#1
Hey UG community!

I tried a whole bunch of stuff to get these pinch harmonics but nothing really seemed to work imo. I recorded the best one I can do - but does that sound correct?
picosong . com/R5Fk/
(A string tuned down to F#, 3rd fret)

My hardware is a Yamaha RGX112 and a Fender Mustang I amp (includes distortion effects etc.) and a mass of different picks I've tried (0.6mm to 1.20mm). As advised in most tutorials I use the bridge pickup and maximum distortion. For result, see above.

Any ideas?!
Last edited by Incendor at Aug 21, 2013,
#2
No, that didn't sound like pinch harmonic. It sounded like you were just playing the note normally.

Your thumb must touch the string at the same time as you pick. You do the harmonic with your thumb. I find playing pinches on low frets (2-7) of the G string easiest. First try it very slowly. Just try to touch the string with your thumb at the same time as you pick. First you might not get any sound (or a muted sound).
Quote by AlanHB
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Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#3
Yeah, that's what I'm trying and sometimes it even sounds a bit bell-ish, but the base tone of the string is always there too and I can't figure out how to get rid of it.
#4
It's the motion and how sharp the picks are. Then motion can bee simplified, as a sligh key turning motion. Jazz III or Tortex Sharps work very well. Only let the "fleshy part of thumb" have contact with the string.
#5
^^^ Or you can just angle the pick differently. Jazz IIIs are cool but are limited in their use.
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#6
The sound difference should be easy to notice. Another factor could be your pickups but even with less-than-ideal pickups you should be able to tell if you're hearing harmonics.

FYI, Yamaha RGXs aren't Pacificas.
#7
The pick has little to do with it. Bass players can do pinches with just their fingers. Anyway, the important thing is to angle your pick a little so that your thumb is touching the string while you pick. Also, you have to pick at certain places on the string to really make them work.

Take your left pointer finger & hold it to the string over the pickups like you would do for a natural harmonic & slide your finger back & forth while picking to find the spots where the harmonics ring out easiest. These are the nodes you want your thumb to be placed on when you pick the harmonic. Try to make the open ones ring out first so that you can fully concentrate on your picking motion. Once you can do those the rest should be a snap. Just remember that as you fret notes on the fretboard that the location of those same nodes will move closer to the bridge the further down the neck you are fretting.
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#8
@Emperor's Child:
Thanks for that one - I was a little confused about Yamaha naming conventions and somewhere I read something about the RGX112 and Pacificas and stuff... well... forget it.

@Swarm, Alan & J-Dawg:
The motion part is something I found out lately. Touching or brushing the string with my thumb is not the problem, but most times it sounds like crap, even if it feels kind of perfect. If I "dig" deep into the string with a wide motion, it sounds better but that's not very practical imo.
Playing around with different locations over the pickups works good SOMETIMES - but I can't imagine hitting those tiny spots out of and then back into a heavy metal-ish riff (take a look at Slipknot's Duality Intro - wtf, how is this even possible?!).

3:13AM - gn8 from germany! ;o)
~ Incendor
#9
I learned how to do these in a lesson many years ago, went home and had forgotten. So I figured them out myself, just differently than most people do them. 'I hold the pick normally but use the kinda "fatty" part of the palm of your hand, below the thumb to touch the string and make the harmonic. Something that has always worked for me and is personally easier than using the side of the thumb. Might be worth a try.
Originally posted by arrrgg
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#11
Someone already said this but, the best way it was described to me when learning was to pick like you're turning a key. You want your thumb to barely touch the string when you pick the note.
#13
Quote by J-Dawg158
The pick has little to do with it.


He's using a pick, so it has everything to do with it.
#14
^that was in response to the guy that suggested using sharper picks. It could help, but I was pointing out that it's not as important as proper technique since you can do pinches with no pick at all.
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#15
You have to choke up on the pick to an absurd level so you barely have any pick left and you hit the string with both a sliver of pick and some of your skin.
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#17
Quote by J-Dawg158
^that was in response to the guy that suggested using sharper picks. It could help, but I was pointing out that it's not as important as proper technique since you can do pinches with no pick at all.


Ahh gotcha. Agreed. I don't find using a sharper pick really helps anyway. Regular tortex dunlops work just fine for me and they aren't especially sharp.