What are string dampeners and fret wraps? Can they support and enhance your playing? You ask yourself – Can I use a sock as a Fretwrap? Stay with us to find out more!

You may have seen string dampeners and fret wraps somewhere or read some things about how parties are using them to enhance their sound. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about this straightforward, incredibly good guitar accessory.

The majority of musicians have queries about this scrap of gear. Guitar string dampeners are not a regular component of the guitar player’s arsenal. In this guide, you will find out many exciting things on that topic. By the end of this guide, you should have a fair picture of what these things do and much more!

So, it may not be that common but for some people socks, hairbands, scrunchies, and bandanas all work. In other words, if you really need to keep those open strings quiet, you can use a sock instead of the free wrap.

Table of Contents

String Dampeners vs. Fretwraps

Some musicians allude to guitar dampeners as fret wraps or string dampeners. These words are synonymous, by all means. We will be using the terms interchangeably in this guide too.

Please try not to get confused! It’s, by all means, the same thing. Let’s hop into more details now!

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The Best Guitar Fretwrap

If you’re searching for a more DIY approach and don’t want to spend any money, the best homemade fret wrap is an ordinary hair tie. That’s correct!

A hair tie. Wrap a hair tie around the neck of the guitar and you’ll be shocked at how well it does at damping noise. In a second, you could also utilize a scrunchy as well, as long as it works securely around the neck. These aren’t the most refined resolutions, but they perform well!

If you’re looking for something a bit more legit, you can’t make a mistake with GruvGear FretWraps. These are rather much the finest classic fret wrap on the market because they include extra padding that allows you to control the strings even more. They aren’t too pricey, so choose one up next time you’re at your local guitar store to see if they work for you.

There is one other standard choice in the world of string dampeners, and that’s the MAB string dampener, invented by legendary Michael Angelo Batio. These might just be the best-looking fret wraps on the market. Still, they are certainly on the pricier side.

One MAB string dampener costs around the same as three packs for GruvGear FretWraps. If you really have that sort of cash to throw around, in that case, don’t hesitate. Yet, most people will be okay with the GruvGear FretWraps (or perhaps the hair ties). 

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A close-up shot of a guitar, with the E string in focus.

Different Sizes of Guitar Dampeners

Guitar string dampeners arrive in a variety of sizes, for sure. These sizes are equal to the neck of your guitar and might vary relying on the manufacturer. Typically, bigger sizes are better fit to more extensive necks, like classical guitars and basses.

It’s most reasonable to consult the manufacturer’s website before purchasing a string dampener for your guitar. Even better, try one out in your regional guitar store to make sure it’s a solid fit. Yet, the critical thing to remember is that dampeners arrive in a variety of sizes, and one size certainly does not fit all.

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Do Guitar Fret Wraps Work?

Guitar string dampeners do a fantastic job of stopping undesirable noise on open strings. This type of noise is unavoidable due to the structure of the guitar.

Because the strings are so tightly jointly and because guitarists are so reliant on their picking hand to mute undesirable string noise, often that noise kind of bleeds in while playing.

This sensation of sound bleeding in when it is undesirable is named sympathetic resonance. You may not see this at first, yet, it’s there and occurs for almost everyone playing the guitar.  

To see whether or not your strings are making unwanted noise, do an easy test. You can hear sympathetic resonance each time you pick up your guitar and play a note. When you play a note on one string, you will usually hear another string ringing out faintly.

Tip: In reality, tuning up your guitar does not have to be bad if you know what you are doing. Keep this in mind!

There Is More to This

For some, this isn’t that important, but others would like to stop that type of noise. That’s where these practical marvels called string dampeners arrive!

As with most things on this instrument, the more audible the volume, the worse the issue is. This is why string dampeners are to be used by people playing specific kinds of music, like heavy metal. Strings start vibrating uncontrollably at high volumes because of the feedback from the amp.

If in the middle of a tapping solo, you might not have an option to mute them. Sympathetic resonance is not a concern on some string instruments, such as the piano. Here, there is usually a special pedal for damping notes. Yet, luckily, for guitarists, there is a quick fix. That quick fix is the fret wrap.

Tip: It’s kind of bizarre, but some say that playing the guitar makes them sleepy. And this is a true statement! Are you one of those people?

Why Use a Guitar Fret Wrap?

Whether or not you should employ a guitar fret wrap relies on what kind of music you are playing and whether or not open string bluster is causing you problems.

A solid way to try whether or not you need a guitar string dampener is to record your playing. If you hear open string notes where you should not or are you fetching undesirable feedback, then you may want to look into purchasing a guitar fret wrap.

Many guitarists utilize a dampener for crucial lead parts while playing live. Playing an intense quick lead solo with your amp cranked up can be hard. With a string dampener in one position, you will be less overwhelmed and can concentrate more on the music.

One thing to know is that string dampeners are not so easy to use live all the time. Some guitarists do it, by all means. However, you will definitely need time to focus on connecting the dampener and then releasing it when it’s no longer required.

This can be a distraction relying on how much you have to play and how complex your parts are.

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Can I Use a Sock as a Fretwrap

The Debate

There is a controversy among guitarists in regard to string dampeners. Some people think the usage of a guitar string dampener can be seen as cheating. On the report of these players, you could mute the noise of undesirable strings on your own. They say that this is part of the craft of being a guitarist.  

The fact is that “cheating” in guitar playing does not exist, per se. What may function for one player might not work for another. You might see yourself utilizing guitar dampeners at the start of your playing career and then not using them as you progress. 

Or you might utilize them for one complex passage when recording an album, and that’s it. The fact is that a string dampener is a practical accessory to own, and you should at least think about using one from time to time if extra noise is a concern.

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When to Use a Guitar Fret Wrap?

The most suitable time to utilize a guitar fret wrap is if you are playing something challenging that might trigger open string noise by accident when you don’t want it.

For instance, the heavy metal lead guitar usually requires favorably skilled methods like sweeps, alternate picking, or double stops. This goes without saying!

If you are playing a quite demanding heavy metal solo, you might want to utilize a guitar fret wrap to be sure your guitar does not cause any undesirable feedback or open string noise during your playing.