Poll: Can you do pinch harmonics?
Poll Options
View poll results: Can you do pinch harmonics?
Yes
44 85%
No
8 15%
Voters: 52.
#1
I've been trying pinch harmonics for about two months now and still cant do them, I need help on the tecnique and where to hit the string, how and then what..
#2
I can do them no problem while just messing around and by accident but when it comes to playing 'Cemetery Gates' by Pantera or something I couldn't do 'em to save my life and when I can't do it on that spot I try all the sweet spot on my guitar and still won't be able to do em. I think as long as you don't think to much about it you'll be good. Besides it's very hard to explain and much easier to show so look up Youtube or something.
#5
If it's taking months you're doing it wrong. I watched a few videos on youtube and struggled with it for 2 or 3 days, but with distortion/high treble I almost have trouble NOT doing squealies on certain areas of the fretboard. (3rd and 4th string, 4-9th fret especially love it)
You'll need to crank your distortion and highs to get it to be loud though. Doing it on a clean channel with your lows up, you won't hear it.
#10
It's simple, immediately after you pick the string, your thumb (on the other side of the pick) should lightly touch it. Crank your distortion until you get it down (you will).
#16
Quote by PowerDistortion
Should my thumb be slightly off the pick or anything?


When I plan on doing a pinch harmonics (squealy) I choke way down on the pick so just a tiny bit of it's showing. It's almost impossible not to do pinch harmonics (assuming your gain and treble are high) with this technique. Do a regular picking motion, just make your thumb touch the string IMMEDIATELY after the pick does.
#19
Quote by PowerDistortion
I got distortion and treble on my amp, but on my SG I dunno which one the treble is...


Switch to the neck pickup and make sure your tone knobs are at 10.
#21
I'm gonna ask that you don't double post anymore that takes up space and its annoying but I'm not a moderatoer so just saying. But do as everyone is suggesting until you get it down then go and try doing them on clean with no distortion or no amp thats how I do em as I can't really use my amp much. But I feel for ya man I got dial up to and can't watch Youtube anymore so got to learn the old fashoin way, hard work and the internet and a few sore fingers. Keep at it you'll get it down soon enough.
#23
I like doing pinch harmonics on the 3 high strings then wanking on the whammy bar with my left hand.

If you do them on clean or unplugged it can be really hard to tell if you're doing it properly. Just go with some high gain, tone knob on 10 and some hot humbuckers in the bridge and you're good to go!
#24
These guys speak truth with respect to tone; lots of gain & treble through a cranked bridge pickup (tone and volume).

A good way to find the "sweet spots" is to forget hitting it as you pick for a bit and picking, then touching the string (like with a harmonic, tap it and let go). There are different spots for each fret, so experiment.
Last edited by MopMaster at Aug 24, 2008,
#25
Quote by Odin, Norse God
I can do them no problem while just messing around and by accident but when it comes to playing 'Cemetery Gates' by Pantera or something I couldn't do 'em to save my life and when I can't do it on that spot I try all the sweet spot on my guitar and still won't be able to do em. I think as long as you don't think to much about it you'll be good. Besides it's very hard to explain and much easier to show so look up Youtube or something.

It depends on the gear a lot too. The quality of the distortion and amount of it and the pickups have a lot to do with it. In my 2 Active humbucker EMG in one guitar I can play the **** out of cemetary gates and sound em out just like the recording and on my strat i cannot get the same sound even with the same pedal and amp. I can do close but it doenst sound like the cd. I also can hit them on the E and A strings on the strat but they dont ring half as clear and nice as on the EMGS pups on the other guitar.
#26
Gear/Tone/Pickups all can help or hinder your harmonics...but in all reality, it comes down to technique. Once you get it down, you can squeal on an acoustic with crappy strings, to be totally honest.
It's not about hitting the strings with any specfic force or anything...too many people think that they need to really dig in and "snap" the strings which really isn't true.
It's all about catching the string with the side of your thumb as you pick the note (actually you can get the same harmonics with an upstroke if you practice it enough)...The edge of your thumb is touching the string at a specific harmonic "node" as you move your picking hand up & down the string, which changes the pitch. You would actually get the same harmonics by tapping the string in those same places. Some notes are "stronger" so to speak & there for easier to produce...but it all involves the same basic tech.
It is deceiving at first...but honestly it's really not about hitting the strings any harder or gouging the squeals out of the string. It's just a matter of catching that string just right with the edge of your thumb, as you pick the note.
I haven't read all the replies here...but hopefully that helps a little bit.



Don
#27
Just read and reread Don's post. Really, I do my pinch harmonics a bit differently from everyone else (I think). Instead of choking up on the pick and hitting the string with the side of my thumb, I keep the pick in the same posistion and reangle my hand so I hit the string with the joint of my thumb. I've tried doing both, and my way just seems to make more sense. The joint of the thumb is already potruding, so there is no need to change the way I hold my pick. Also, the 'point' is much more accurate IMO than trying to use the entire side of the thumb.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#28
I really don't change my grip much at all...I typically choke down on the pick a good bit & all I really do is change the angle of my hand very slightly, so that my thumb contacts the string when & where I want it too. No big change in anything at all. Maybe that's a little bit odd on my part then, to hold the pick so close to the tip...but it's also why I can pretty easily do PHs on upstrokes as well I guess. I do the same tech, but in reverse and catch the string lightly with the tip of my index finger.
Bottom line is that what ever works for you, is good.



Don
#29
put your gain up, put your thumb far down on the pick, and use a heavy pick if you can. the first time i did it it was on accident and i've heard that from a couple of people. also, try it on a higher string like any thing above the g string.