#1
I know this question has probably been asked by every newbie guitarist out there, but it's something that's really been bugging me lately.
I've been playing a lot of metal stuff (mostly riffs I make up myself but trying to learn a few songs) but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get those pinch harmonics that you hear all the big act metal guitarists pull out without any effort, it seems.

I can 'kind of' do pinches, mainly by the whole "skim the string with your thumb" thing as I pick and adding a little vibrato by bending slightly but fast, but they don't change the entire note like some songs seem to do with the extremely high pitch squeal even on the lower strings. What's the secret, if there is one?

Oh and before anyone asks, I'm using a built-in-high-gain distortion pedal with the distortion knob all the way turned up, as well as the treble on my amp, so I know that's not the problem, it's me.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by BassicDragon33 at Jun 8, 2010,
#2
Have patience. Try hitting a little more or less thumb, try differant picking positions. The intro to Coheed and Cambria's -welcome Home is how i learnt to pinch. The rest sucks but intro rocks. Try to "scoop" with your pick hand as well.
Pantera's Cemetery Gates is hella helpful too.
I often hear dimebag and Kse play them and ask the same question, but when i play my buddies 1000$ iceman i can hit wild harmonics like mad. Whammy, pinch, natural...
My 400$ rg350.... Not so much. Its there, but dosent really ring like i want them to.
#3
Just concentrate very closely on "scraping" your thumb across the string. you have to find that perfect balance of not too much but not too little. Once you get that down good, start incorporating it into your playing.
My Gear:
PRS SE Custom 24 7 string
Schecter C-1 Custom
Jackson SLSMG
Line 6 POD HD500X

My SoundCloud
#5
Practice the basic motion of doing pinch harmonics. Also, make sure you experiment by doing pinches at different positions on the string, until you find the "sweet spot". The sweet spot is actually slightly different for each string or note.
#6
Quote by zincabopataurio
Practice the basic motion of doing pinch harmonics. Also, make sure you experiment by doing pinches at different positions on the string, until you find the "sweet spot". The sweet spot is actually slightly different for each string or note.

This is the biggest part. As you move closer to and farther away from the bridge, the harmonics will change considerably.

Other than that, a strong high end (wah pedal is best) and good vibrato will bring it out clearer.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#7
do you know anything about nodes? a node is a sweet spot for you to hit on the string with your thumb. every note has several nodes and they all make a different sound. just try hitting a different node and you will notice a change in pitch. if this is too vague im sure theres 100s of tips on nodes, just use the good ol' search bar
my stuff:
schecter c-1+
ibanez rg3exfm1
schecter avenger 7-string with emgs
esp/ltd mh-50
peavey 6505+ 112 combo
tc electronic polytune
way huge green rhino
mxr micro flange
mxr smart gate
dunlop crybaby
#8
A good way to mimic a pinch harmonic somewhat is to, for example, press down on the 2nd fret on the G string then while holding down that fret put your thumb (or a different finger) on your picking hand on the G string 14th fret like a harmonic then vibrato the 2nd fret. I hope that made sense. I can't hit pinch harmonics well, so I like to do that to give me a somewhat similar sound.
#9
Quote by Joshua1207
A good way to mimic a pinch harmonic somewhat is to, for example, press down on the 2nd fret on the G string then while holding down that fret put your thumb (or a different finger) on your picking hand on the G string 14th fret like a harmonic then vibrato the 2nd fret. I hope that made sense. I can't hit pinch harmonics well, so I like to do that to give me a somewhat similar sound.

thats called a tapped harmonic. its actually no different than a regular artificial harmonic other than the pinch is done late with your finger instead of immediately with your thumb. theres a node at half the scale length of every fret. so for 4 its 16 and for 10 its 22. i believe its a natural node because its the same note as the fretted note but don't quote me on that. now if you play the g string on the 2nd fret and tap a harmonic on the 21st fret you'll find another node. these nodes just continue all the way to the bridge but there's no fret numbers so you have to find them yourself. is this making any sense?
my stuff:
schecter c-1+
ibanez rg3exfm1
schecter avenger 7-string with emgs
esp/ltd mh-50
peavey 6505+ 112 combo
tc electronic polytune
way huge green rhino
mxr micro flange
mxr smart gate
dunlop crybaby
#11
Wow, thanks for the tips guys! I guess patience really is key, but that information is great to know to help speed up the process.
#13
its all about where you pick, that is something that took me forever to figure out
Gibson Les Paul Smartwood
Martin DC-15E
Peavey ValveKing 112
#14
I'm going to have to disagree with all of the people suggesting changing your gear or changing your amp settings, it's all about technique, not your gear.