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> Does String Gauge Affect Pinch Harmonics?
Vaidya
post Aug 12 2010, 04:24 PM
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Hi guys
I've been learning pinch harmonics recently but i cant nail them as often as i would like.
Yesterday,I was over at my friend's place playing on his guitar (Floyd Rose).I tried doing pinch harmonics and they started popping out as often as i wanted them to.So,does it have anything to do with my strings being gauge 9 and his gauge 8? Or is it because his was a floating bridge? Or was I just playing the notes perfectly??

This post has been edited by Vaidya: Aug 12 2010, 04:25 PM


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ZakkWylde
post Aug 12 2010, 04:41 PM
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The thicker the strings, the louder the harmonics are going to be! I use 12-56 strings and on the lower strings the harmonics just scream!

The reason why you could get better harmonics on your friends guitar are endless:

-diffrent brand of strings, some are easier to get harmonics with
-diffrent amp
-diffrent amp setting
-diffrent guitar (wood, build, hardware, etc)
-diffrent pickups
-diffrent guitar setup


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Azzaboi
post Aug 12 2010, 09:19 PM
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How to get some Killer Pinch Harmonics
Your friends guitar might be setup differently and that helps a bit but mostly it's all in the technique.
I struggled with pinch harmonics, specially playing them first time every time in the mid of a solo, until I learnt this.

1) Use the bridge pickup
2) Crank up the distortion - more distortion makes them more squealy
3) Set high gain and metal tone!
4) AMP EQ Settings: Depends how you play but roll up the treble a bit. For example: (Bass: 7-8 / Mid: 6-7 / Treble: 8-9) or metallica styles, lower the mid (Bass: 8.5 / Mid: 4.3 / Treble 9)
4) Roll guitar pickup volume and tone to max 10
5) Move up as much as possible so just the tip of the pick is sticking out.
6) Ensure the pick is parrellal with the string
7) Rotate the pick so your thumb is 45 degrees or almost pointing downwards - better pick attack when playing and easier to throw in harmonics at any time.
8) Twist the thumb and finger so the next downstroke just slightly rubs the side of the thumb as well when playing - all you need is a slight twist to move in and out of playing a pitch harmonic.
9) Pick the note to play pinch harmonics on, say the 7th fret of the G to start practice as it's easier to ring out, but you can play anywhere.
9) Place your right hand halfway between the fretted note and the bridge - move it back and forwards when practicing to find the sweetest sounding spot on your guitar. Mine screams back near the front of the bridge pickup (best screaming) and front near the beginning of the neck pickup (different tone / lighter scream).
10) Pick first, but an instant later the thumb follows through, lightly grazing the vibrating string, kicking off the PH (dont mute it)
11) Add in quick vibrato afterward if you want to hold and draw the scream out! - vibrato is key

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Aug 12 2010, 09:23 PM


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Daniel Realpe
post Aug 13 2010, 12:23 AM
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oh yes, string gauge affects harmonics,

As Zakk said, the thicker the better for harmonics, and also for alt. picking, and sustain, and tone, not for bends though...



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thefireball
post Aug 13 2010, 03:24 AM
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Yeah, i use 9s, sometimes 10s. I don't like to go higher because I do bends a lot. That's my style. As Daniel said, thicker strings aren't for bends. It hurts too much. smile.gif


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Staffy
post Aug 13 2010, 08:37 AM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Aug 13 2010, 04:24 AM) *
Yeah, i use 9s, sometimes 10s. I don't like to go higher because I do bends a lot. That's my style. As Daniel said, thicker strings aren't for bends. It hurts too much. smile.gif


Oh well, thats just a matter of practice... SRV bended major thirds/quarters with 0.12 strings, sometimes even 0.13 .....
But if You play a lot of legato stuff, thinner strings will get You a tiny bit faster, but even this is a matter of practice.
So lets roll out that barb-wire!!!! biggrin.gif

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ZakkWylde
post Aug 13 2010, 12:08 PM
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The thicker the strings the better the overall tone, even for bends! Yeah it isn't as easy and you need a lot of strength to control them but once you strengthened your fingers to bend 12 gauge strings or heavier, your control over the tone will have improved drasticcly!!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 13 2010, 04:43 PM
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Thickness of the strings does indeed help improve tone, pinched harmonics included. This doesn't mean technique cannot overcome all these things. There are many factors that are important for creating good PH, but technique and skill is the biggest one.


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 15 2010, 01:51 AM
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Ivan has a great point here. As Zakk said there are tons of reasons a given lick works better on one rig or another, but technique can overcome a lot of variables. If you get really good doing pinch harmonics, you should be able to do them on just about any guitar and rig with a moderate amount of distortion.

Todd


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sted
post Aug 15 2010, 03:53 PM
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Every forum I visit there is a pinch harmonic thread?? Unreal! Are they that important? if so then all the advice above is great, personally its the last thing on my list that I ever practice.
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Staffy
post Aug 15 2010, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE (sted @ Aug 15 2010, 04:53 PM) *
Every forum I visit there is a pinch harmonic thread?? Unreal! Are they that important? if so then all the advice above is great, personally its the last thing on my list that I ever practice.


Agree with you here... its really the last thing on my list as well, in conjunction with tapping, which I never found a reason for to learn.
I cant hear a guitar player doing tapping without thinking of EVH, so I just let him have that technique by himself (and all other 99,8% of guitar players today)

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Bogdan Radovic
post Aug 15 2010, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (sted @ Aug 15 2010, 04:53 PM) *
Every forum I visit there is a pinch harmonic thread?? Unreal! Are they that important? if so then all the advice above is great, personally its the last thing on my list that I ever practice.


I agree with this too smile.gif But generally all techniques are interesting and I don't see why we shouldn't master them all. That way we only broaden our vocabulary and possibilities of expression.

Regarding string gauge I guess it does have some impact but most important is technique which can overcome all of that. Overall I found the - the thicker the string the better the tone but that is very individual smile.gif



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Azzaboi
post Aug 16 2010, 04:53 AM
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I can't get enough of them, luv the squeals! Once you have worked out just the right amount of pick to thumb ratio, they are quite fun. There is one thing I still need to learn from them and just working out...

With Pinch Harmonics, if you have it set to bridge pickup you can pinch from that pickup all the way down to the neck pickup and even the neck but not the other way before the bridge pickup (deaden harmonic). The position of your pick hand changes the tone and higer/low squeal sound. This is great I've worked out a best spot for when playing up around the higher frets (eg. 15th).

However, moving the fret note around, I notice the harmonic moves with it, you also have to move the pick position around with it, specially when moved all the way to the other end of the fretboard (eg. 3th). Do you memorize the best different locations for different positions on the fretboard or just use the same pick location each time?

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Aug 16 2010, 04:56 AM


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