#1
i have always loved harmonics and the fact that they're even an option on the guitar..
wes borland was the first guitarist i heard that used artificial harmonic runs... and i always knew when i was a guitar player i would use them... A lot !!
but i never even thought that there could be lessons in harmonics (like all your options with them)

i found some old forums that mentioned harmonizing the harmonics which inspired this thread...https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=220004&page=3&pp=20
i guess when i learn a little about harmonizing i can try to apply it to harmonics??
anyways some very general questions i have about harmonics are:
-when you play a note harmonic weather it be natural or artificial is the note the same as the fret its on? and if yes; then to incorporate it into my playing do i act like the note is part of the scale/key i am in or how??
-bands/songs that make good use of these (i read in a forum that classical used it some, although i never seen any song names...)
-and just any useful info about harmonics.... cause i love em

the things i know/think about harmonics are:
1. natural harmonics are in 5 different "fret" locations (or where the fret should be like 24 fret position (i think) for guitars that dont have 24 fret necks.
2. they go higher in pitch any way you move them from the 12th fret (12th fret = lowest sound for a harmonic)
3. to play a good art. harmonic i pick the string right over the bridge pick up
4. i like the sound of whamming a harmonic but don't have a whammy bar.... what i figured was if you play a harmonic and then press down on the fret and roll your finger up to the next fret then back off it sounds close--ish ...

and if you know other threads or websites that touch on this topic please post( i am looking for more as i type)
#3
Quote by elihu4321
-when you play a note harmonic weather it be natural or artificial is the note the same as the fret its on?
Not really. Some are, but not all.

Quote by elihu4321
and if yes; then to incorporate it into my playing do i act like the note is part of the scale/key i am in or how??
If you're using an octave harmonic, sure.

Ok, so I'll give you a quick rundown of harmonics. We'll start with natural harmonics.

Basically the fundamental physics behind how harmonics (speaking in terms of the guitar/string instrument technique, not harmonic overtones) is that it divides the string into a specific number of equal parts, which all vibrate together to create a pitch. It looks a bit like this. That picture shows the first seven harmonics of a string. Depending on how it divides the string, it will give you a different note. The 2nd harmonic (and exponents of 2) give you an octave harmonic. For example, use the expression 2^x (2 to the x power) to get an octave harmonic. Say you want two octaves, you plug in 2 as x, giving you 2 squared, or 4. Divide the string in four parts and you'll get two octaves above the open string. See how that works? I guess that's kind of superfluous so don't worry too much about that.

Anyways, this chart gives you a good idea of which harmonics give you what note.

I'll give you some examples. We'll go with the E string.

12 fret harmonic (2nd harmonic): E (1 octave up)
7th fret (3rd harmonic): B (1 octave + a perfect fifth)
5th fret (4th harmonic): E (2 octaves)
4th fret (5th harmonic): G# (2 octaves + a major third)

And the list goes on. I have more info if you would like it but I think I'll stop there for now so I don't overload you with info.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#4
Quote by food1010
Not really. Some are, but not all.

If you're using an octave harmonic, sure.

Ok, so I'll give you a quick rundown of harmonics. We'll start with natural harmonics.

Basically the fundamental physics behind how harmonics (speaking in terms of the guitar/string instrument technique, not harmonic overtones) is that it divides the string into a specific number of equal parts, which all vibrate together to create a pitch. It looks a bit like this. That picture shows the first seven harmonics of a string. Depending on how it divides the string, it will give you a different note. The 2nd harmonic (and exponents of 2) give you an octave harmonic. For example, use the expression 2^x (2 to the x power) to get an octave harmonic. Say you want two octaves, you plug in 2 as x, giving you 2 squared, or 4. Divide the string in four parts and you'll get two octaves above the open string. See how that works? I guess that's kind of superfluous so don't worry too much about that.

Anyways, this chart gives you a good idea of which harmonics give you what note.

I'll give you some examples. We'll go with the E string.

12 fret harmonic (2nd harmonic): E (1 octave up)
7th fret (3rd harmonic): B (1 octave + a perfect fifth)
5th fret (4th harmonic): E (2 octaves)
4th fret (5th harmonic): G# (2 octaves + a major third)

And the list goes on. I have more info if you would like it but I think I'll stop there for now so I don't overload you with info.


i couldn't open the first link... but thats okay because your examples make perfect sense to me and yes i would love a list to learn by...
#5
Modest Mouse uses a lot of harmonic bends and stuff. Check their songs Dirty Fingernails, Dramamine, and Tundra/Desert. Theres a lot more songs where they harmonize with harmonics with 2 guitars but those songs they use them more as lead I guess.
#6
here on the right theres a nice little chart of note names for all the natural harmonics on all the strings: http://www.freakguitar.com/licks.html
though some of them are insanely high! (refer to basically anything he has done for applications: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mattias+IA+Eklundh&aq=f )

as mentioned before, you get to them by dividing the string into equal parts
you can work out how many half steps above the open string it is by using: log(n)/log(2^(1/12)) where n is the number of parts you've divided the string into. You'll notice that some numbers are slightly flat/sharp! thats because harmonic overtones are on nicer ratios than twelve tone equal temperament (where everything is out of tune...but equally so you can play in any key without ill consequences)
#7
Quote by elihu4321
i couldn't open the first link... but thats okay because your examples make perfect sense to me and yes i would love a list to learn by...
There's plenty of stuff on that Wikipedia page. For example, the first link (an image) is right at the top of the page. If you scroll down just below where the second link brought you, there's a good chart of where all these harmonics fall on the fretboard.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jun 30, 2010,
#8
food what kind of music do you like playing? you seem to know info of really good aspects of music?
Last edited by elihu4321 at Jun 30, 2010,
#9
i don't think i've ever heard a harmonic on anything other that a string instrument .... thats cool
#10
Quote by elihu4321
food what kind of music do you like playing? you seem to know info of really good aspects of music?
A lot of different stuff.

Blues/jazz, reggae, funk, rock in general I guess. I go through phases that don't necessarily have anything to do with genres. Currently I'm really into 311, Radiohead, and Kings of Leon. No logical correlation there.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#11
Quote by food1010
A lot of different stuff.

Blues/jazz, reggae, funk, rock in general I guess. I go through phases that don't necessarily have anything to do with genres. Currently I'm really into 311, Radiohead, and Kings of Leon. No logical correlation there.



You were doing good until there..!
#12
Quote by DiminishedFifth


You were doing good until there..!
What don't you like about Kings of Leon? Please don't say it's because of their popularity/fanbase, I don't like it either.

Also, say what you will about their new stuff, but they're older stuff was awesome.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jun 30, 2010,
#13
Quote by food1010
What don't you like about Kings of Leon? Please don't say it's because of their popularity/fanbase, I don't like it either.

Also, say what you will about their new stuff, but they're older stuff was awesome.

I couldn't care less about their fanbase haha

But the couple songs I've heard (Use Somebody and Sex on Fire), I hated his voice, and I dislike the guitar work and that style in general. Blue October's new stuff is kind of similar, and I dislike them too, so don't think it's just them I'm picking on.

Their songs are catchy, that's for sure, but catchy =/= good to me.
#14
Quote by DiminishedFifth
I hated his voice,
So be it. That's a valid opinion.

Quote by DiminishedFifth
and I dislike the guitar work and that style in general.
Valid opinion as well. It just seems like you haven't heard enough of them to formulate this opinion of their music as a whole, because of the following statement:

Quote by DiminishedFifth
But the couple songs I've heard (Use Somebody and Sex on Fire),
Use Somebody + Sex on Fire is not the full extent of Kings of Leon. In fact, Use Somebody is my least favorite song by them and Sex on Fire is still meh.

Quote by DiminishedFifth
Their songs are catchy, that's for sure, but catchy =/= good to me.
Their "hit" songs may be catchy and mainstream-appealing, but I assure you not all of their music is like these songs.

Regarding the bolded statement, I agree with you completely. The "catchiness" of a few of their songs isn't what I enjoy about the band.

So please, I don't mean to be defensive, but I don't think liking them deserves a facepalm because they had a few generic catchy songs that hit it big.

I'll leave you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgynG7uBm4c

I assure you it's not of the likes of Use Somebody of Sex on Fire. You still may not like it, but maybe it'll give you a better perspective of what I like about them.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#15
I agree, my opinion was a little rash, and usually I formulate opinions after I've heard about 5-6 songs, but when it's on the radio if it doesn't catch my attention I'm not gonna look it up.

Listening to that song right now. It is A LOT better than the others. I still don't care for his voice, but the guitar work and everything works a lot better. Reminds me a bit of Ludo to be honest.

It's not bad... they just gained a few points in my book.
#16
okay this may have been covered somewhere and i missed it but if you mess with the tuning of a guitar does the harmonic notes corrrespond to the tune change??
#17
Quote by food1010
A lot of different stuff.

Blues/jazz, reggae, funk, rock in general I guess. I go through phases that don't necessarily have anything to do with genres. Currently I'm really into 311, Radiohead, and Kings of Leon. No logical correlation there.

nice i like 311 and some sublime when i was really young (i need to check them back out) .. have you ever played with some blind melon songs, there kinda jazzy rock i like to think...