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> Pitch Harmonics
Alen
post Feb 24 2009, 02:07 PM
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Hi All.

I'm a complete desaster in producing pitch harmonics.
Watching the videos where some of you guys produce it, it looks like the easiest thing.

Is it all about the fingers (pick) or is it also founded in the distortion.
Probably neither one of it, am I right?

If somebody could give me some insight into this technique, I would really appriciate.
Any lessons for that? What's the clue?

Stay tuned!


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Outlaw2112
post Feb 24 2009, 02:12 PM
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pinch harmonics are made by your thumb after you hit the note..



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mattacuk
post Feb 24 2009, 02:14 PM
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Hi Alen,

Im guessing you mean Pinch harmonics? If so maybe I can give you a few tips. First make sure you have your bridge pickup selected because its alot easyier to do Pinch harmonics with that pup.

With regards to technique its all about the side of your thumb. As you pick a note your thumb needs to rub against the string. That is simply all you need to do and this is what causes the harmonic to ring out.

It can all seem very daughnting at first but with practice it becomes easy. Distortion also really helps. Be sure to check out some of the GMC video lessons on harmonics! smile.gif

This post has been edited by mattacuk: Feb 24 2009, 02:14 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Feb 24 2009, 02:20 PM
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In addition to that, try to sweep the string left and right to find a sweet spot. There are several places to do a pinched harmonics on the string. The good area should be somewhere over the middle pickup.


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mattacuk
post Feb 24 2009, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Feb 24 2009, 01:20 PM) *
In addition to that, try to sweep the string left and right to find a sweet spot. There are several places to do a pinched harmonics on the string. The good area should be somewhere over the middle pickup.


Good tip!

The sweet spot on my guitar is the above the middle pup for example. smile.gif


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TheOldOnes
post Feb 24 2009, 02:31 PM
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Pinch harmonics take a while to get sometimes but once you have done it a few times, it gets a little easier with time. Like most things, it will improve with time.

As for getting your first pinch harmonics, it is probably easiest to start with a distorted guitar sound (but definitely is not a requirement). To get the sound, you have to touch the string with your finger (for the most common pick configuration, it will be your thumb) at the same time you pick the note. I usually pick the note a little harder than normal but as you get comfortable it takes less effort.

Also there is usually a sweet spot where picking to get the best harmonic - usually somewhere between your bridge and neck pickup. At first, it will be tough to do consistently and some strings are harder than others. For instance, I have difficulty getting a good consistent squeal out of the low E string.

Try starting with the D and G strings as I find them the easiest to get good pinch harmonics (5th to 9th frets). For monstrous squeals, use a little vibrato or bends. To build on your consistency, try squealing a few notes on some short riffs you are familiar with.
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rokchik
post Feb 24 2009, 03:44 PM
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Hey Alen,

THIS lesson really helped me with pinch harmonics. It takes a little while (at least for me it did) to really get the technique but you'll get it man and then you'll be making those strings scream smile.gif

I hope you find the lesson useful.

rok
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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Feb 24 2009, 05:42 PM
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Pinched harmonics are among most difficult techniques on guitar, so no one should expect to learn them in weeks.
There is a player how took it on really high level, actually it's bass player, Steve Bailey. Guy is amazing. I watched his instructional/performance video "bass extremes", simply outstanding.


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Azzaboi
post Apr 7 2009, 10:45 PM
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I'm also having problems with Pinch Harmonics. I can get it a bit after a few attempts, but playing it in a song is impossible unless I get lucky first time!

Found the sweet spot just behind the first pick up, and can play on the third string down at the fifth and seventh frets best. Still have problems on the E and A strings, moving the pick?

I tend to pick down and out. What is the best position and angle for the pick and how much are you spos 2 stick out the thumb?


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Wim Novak
post Apr 7 2009, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE (Vasilije Vukmirovic @ Feb 24 2009, 10:42 AM) *
Pinched harmonics are among most difficult techniques on guitar, so no one should expect to learn them in weeks.
There is a player how took it on really high level, actually it's bass player, Steve Bailey. Guy is amazing. I watched his instructional/performance video "bass extremes", simply outstanding.


I dont know. Its a pretty easy technique to me lol. But on bass. thats amazing
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djohnneay
post Apr 8 2009, 09:29 AM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Apr 7 2009, 11:45 PM) *
I'm also having problems with Pinch Harmonics. I can get it a bit after a few attempts, but playing it in a song is impossible unless I get lucky first time!

Found the sweet spot just behind the first pick up, and can play on the third string down at the fifth and seventh frets best. Still have problems on the E and A strings, moving the pick?

I tend to pick down and out. What is the best position and angle for the pick and how much are you spos 2 stick out the thumb?


Same here m8. Able to do it everywhere though, but do not always succeed. Also, when I do them, I change hand position and rotate my hand while doing the harmonic. Is this normal ?


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fkalich
post Apr 8 2009, 10:02 AM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Apr 8 2009, 03:29 AM) *
Same here m8. Able to do it everywhere though, but do not always succeed. Also, when I do them, I change hand position and rotate my hand while doing the harmonic. Is this normal ?


I would say yes, it is normal, because it is very common. But that does not mean it is ideal. Normal is not always a great thing.

The adjustment should be very slight, or it will slow you down. Which is just common sense, if you want to hit harmonics that are seamless in your play. When I hit one, I just flex my thumb in a bit, slightly really, which drops my thumb into position. I expose just the tip of the pick, so that is all it takes to position my thumb, a slight flexing in of the thumb, hardly noticeable.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 8 2009, 01:05 PM
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29a
post Apr 8 2009, 02:40 PM
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I think I do have a fool proof way to do them. At least my girlfriend was able to do it without even knowing that this technique exists. It's not entirely practical though but it will get you started. May be I have time to make a little video in the evening. Otherwise it works like this:

First you need a hi gain setting. That makes it a lot easier.
Step two, grab the pick just a few millimeters away from the tip.
Fret the first C on the A string (or another note, some work better than other though).
Now put your pick on top of the a string so your thumb is already touching it.
You pick should be almost perpendicular to the String:
CODE
====== String ==========
       /\
       \/

     Pick

Now push down the pick over the string (while touching it with your thumb) quite fast.
Do this in different positions on the string until you find the right spot and it screams.

Now to really use them you have to be able to pick them while playing which is more difficult and harder to describe. I basically just tilt my hand a little bit to play a pinch harmonic. But it took my quite some time to hit the right spot and angle (almost) all the time. And I'm still far away from perfect. I think the problem with the way I do it is that I either get no harmonic or a screaming one. I don't get this bluesy slight pinch harmonics right yet.

And I agree with Vasilie they are quite difficult to get right and control. Just like bends. But just like bends they can make your playing so much more expressive!

Cheers,
Jonas

This post has been edited by 29a: Apr 8 2009, 02:59 PM


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Azzaboi
post Apr 10 2009, 12:15 AM
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Thanks for the tips - getting the squeal better!

Can do it on the fly too, a bit. Hi gain helped and just using the tip, then I just angle the pick down and forwards slightly so the thumb rubs the string as well. That's the quickest way I can change while playing but tends to work. Working on bending and adding some vibrato is kewl too!


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Emir Hot
post Apr 10 2009, 12:19 AM
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I have noticed that if you tune your 6th string to drop D, they come out very easily and vey powerful. That's what Zakk Wylde does and his pinched harmonics sound great. Especialy on the first 5 frets (6th string).


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