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> Pinch Harmonics....whats The Secret?
fatstrat
post Apr 11 2007, 11:36 PM
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I guess I was just wondering more or less how to get that amazing squeal when doing a pinch harmonic? Is it the thumb technique, the amount of distortion, or something totally different?


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beebo
post Apr 11 2007, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE (fatstrat @ Apr 11 2007, 02:36 PM) *
I guess I was just wondering more or less how to get that amazing squeal when doing a pinch harmonic? Is it the thumb technique, the amount of distortion, or something totally different?

good question! I can't seem to het them either! mellow.gif ph34r.gif
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Ryan
post Apr 11 2007, 11:56 PM
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when i do my pinch harmonics...well i hope they are....atleast..i dont get a squeal..like pavel does..or kris....i always..get more of a high pitch squeak.......hmm.i think its my amp though..its so gay.....well i hope its my amp tongue.gif.....cus if not..i dont know what the f*** im talkin about..smile.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 12 2007, 02:45 AM
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QUOTE (Ryan @ Apr 11 2007, 06:56 PM) *
when i do my pinch harmonics...well i hope they are....atleast..i dont get a squeal..like pavel does..or kris....i always..get more of a high pitch squeak.......hmm.i think its my amp though..its so gay.....well i hope its my amp tongue.gif .....cus if not..i dont know what the f*** im talkin about.. smile.gif


Its a combination of hot pickups, lots of gain, lots of treble and using the bridge pickup (I think that last is correct although not essential and may vary between guitars a little - I can get a decent squeal on any pickup as long as the treble and gain are right).


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brainlesswonder
post Apr 12 2007, 03:32 AM
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I found this video to be exceptionally helpfully in learning pinched harmonics.
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Ryan
post Apr 12 2007, 05:05 AM
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That was a great video on that...wiht the close up and everything smile.gif i understand now..i was odin it a bit different..bu ti still got a squeak..and what sux..i have no gain on my amp... blink.gif ...i just have my volume knob, my clean, and unclean, button....treble, and bass knob...and of course..my input..and headphones.......but yea..i want a new amp soo bad..lol..my g/f says no..but im gonna bug her everyday lol...."pleaseeee" srry inside thing....but yea..i think thats mostly my problem..i smy amp just isnt well.....it sux...ill just say that... tongue.gif.

This post has been edited by Ryan: Apr 12 2007, 05:06 AM


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blindwillie
post Apr 12 2007, 08:02 AM
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Excellent video, thanks. Now I understand it. I'll practice tonight.


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Ibanez_player
post Apr 12 2007, 08:16 AM
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The biggest thing is to find the spot on the string that produces the best sounding squeal. The "sweet spot" so to speak. It will be a little bit different for each note. You just gotta try out picking in different spots until you find some that sound good.
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brainlesswonder
post Apr 12 2007, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (brainlesswonder @ Apr 11 2007, 10:32 PM) *
I found this video to be exceptionally helpfully in learning pinched harmonics.


Buy an adapter for your cable, dowload the trial copy of amplitude and use your computer if you need a quik distortion fix for practicing.
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Doug
post Apr 12 2007, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (fatstrat @ Apr 11 2007, 06:36 PM) *
I guess I was just wondering more or less how to get that amazing squeal when doing a pinch harmonic? Is it the thumb technique, the amount of distortion, or something totally different?


I actually kind of figured this out last night. I'm assuming by your screen name you have a strat? I do as well. Although I was only able to hit the pinch harmonic in a few spots, I am pretty sure I was nailing it...or close to it. I found on the high E, on the 12th fret, picking very close to the neck did it for me. From what I've read, pinches aren't available on every position on every string, though I could be wrong.
I also turned up my treble and also set my mixer to a distorted setting.

Doug
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fatstrat
post Apr 13 2007, 02:28 AM
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QUOTE (brainlesswonder @ Apr 11 2007, 10:32 PM) *
I found this video to be exceptionally helpfully in learning pinched harmonics.


Hey I just wanted to say that the video really helped out a lot. I know what I'm doing wrong and I'll be squealin' in no time!!!


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fkalich
post Apr 13 2007, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (fatstrat @ Apr 13 2007, 02:28 AM) *
Hey I just wanted to say that the video really helped out a lot. I know what I'm doing wrong and I'll be squealin' in no time!!!


Video did not help me. He is able to do them of course, but he does not understand what he is doing. He can just sort of get you in the right direction, but not exactly there. Years ago I read a book on acoustic science. So I just used that and deductive reasoning to figure this out. I am getting them with an unplugged guitar. Guitars that pick up high frequencies better will accentuate them of course. However you can do this with any guitar. This is what you have to keep in mind for pinch harmonics....

1) You strike the string at some harmonic node. Either where the string divides in 2 parts, or 3 parts, or 4 parts, 5 parts, etc. Try them all at different times for variation. If you don't understand what this means, read the article by the theory guy on this site.
2) You do expose just the tip of the pick as he describes, no other way to do it. Use a stiff pick.
3) You strike the string at the harmonic node, the more exact you are at this, the better it will be. This is different from most other methods of getting harmonics, where the important thing is just to damp the string at the node. Here you not only do that, but you also strike it at the node. There is a reason for this, but I won't go into it, it gets technical, and this is technical enough already. But this is how you get the "squeal".
4) But you really sort of snap at the string with the pick, and it snaps back and lightly pops off your thumb (at the side of your thumb).
5) Your thumb should also touch the string precisely at the harmonic node, just as your pick did. You will find yourself angling your thumb a bit, because you want the amount of width of thumb that strikes the string to be as narrow as possible.

It really should feel like you are snapping the string and letting it pop off the side of your thumb. Good way to describe it. But it has to be precise, you hit is precisely at the node, and you get that snapping/popping action real clean.

What this does, is accentuate higher harmonics. Lets take an example. Say you strike the string where it divides in 4 parts, at that node, in the manner described above. Well that cancels out all the base frequency and all harmonics except the 4th harmonic, and sub harmonics of the 4th harmonic. You see harmonics have their own harmonics. The pinch technique accentuates the high frequency sub harmonics of the 4th harmonic (in this example). These are very high pitched, and so you get that "squeal".

That being said, there are other ways of getting pretty darn good harmonics. The trouble is that for a lot of styles of play you really are better off with more pick exposed. So while this is a neat thing, it is not practicable all the time to get your harmonics this way. And also, you probably don't want them to squeal all the time, you might want a more mellow harmonic sometimes. I do this using my middle finger. You can get very nice harmonics with your middle finger, and you can always hit a harmonic quickly that way, no matter what else is going on. If you are playing the into to "Over the Hills and Far Away" by Zeppelin, well you won't be doing that with 2mm of pick exposed, so to quickly hit a harmonic, it would not be a pinch harmonic.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 13 2007, 02:14 PM
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Doug
post Apr 13 2007, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Apr 13 2007, 09:09 AM) *
Video did not help me. He is able to do them of course, but he does not understand what he is doing. He can just sort of get you in the right direction, but not exactly there. Years ago I read a book on acoustic science. So I just used that and deductive reasoning to figure this out. I am getting them with an unplugged guitar. Guitars that pick up high frequencies better will accentuate them of course. However you can do this with any guitar. This is what you have to keep in mind for pinch harmonics....

1) You strike the string at some harmonic node. Either where the string divides in 2 parts, or 3 parts, or 4 parts, 5 parts, etc. Try them all at different times for variation. If you don't understand what this means, read the article by the theory guy on this site.
2) You do expose just the tip of the pick as he describes, no other way to do it. Use a stiff pick.
3) You strike the string at the harmonic node, the more exact you are at this, the better it will be. This is different from most other methods of getting harmonics, where the important thing is just to damp the string at the node. Here you not only do that, but you also strike it at the node. There is a reason for this, but I won't go into it, it gets technical, and this is technical enough already. But this is how you get the "squeal".
4) But you really sort of snap at the string with the pick, and it snaps back and lightly pops off your thumb (at the side of your thumb).
5) Your thumb should also touch the string precisely at the harmonic node, just as your pick did. You will find yourself angling your thumb a bit, because you want the amount of width of thumb that strikes the string to be as narrow as possible.

It really should feel like you are snapping the string and letting it pop off the side of your thumb. Good way to describe it. But it has to be precise, you hit is precisely at the node, and you get that snapping/popping action real clean.

What this does, is accentuate higher harmonics. Lets take an example. Say you strike the string where it divides in 4 parts, at that node, in the manner described above. Well that cancels out all the base frequency and all harmonics except the 4th harmonic, and sub harmonics of the 4th harmonic. You see harmonics have their own harmonics. The pinch technique accentuates the high frequency sub harmonics of the 4th harmonic (in this example). These are very high pitched, and so you get that "squeal".

That being said, there are other ways of getting pretty darn good harmonics. The trouble is that for a lot of styles of play you really are better off with more pick exposed. So while this is a neat thing, it is not practicable all the time to get your harmonics this way. And also, you probably don't want them to squeal all the time, you might want a more mellow harmonic sometimes. I do this using my middle finger. You can get very nice harmonics with your middle finger, and you can always hit a harmonic quickly that way, no matter what else is going on. If you are playing the into to "Over the Hills and Far Away" by Zeppelin, well you won't be doing that with 2mm of pick exposed, so to quickly hit a harmonic, it would not be a pinch harmonic.


Off topic...but how about those Gators!!!
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beebo
post Apr 14 2007, 01:40 AM
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So do you actually touch the string w/ your thumb nail or just the skin?
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fkalich
post Apr 14 2007, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE (beebo @ Apr 14 2007, 01:40 AM) *
So do you actually touch the string w/ your thumb nail or just the skin?


not the nail. I find myself digging with the pick and thumb both angled down about 30 degrees. I hit the string with the edge of the pick rather than the flat side, pop it, and it snaps against the lower side of the thumb, between the nail and the first joint of the thumb. I don't touch the nail itself.

you will know it when you hear it, almost sounds like it went though some digital processing, a dissonant squeal. But don't think that I hit it all the time. This will take some time before I can hit it all the time right. I have been playing today with this rubber band wrapped around by three other fingers, forcing me to hold the pick how I should (need to get out of the habit of using that middle finger for support). And I play these some when I feel like it. But it will take some time to hit them consistently. This is a clearly a technique that requires precision.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 14 2007, 03:28 AM
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brainlesswonder
post Apr 14 2007, 03:18 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Apr 13 2007, 09:09 AM) *
Video did not help me.


I thought it explained it almost perfectly. My 7 year old is a pinch harmonic machine now.
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JCJXXL
post Apr 14 2007, 03:26 AM
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Thanks for the video link. It made total sense. I discovered that the missing link for me was the digging motion.
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brainlesswonder
post Apr 14 2007, 03:43 AM
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QUOTE (JCJXXL @ Apr 13 2007, 10:26 PM) *
Thanks for the video link. It made total sense. I discovered that the missing link for me was the digging motion.


I didn't realize there was so many spots on the various strings, and the digging certainly did help me out.
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fkalich
post Apr 14 2007, 03:44 AM
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QUOTE (brainlesswonder @ Apr 14 2007, 03:18 AM) *
I thought it explained it almost perfectly. My 7 year old is a pinch harmonic machine now.


It is a matter of whether or not you happened to do correctly, the things he did not precisely define. You have to do one thing or another. Some will do the correct things that he did not precisely define, others will not. A seven year old will certainly have an advantage. The more narrow the band of thumb that touches the string, the better. Little kids have little thumbs.

It is not a bad video, better than most (not on the level of Kris though). Hearing about the digging was helpful to me, maybe I sounded too critical. It would be interesting to do a spectral analysis of the frequencies produced when someone really hit a great pinched harmonic. What I said appears to be correct based on my observations, and sound theoretically correct. However, those really have a dissonant character to them, like accentuated dissonant harmonics. You know, maybe such as the string divided in 7 parts, that harmonic. It would be interesting to see. Let me google "spectral analysis of pinched harmonics". Lets see. "Spectral Analysis of Tracer Emission and Absorption Lines in Z-Pinch Dynamic Hohlraum Experiments". Nope, does not sound like guitar stuff. Would be interesting to see though.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 14 2007, 04:02 AM
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XxLeviathanxX
post Apr 14 2007, 03:48 AM
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Dude... thx for the video... it helped a lot


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