Yisrael van Handel wrote:Damping is necessary for good musical articulation (otherwise you playing will sound like a hammered dulcimer). I learned for a long time without damping, and it is very hard for me now to develop an adequate damping strategy. I find it mentally very taxing to have to both play and dampen simultaneously. Personally, I think it is the single hardest aspect of guitar technique.
I'm a remedial damper as well. What's sort of made it easier for me recently is that after carefully watching many elite players and consulting with an instructor, I've decided that it's best practice for the thumb to be touching a string whenever possible. That is, instantly following any task, the thumb should move to touch a string. That next string will be, in order of preference: a string that needs damping; the next string the thumb will play (if inactive); another inactive string (obviously, any string that should be vibrating is off limits). It's paradoxical, but within the context of trying to make that part of my RH technique, mere damping seems less daunting. I'll do this with other fingers as well, but more as preference than policy.