Why is it that you can only play a harmonic a full octave above the open note?

IE, why can I only play the harmonic at the 12th fret in open position, or the 15th fret if I've got a capo on the 3rd.

I'm totally lost as to why this is. Obviously it's an octave higher, but why do I get no sound trying to play it at the 11th as opposed to the 12th?

Just curious, thanks.
well, thats the octave harmonic which is exacly in the middle of the sting

their are plenty more like above the 5th, 7th, between the 2nd and 3rd and harder to find ones all over the place

and if you've ever heard of pinch harmonics those are played with the picking hand while picking somewhere over the pickups to get that high pitch squealing sound

the reason harmonics only work in certain places is depending on the vibration and length of the string their are certain places along the string than the vibrations cancel each other out called nodes, this is where you can play harmonics

if you were to look at the graph of a sine wave to represent the vibration of the string, where the graph crosses the x-axis is where the node would be

freepower or someone did a really good lesson on them and it was stickied in the advance techniques thread... but that doesn't exist any more
good news is i think he still has a good video lesson on his youtube channel(freepowerug i think)
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Last edited by justinb904 at Jul 6, 2009,
What about 5 & 7 fret harmonics? Those should be do-able. But anyway, the harmonics have to deal with the sound wave and length of the string, all stuff I don' know too much about
pick n grin has a video about harmonics that explains them really well
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Thanks everyone. I know it has to do with "wavelengths and ****", is there a general rule about where and why they sound or something?

Quote by bluethunder2512
pick n grin has a video about harmonics that explains them really well

Quote by Rykoshet
Thanks everyone. I know it has to do with "wavelengths and ****", is there a general rule about where and why they sound or something?