learn physics and how strings behave when a force is applied on them. basically natural harmonics are produced at the nodes of the strings. these nodes separate the string into different lengths that make the string vibrate at certain frequencies
you touch the string, and nothing but. and lightly, at that. and right after you pick the string, you let go. do this again and again along the length of the string and you'll find that at certain points you'll get really clear notes - directly over the 5th, 7th, and 12th frets, and probably some other places i can't figure out without a guitar in hand
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A string vibrating is a wave, and has nodes and antinodes. The first (fundemental) harmonic on a string is the string being played without any harmonics made, this would be pictured as the first in the picture

For stringed instruments, the wave can be altered, into other 'harmonics', which is just ways that the string can vibrate, but still have nodes at the ends (which, being connected to the end, it has to):

Harmonics are created when you press (generally halfway) along the string, which induces if you like, the 'second' harmonic (the one with the two joining in the middle).
This also explains how you can touch the string at the 5th fret and still produce a note, as you are creating the third harmonic (pressing a node which can only exist as a 3rd harmonic).
etc, gotta stop there, will just end up continuing

Edit: but while I'm at it- you'll end up asking what "pinch harmonics are":
This is where you press a fret, and use your thumb holding the pick to touch the harmonic for that note (halfway between that note and the end of the string), which exactly the same way causes a 2nd/3rd/etc harmonic.
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Last edited by strong_wizard at Aug 25, 2007,