Forum Forum (
-   Guitar Zone (
-   -   THE OFFICIAL pinch/artificial harmonic THREAD (

Maxcc 2002-01-25 14:20

Pinch/Artifical Harmonics
How do you do Pinch/Artificial harmonics?

DELETE79 2002-01-25 17:31


atifman 2002-01-27 10:46

yeah, DELETE79 is right
move your thumb closer to the edge of the pick, angle it sideways a little bit, and pick the string trying to pick it both with your thumb and pick at the same time. it should work.
the place where you do it is important too (like where you have to pick between the fretboard and pickups). if you don't pick at the right place, it might not sound as good. try this: fret with your l.hand on the 3rd string (G) on the 12th fret and pick with right hand the point on the string where the fretboard ends. hope you understand.

Metal Phreak 2002-01-29 01:39

Originally posted by Atif
the place where you do it is important too (like where you have to pick between the fretboard and pickups). if you don't pick at the right place, it might not sound as good.

Congragualtions Atif, of all the explanations I've read on squels they always neglect to mention this. Well done fellow. Just remeber that you have to have distortion for it to work too.
I think the easiest way to find the place to pick is too play an open string and find the harmonic with your left hand, then try to replicate that sound with just yer picking hand. Of course the place varies with what fret you play and what pitch you want. I also think it's easier to begin on the thicker strings, you won't get a high pitched squel but you can definitely get a harmonic ring.

memnoch 2002-01-29 02:43

Well, i've only recently become used to playing Pinch Harmonics. When i did start getting them, it happened only on teh lighter strings, like the first 3. ANything thicker than my G string (hehe, sooo tempting) and i just sounded muffled. So i'd say start on the lighter strings, and once you get those, move on to thicker strings, and further down the fretboard, by that i mean getting closer and closer to the first few frets.......soon you'll be able to get them anywhere, even open strings. They're a great addition to heavy riffs......adds a creepy effect to them!

But like atif said, the position where you pick the string varies a lot. I find the closer i go to the neck, the less of a good sound i get. I'd say teh best spot (on my guitar at least, probably varies from one to another) is where the middle pickup would be or is. I've got one, and it's pretty much just on the edge of the middle pickup, on the side of the neck pickup too. Whatever, just try it out'll take a lot of time though. Took a few months for me at least.

Wild Child 2002-03-05 22:47

They're definitely an advanced technique, but with a bit of patience, you'll get them.

First thing: The correct way to play them is to brush the string with the flesshy part of your thumb. But when I learned them, I was able to devise a much simpler way to play them.

Hold the pick between your thumb and forefinger, as usual. Fret a string, anystring (easier to produce pinch harmonics on lower strings). Once you have the string fretted, and the pick secure, go about plucking the string as you normally would, with ONE difference - very lightly place your middle finger of your pick hand just in front of the the tip of the pic (About an inch or so). Your middle finger may be touching your thumb; that's just fine. When you pluck the string, with your middle finger lightly touching it, a high pitched "squeel" is produced.

That's the easiest way to produce the pinch harmonics. It's critical to understand something else: The string just can't be "pinched" (or brushed) just anywhere. For each fret produces different pinch harmonics at different places.

For example, if I choose the 5th fret on the d string (or any string, for that matter), and I brush my middle finger directly in the middle of the bridge and the end of the neck, a pinch harmonic is produced. However, if I keep my pick hand in that same poisition (exactly between the end of the neck, and the bridge), then slide up to the 13th fret, no harmonic is produced.

So in other words, a different fret position calls for a different position as to where you pluck and brush/pinch the string.

The example above is suited to my guitar, and isn't gauranteed to apply to another guitar. Basically, you just have to get to know where pinch harmonics can be produced between the bridge, end of neck, based upon where you are fretting. Basically, the higher you move on the frets (i.e. 5th fret to 6th fret to 11th fret, etc), the closer you must move your pick/middle finnger to the bridge, and vise-versa.

Also, make sure that you have LOTS of distortion, as this is necessary for the pinch harmonics to ring clear.

And of course, it'll take time to master. Once perfected, you can start using the side of your thumb, as opposed to your middle finger. But while learning, I'd say use your middle finger, without question. And if you feel really comforatable with it - great!! It's not necessary to use your thumb eventually.

I know it's long, but it's a complicated technique, hehehe.

It's worth all the frustration, though, as it makes for one of the coolest effects in all of guitar.

holding fears 2002-03-05 22:59

Wait, just one part I don't understand;
Where does my middle finger go? Sorry if you explained it in detail, but I don't get it, does it go behind my thumb so after i pick it my middle finger brushes the string? And when I pick the string, the brush needs to be RIGHT after it?

If you can find a pic or something of someone holding the pick and having the middle finger position that would be helpful, but if you're gonna need to search for the pic, don't bother, you've wasted enough time explaining all that. Thanks!

memnoch 2002-03-06 01:47

Your method with the middle finger is very confusing. You say "hold it about an inch from the tip of the pick" but then say "almost touching your thumb" which indicates you have to somehow put your finger underneath, and behind your thumb.........i don't see any other way of touching your thumb with your middle finger, while your index and pick are in the way.

My suggestion to you is just practice with the thumb. It'll take a while before you find out the right way for yourself to hold the pick, but just keep at it until you do. I've become so used to it now that i don't have to move my thumb down the pick like i did in the beginning.....i just think it's simpler and easier to play with my thumb that low on the pic. When it comes time to pinch harmonic, i just "squeeze" or press my thumb a little harder against the pic, and i force it down a little, just so a sliver of flesh appears on the bottom of the pic. That's what i do and it works fine.

Another difference is i find pinch harmonics are easier to do on higher strings......but then again, we most likely have different sized strings. The thicker the string, the harder PH are to do. But thin ass .009 strings for you high E are hard to do too, because you tend to put too much "flesh" into the PH, therefore almost muting the string altogether. The best strings to practice PH on are the 3rd and 4th strings....or, in standard tunning, they would be G and D.

INVERTED 2002-03-06 02:53

(1) Pick the note as usual.
(2) Let your thumb hit the string (almost like a mute.)
(3) Instead of muting the string all the way, Barley mute it at all.
(4)When that occurs a "pinched harmonic" will be produced.

So, in other words you stop the string from vibrating freely. When it vibrates within a small space it produces a squeal.

holding fears 2002-03-06 12:20

Thanks alot guy, I'll give it a shot later today.

Wild Child 2002-03-06 14:50

Rest your pick on the string, just like you're going to pluck it. Then, lightly put the tip of your middle finger (not the VERY tip, but the fleshier part) about 1 inch in front of (i.e. towards the neck) the tip of the pick. Pluck the string down, and brush the string in an "upward" direction with your middle finger, at the exact same time. Don't leave your finger there; just brush it with your finger, and remove it as soon as you pluck the string with the pick. I just find that's the easiest way to do it. And after playing pinch harmonics for about 4 years or so, I still find that method the eaiest, and it gives you the best effect.

Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Again, if you wanna use the thumb method, go ahead. But you've gotta be really, really patient.

INVERTED 2002-03-07 00:33

Originally posted by holding fears
Thanks alot guy, I'll give it a shot later today.

Also it's easier to do ph's with the back corner of the pick. Let the pick slip off the string, press down just enough that the string "snaps" back and hits your thumb. I learned this from a friend that had been playing for over 14 years. I got the hang of it after about 3 tries and only 2 months playing. Trust me, this way is best.

Soul Conspiracy 2002-03-12 20:04

I'm with using the middle finger for making the artificial harmanics, I haven't tried the thumb for a while but it just seems like you have total control with the finger and if you really want the harmonic to work you can put your soul into the action and pull it off. And hey what is your middle finger up to anyway, might as well use it as best you can, the thumb should be worried about whether it's holding the pick right.

Mr 666 2002-03-17 05:30

I'm not sure if this is the same thing....i get artificial harmonics by using my palm. I lighty touch pretty much all the strings with my palm exactly as if i were palm muting but lighter and further towards the fretboard (even onto the fretboard for more harmonics). It helps if you quickly and smoothly take your palm off the plucked string a split second after you hit it. It WILL work if your palm stays lightly touching the strings, if u find the right place. You won't have to alter your pick style either.
If this is something different (i.e. not a pinch harmonic), please tell me instead of grilling me.

atifman 2002-03-31 14:25

ok i merged all the pinch/artifical harmonic topics into don't start a new thread talking about pinch harmonics!
so if you don't know how to do an artificial harmonic after reading this thread, well.......i don't what to tell ya.

CFH PanterA CFH 2002-04-02 17:12

Heres a good song to try
PanterA - Cemetery gates, of all the tabs, the harmonics are on the lower strings, THIS IS WRONG!
u geta higher squeal if u play it this way, some notes, higher strings....= better squeal.

(*) = pinch harmonic



This Riff got me Fluent in harmonics, it also sounds pretty damn cool. lol

CFH PanterA CFH 2002-04-02 17:17

hmm, my harmonic markers arent showing up in the right places, o well, work out where they go

Freke 2002-04-05 15:20

Artificial harmonics are produced by fretting some fret and then making a harmonic twelve frets higher, then you can play almost anything in harmonics.

mrweijia 2002-07-17 18:06

When you're playing a normal harmonic, the string doesnt vibrate as much as it does normally. thats why you dont push the string all the wasy down.

So if you're playing a pinch harmonic, the pick plays the note as normal, but then almost immediatly after, the thumb mutes it slighly so that only the harmonic sounds comes out. thats why the thumb is close to the edge of the pick.

memnoch 2002-07-17 18:13

I'm starting to practice my upstroke pinch harmonic. It's pretty tough.....but i've managed to pull it off quite a few times. I don't know when this would come in handy.....unless i want to write a tremolo pinch harmonic riff.....but that would be too weird.:eek:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:17.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.