How to Do Pinch Harmonics

Natural Harmonics

If we play a note and lightly touch the string directly over the twelfth fret we get a natural harmonic.  That is because, at that point the string is divided in half.  Harmonics are present at every step but they are strongest at the twelfth, seventh, and fifth frets.

Artificial Harmonics

An artificial or pinch harmonic produce a  scream or squealing sound.  They are produced differently than the natural harmonic.  Pinch harmonic are most easily done with a lot of distortion.  To produce a pinch harmonic, hold your guitar pick down close to the point, with only a little bit sticking out.  As you pick the note you want to brush the string with the corner of your thumb.  You don’t want to deaden the note so get your thumb and fingers out of the want after you pick it.  Also the spot you pick on the string can yield a stronger or different pitch harmonic, so experiment to get the best sound.  If you twist your pick a little as you pick the note sometimes that can help make a stronger harmonic as well.


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