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  #1  
Old 08-07-2018, 09:48 AM
thechariot1x thechariot1x is online now
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Default Pinch Harmonics

So I've been trying to learn to do pinch harmonics and I can't quite seem to get the hang of it yet. I recently also heard you can do it on acoustics though I have only tried it on an electric to this point, if anyone has any tips or vids that they think would be helpful I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:32 PM
scriv58 scriv58 is offline
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https://m.youtube.com/results?search...inch+harmonics
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:02 PM
C_Becker C_Becker is offline
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Try it on the electric guitar first. High gain and / or high volume make it easier. Use one with active EMGs if you have one, for some reason they work well for pinch harmonics.

Try holding the pick quite short and hit the string with the pick and the side of your thumb at the same time.

Once you get the hang of it, you can try it on the acoustic guitar as well.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:20 PM
thechariot1x thechariot1x is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C_Becker View Post
Try it on the electric guitar first. High gain and / or high volume make it easier. Use one with active EMGs if you have one, for some reason they work well for pinch harmonics.

Try holding the pick quite short and hit the string with the pick and the side of your thumb at the same time.

Once you get the hang of it, you can try it on the acoustic guitar as well.
Thanks! I'm giving this a try.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:25 AM
C_Becker C_Becker is offline
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Forgot to say, play on the bridge pickup.
Good luck !
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:07 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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The equivalent on acoustic is artificial harmonics. Pinch harmonics are difficult enough on electric (you need high gain, and they are generally random), and even harder on acoustic; and pointless to attempt, IMO. Artificial harmonics are targeted, and therefore much easier to employ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VpLB_cirUA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0qChyXwvOI

What those may not explain is that it's all about string fractions. Harmonics are played by touching the string at a fractional point - 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5 etc of its vibrating length - to stop it vibrating at that point (known as a "node"); you then pick to one side of that point to force the string to vibrate in those fractions instead of its full length. E.g. the 1/2 harmonic makes the string vibrate in a figure of 8 either side of the 1/2-way point.

Natural harmonics work with fractions of the full string length, so you can use your fret hand to touch the node. Easy! (Fret 12 = 1/2; frets 7 & 19 = 1/3; fret 5 (or 24) = 1/4; frets 4, 9 and 16 = 1/5.)
When fretting a note, you then need to both touch and pick with your picking hand, which is called "artificial" or "harp harmonics". There are a few ways of doing this, but basically you touch with one finger (or thumb) and pick with another finger (or thumb). You can use a pick, but that ties up one very useful finger, making the technique a little trickier.
Of course, you then need to count the requisite number of frets above your fretted note to find the node point to touch. Normally, this technique is only done with 1/2-harmonics (octaves), although it's possible with any of the others.

"Pinch" harmonics are a form of artificial harmonic which tends to bring out the higher harmonics - e.g., 1/4 string length, which (on electric) gives a nice squeal, and is the same note as the one you're fretting but 2 octaves higher.
Because it's about fractions of vibrating string length, the positions of the nodes on the string vary according to the notes you're fretting. It's a myth that pinch harmonics are found in specific fixed positions on the string. The 1/4 node will be either 5 or 24 frets above the fretted note, so players of pinch harmonics are probably finding that 24-fret node (1/4-string length from the bridge).
On electric, pick-up position makes a difference, because if a node point is right over a PU, no sound will come out (because the string doesn't vibrate at that point). So you need more than one PU on, to be sure that all harmonics will be picked up.

When picking natural harmonics, picking close to the bridge is a good idea, especially with the smaller fractions, because you don't want to be picking where there is a node on the string. E.g., if you touch the 7th fret node, then picking the string over 19th fret won't work, because that's the other 1/3 point. Likewise, if you want the 5th fret (1/4) harmonic, don't pick the string over where fret 24 would be (over the soundhole on most acoustics). Pick between soundhole and bridge, moving closer to the bridge for increasingly smaller string fractions.
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Last edited by JonPR; 08-09-2018 at 05:13 AM.
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