“These bones don’t have the cartilage any more, so they’re very painful. Rather than roll over, I’m like, ‘No, I still want to play’”: Steve Morse is plagued with pain when playing guitar – so he innovated a new string mute to help him adapt his technique

Steve Morse with his own string mute device
(Image credit: Rick Beato/YouTube)

A full-on, decades-long career playing with the likes of Deep Purple and Dixie Dregs – as well as a genetic predisposition to arthritis – has meant electric guitar virtuoso Steve Morse has been playing through considerable pain in recent years.

A particular problem area can be found in the picking hand. Specifically, at the top of the right-hand wrist, which has been the driving force behind Morse’s virtuosic picking style – an approach defined by both its breakneck speed and multi-functionality, from dual harmonic picking to subtle single-finger string muting.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.