#1
hey. i have a guitar that i bought used. i noticed it had an issue with pinch harmonics on the d string. also if you play it without an amp u can hear some harmonic type stuff going on when just playing normal fretted notes. anyways i can play perfect pinch harmonics on every other string but on the d string you can hear that i attempted a pinch harmonic and then it just dies instantly. i took it in and got it professionally set up and intonated and got a new set of strings but i still have this problem. only thing i can think of is maybe get my frets leveled? idk. i have no clue what to do with this guitar any more. any advice would be greatly appreciated.
#2
First off, what kind of guitar is it?

Harmonics are actually just overtones of every note that is played. So technically, yes you can hear harmonics on every note.

You may have to adjust your picking hand forward or backward in order to get the harmonic to sound. Some strings just need a different position. I find that the edge of the NECK pickup closest to the bridge is a good place to start. So if you are holding and looking down at it, it will be the right edge of the neck pickup. Try this area and move forward/backward accordingly to try and reproduce the harmonics.

What you may be hearing is the small part of the string between the nut and the tuning machine vibrating. You can usually hear this on an amp also, and sounds similar to a harmonic after muting the strings.

It also may be the springs of a tremolo vibrating. I once noticed Steve Vai had a bunch of paper towels stuffed into the trem cavity around the springs specifically to dampen this sound. This can also sound like a harmonic.

If the guitar was fretting out from the vibration of a harmonic, then you should also be able to hear it fret out during normal playing. Does it do this on the D string?
Last edited by Danitarium at Jul 23, 2013,
#3
Quote by Danitarium
First off, what kind of guitar is it?

You may have to adjust your picking hand forward or backward in order to get the harmonic to sound. Some strings just need a different position. I find that the edge of the NECK pickup closest to the bridge is a good place to start. So if you are holding and looking down at it, it will be the right edge of the neck pickup. Try this area and move forward/backward accordingly to try and reproduce the harmonics.

If the guitar was fretting out from the vibration of a harmonic, then you should also be able to hear it fret out during normal playing. Does it do this on the D string?


it is an esp alexi 600 set up for drop c using dr 10-56 ga. strings

the guitar plays fretted notes just fine and i can do pinch harmonics on all other strings. its definitely not an issue with technique. for some reason only the pinch harmonics fret out on the d string.

at first i thought just a dud string but ive gone thru 3 sets of the same strings.
#4
Well before writing it off as a guitar issue, have you tried moving your picking hand around to try to find the harmonic node for the string?

Sometimes it helps to make your pick more vertical when producing pinch harmonics.

Also try putting your hand above the 12th or 24th fret and try picking there. If you can get harmonics to sound at those frets then it is definitely a technique issue.