have been using heavier strings.
2. Quiet Picks
Believe it or not, there is such a thing. Nylon picks that are thinner than.38mm in diameter generate much less volume than heavier picks made of other materials. You won’t be able to use a pick as thin as this one for performance, but they will give you permission to practice with it.
3. Feedback Buster
It is a rubber soundhole covering that is inserted into the soundhole. Although it is intended to reduce feedback, one side effect is that it can reduce volume.
It’s not a magic bullet. Produced sound doesn’t just depend on the soundhole. Also, the soundboard (top of the guitar) is responsible for creating it. However, sound can be produced from the soundhole of an acoustic. This may help to dampen the sound.
Simple Tips on How to Make an Acoustic Guitar Quieter
You need to practice a lot in order to become a proficient guitarist. You don’t want to be a noisy and energetic parent or live in a tiny apartment so you can’t practice too much. There are many ways to make your acoustic instrument quieter so you can still get your practice in.
These are 8 ways you can use them:
1. Fill the Soundhole
Acoustic guitars vibrate when you pick them up. The vibrations travel through the strings to the neck, bridge, and finally into the guitar’s body.
The soundwaves are then reflected around the soundhole increasing volume and amplifying it. You can reduce the space in which soundwaves must resonate by filling the soundhole. Soft fabrics inside the soundhole will dampen some of them as they hit it.
It is simple to fill the soundhole with a few t-shirts or tea towels. Then carefully stuff them in. The dampening effect is greater the more fabric you use. Just remember to take yours out before you leave for your next gig.
2. Use a Feedback Dampener
Feedback dampeners are rubber rings that fit inside the soundhole and cover it completely. Acoustic guitars can be quietened by using feedback dampeners. They do a fantastic job of drowning out the bass soundwaves.
The sound vibrations that travel through your guitar’s body into its body won’t be able to travel through the air in its soundhole. Your guitar will therefore be quieter. Lower frequencies can travel through floors and walls much more quickly than higher frequencies, so dampening them will make a huge difference.
You can purchase purpose-made feedback dampeners, but you can also use any other material that will cover the hole. Tape an old CD, or a piece from cardboard over the hole. It doesn’t really matter what you have as long as it covers the soundhole.
3. Use an Acoustic Guitar Silencer
Acoustic guitar silencers are something that softens the strings of the guitar at the lower end.
Acoustic guitars produce noise when the string vibrates and moves the air. These vibrations resonate and grow through the guitar. An acoustic silencer for guitars will dampen the sound right at the source, the strings.
They reduce vibrations from the strings, before they travel to the rest of the guitar. You could also buy a purpose-made acoustic guitarist silencer, but you can use any soft material that can be compressed underneath the strings.
You can use a folded sock, foam, or sponge. They should not be too tight against the string as this can cause it to become shorter.
4. Tie Something Soft Around the Neck of the Guitar
You can also use a guitar silencer as an alternative, but it is much more expensive. You can use a scarf, a sock, a small towel or a hair tie to make a good choice.
Tie them loosely against the strings. This will prevent them from functioning as a capo. Capos are used to shorten string lengths in order to increase their pitch. This will reduce vibrations and create a quieter sound.
5. Use Palm-Muting
Palm-muting can be used to quieten your acoustic guitar. It involves placing your hand on the strings and allowing the sound to dampen.
Palm-muting can be used in many styles of music, from classical (to make a sound that sounds a little like a bow string instrument) to heavy (usually using an electric guitar).
These steps will enable you to palm-mute.
- Place your little finger sideways across the strings just above the guitar bridge.
- You can experiment with your hand weight. The more you put on the strings, the less vibrations you will hear.
- Try experimenting with your hand position. Your hand should be close to the bridge to allow the strings to resonate better. Moving your hand higher up will reduce the noise, resulting in a muted sound.
- To keep the music muted, make sure that your hand is in direct contact with the strings while you play.
This will require some practice, but it is possible to master it quickly and easily. This video will show you how to master the palm-mute.
6. Pick With Your Finger Tips Not Your Nails
For years, the fingernails debate has been raging in the guitar community. Some claim that using your nails to pick produces a stronger sound and makes it easier to play a note faster than using your fingers to do so.
It doesn’t matter which side you are on, it’s worth learning both techniques to ensure you have more tools at your disposal when you need them. The theory is that you can create a softer and slightly quieter sound by picking your guitar with your fingertips.
You can make substantial noise with your fingertips, but once you learn how to do so, it will be easier to control the volume.
7. Use Lighter Gauge Strings
Because they are heavier, the strings move more air. This creates deeper and stronger vibrations which can be more disruptive.
Lighter strings are essential for fingerpicking guitarists. Heavy strings can be more annoying and louder than lighter strings. Because they are less likely to snap, plectrum-using guitarists prefer heavier strings.
You can instantly calmen your guitar by switching to extra-light gauge strings. This will produce a much thinner sounding noise that thick strings, but it may be worth it if you can get some practice in the evening while your children are asleep.
8. Get a Travel Guitar
Although it’s not an inexpensive option, as it requires buying a new guitar, it’s very effective. The soundhole on a travel guitar is not necessary, making them more portable and almost inaudible. They produce as much noise (or less) as an unplugged electric guitarist.
Stethophone headsets are the most common type of travel guitar. They allow you to hear your music clearly and often don’t require any batteries. This means that you can walk around in your hotel room at 2am and not be bothered by angry neighbors.
These tips should help you figure out the best way to practice your guitar without disturbing others. You could also soundproof your room to allow for practice with your guitar.
- After exhausting all options, we decided that the only thing that was left to be discussed was how to design a space in your home that is suitable for a guitar. Acoustic tiles, insulation and necessary space are all options.
- Become an air guitar master! You’ll be able to perform some outrageous, stage-worthy moves and smash your guitar to pieces in the heat, and it won’t bother anyone!
- Unconventional? It is not conventional, but it does the job well and can be used in any situation. Fold a piece of paper several times and place it between the strings and soundboard. This is not an attractive tool, so make sure to get rid of these tools when you are done. Other tools: Thick socks, soft felt
- You might have some plasticine or sticky tack if you have children. To dampen the sound, you can put some of this on the bridge. Be sure to remove all residue and get rid of it as soon as you are done. Sticky Tack, Plasticine.
Top ‘Silent’ Acoustic Guitars of 2022
A guitar that is just quiet could be an option. These guitars were designed with practicing musicians in mind. Silent Guitars can be either an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. The body is stripped to its essentials and the body becomes optional.
Silent Guitars, as the name suggests, are intended to be played acoustically quietly while still retaining the same sound quality and playability of regular guitars. The resonating body is reduced to a minimum while the neck, pickup, and strings are kept in the correct positions. Silent guitars are more portable than travel guitars. This is evident in the skeletal body frames, which allow for standard playing postures.
Silent Guitars are being used on stage by many musicians, due to their low maintenance design, feather-like weight, and feedback-free performance. Yamaha Silent Guitars are a popular choice due to their low price and large marketing reach. However, there are many other builders that make smaller and more portable silent guitars at different prices.
1. Yamaha SLG130NW
Yamaha Silent Guitars are the best because of their excellent price-quality ratio. Big name artists such as Lee Ritenour, Mike Stern, and Brian May seem to agree. The SLG130NW model is the most expensive and best-selling model. It’s designed to recreate the feel of classical nylon guitars in Silent Guitar format.
The neck construction is based on the classical method, and uses an ebony fretboard. Even the curved body frame, which is made from rosewood and maple, won’t make you miss your tonewoods.
The SLG130NW is balanced and ergonomically designed to mimic classical guitars. It won’t tilt awkwardly whether you are standing or sitting. Yamaha has added reverb, chorus, and echo effects to this guitar, which will prove useful when practicing. For operation, it requires a 9-volt battery.
- Steel Strings, Translucent Black Finish
- The SLG is the perfect instrument for practice, travel or stage use – any time an acoustic guitar just won’t do.
Although the guitar may be more expensive than you expected, it will be much cheaper than having to remodel your soundproofing room. You might not have enough space, or your desire to play an acoustic instrument in an apartment.
The Silent Guitar allows you to play quietly without putting your residence in danger. The Silent Guitar is 80 percent quieter that a traditional acoustic.
2. Traveler Guitar Pro Series
- Natural finish on the neck and body of this one-piece maple neck.
- Included is a listening Stethophone with battery-free private listening, traditional 1/4-inch output with volume and tone, and a listening Stethophone
Yeah, it’s different. It’s so different it could be considered an alternative to a quiet acoustic. The main benefits are obvious: portability and ease of use while traveling. However, there are a few additional benefits.
The Traveler Guitar might seem like an electric guitar. However, it is an acoustic-electric with stainless steel strings. The body design will make it easier to use when unplugged. It also comes with a rechargeable stethophone headset, which you can plug into your guitar to listen and play privately. You should be able to find out more about it!
3. Sojing 020A-U
The silent guitar market is seeing an increase in quality and affordable instruments. One example of this is the Sojing 020A–U, which is a welcome addition to the list. The cheap silent guitar is surprising in that it has a full-sized body. This allows for classical guitar-like playability. It measures 39 inches in length and has a nut width of 2 1/16″. The scale length is 25 3/4″, the nut width is 2 1/16″, and the overall length is 39 inches.
The Sojing 020A–U silent guitars come with removable body frames that can be removed for storage. The frames are a little heavier than other models but they look great and more like a real nylon string guitar. This guitar has a rosewood fingerboard, and includes volume and tone control knobs. This guitar is a great choice for beginners and those looking for affordable options.
4. Aria Sinsonido AS-101C
Aria Sinsonido AS-101C nylon stringed guitar is designed for travel and convenience. It features a headless design that is smaller than a classical guitar. Although it doesn’t have the same ergonomics and shape as a classical guitar, it is easier to transport.
The Sinsonido AS-101C has a SoloEtte pickup that is often found on higher-end guitars. The tiny size of the Sinsonido AS-101C is reflected in its two condenser microphones, which produce authentic acoustic sounds. Other features include a mahogany neck and body, rosewood fingerboard and 850mm total length. The AS-101C features a removable padded frame that can be detached and is easier to clean.
5. Miranda S-250
Miranda Guitars designs full-sized guitars that can be carried around like violins. The S-250 is a perfect example of this design philosophy. The high-end steel-string silent guitar feels and plays like an acoustic acoustic. It is also extremely lightweight and portable. Miranda designed the neck so that the tuners can be found at the back of its body to reduce the length.
Aluminum is used for the Miranda’s side support arms. It has been chosen because of its light weight and rigidity. It can be assembled quickly and taken apart when needed. The frame is approximately the same size as an acoustic guitar with a smaller body, so you can play the S-250 just like you would an acoustic.
The main features of the S-250 include a mahogany neck and unitary body, rosewood fingerboard and under saddle piezo pickup. There are also gotoh tuners and a setup that optimizes sustain. The MSRP for the guitar is $1395.
6. SoloEttte SongBird Jazz
SoloEtte is a line of silent guitars that was created by a luthier who wanted one that doesn’t need much maintenance. He eliminated thin woods to achieve this goal. This minimizes cracking and warping caused by extreme travel conditions. Although his goals were different, the result was a reliable and sturdy line of silent guitars.
The Songbird Jazz is a silent guitar specifically designed for Jazz musicians. The EMG humbucking pickup gives it jazzy tones. The guitar’s standard-sized jumbo frets are 1 3/4 inches wide and the full 1 3/4 inch nut width ensure that it is easy to play.
The adjustable Schaller bridge allows for quick string and action setups. The body and neck are made from Canadian Maple. SoloEtte also offers silent electric guitars, including one with two EMG/HZ pickups. This guitar’s current MSRP is $1,450
7. Koopal EG100
The Koopal EG100 steel string silence guitar is affordable and designed to be used for comfort. It’s lightweight and easy to disassemble for quick practice sessions whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Simply take the frames off and place everything in its bag. You wouldn’t be noticed if you were carrying a guitar.
The guitar’s neck and body are made of beautiful mahogany for a reasonable price. However, I find the slotted headstock at the bottom of the guitar a little odd. It also includes an aluminum frame, rosewood fretboard and a headphone. This guitar was available for sale at a very affordable price of $260.
FAQ for Soundhole Damper
What is a soundhole damper for acoustic guitars?
A soundhole damper is a device that is screwed into the soundboard of a guitar to reduce the air pressure inside the guitar and make it easier for the strings to vibrate.
Soundhole dampers are typically found on acoustic guitars that have an open-back design. They are also used in some electric guitars with an acoustic-style body.
When do you use a soundhole damper?
Soundhole dampers screwed into the soundhole of a guitar and are used in various playing styles. They are mainly used by acoustic guitarists, but they can also be found on electric guitars and other stringed instruments.
It is important to use soundhole dampers when you want to make sure that your instrument doesn’t produce any unwanted noise or feedback from the strings.
How do soundhole dampers for acoustic guitar work?
Soundhole dampers are used to reduce the volume of the sound that comes out of the guitar. They work by trapping the sound in an acoustic guitar and then it is released through a hole in front of the bridge.
What are the different types of soundhole dampers?
There are three types of soundhole dampers: metal, plastic, and rubber. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Metal soundhole dampers are more durable than plastic ones but they can be difficult to install. Rubber soundhole dampers have a more natural feel but they can also cause issues with tuning because they absorb some of the vibrations from the strings.
Can you use a soundhole damper with any instrument?
The answer to this question is no. The soundhole damper is designed to fit on the instrument and can only be used on one specific type of instrument.
There are a few instruments that might be able to use a soundhole damper, but they are not the norm. For example, a violin can use a soundhole damper if it has a very large opening at the top of its body.
This opening is called the f-hole and it’s found in violins from 1730-1830. Another example would be an oboe with its curved body, which allows for a wider opening in the top of its body than most other instruments.
How do a soundhole damper affect tone and pitch?
Soundhole dampers are usually made from rubber or felt, which can be shaped into different shapes to affect tone and pitch. The shape of the dampers will affect how much air can flow through them, which in turn affects how loud or soft a note will sound.
Affect soundhole damper on tone and pitch the guitar?
Soundhole dampers are used to protect the soundboard of a guitar from moisture, which can cause it to crack.
If you were to leave your guitar in a humid environment or if you were to use it while sweating, there is a chance that your instrument’s soundboard will crack and lose its ability to produce sounds. One way that guitar players protect their instruments from this damage is by using dampers on their guitars’ soundholes.