Pings In Chromatix: Artifical Harmonics

There are two ways of Harmonics, the Natural and the Artificial Harmonics, but this lesson only focus on the Artificial side.

Ultimate Guitar
Introduction: There are two ways of Harmonics, the Natural and the Artificial(Pings, Pinch, False etc.. whatever we call it) Harmonics, but this lesson only focus on the Artificial side. Artificial harmonics can be produced on any note by lightly and quickly touching the string as it is being picked. I highly suggests doing this in clean tone, no distortion just plain ole guitar through the amp.. I have two ways of nailing this tech. The first way I do it is as I hold the pick between my thumb and index fingers so only a little bit of the pick is sticking out. When I want a ping to happen, I don't only hit the string with my pick, I also hit it with a little bit of the front bit of the nail on my index picking hand. So it happens that my index finger hits the string a second after I hit it with my pick.. The next is as you pick, let your thumb lightly touch the string, move away after picking or you will deaden the string. Its all up to yah what makes you feel comfy most.. The angle of the way you hold the pick also responsible, and oh, as Zakk Wylde says, "Strictly use downstrokes if you want them nailed right".
P.H. = Pinch Harmonics

Example #1

  P.H.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
G|-------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------all the----|

Example #2

 P.H. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
You can find many more exercises in the net, try it through diffferent Key, Modes, Major Scale, Minor Scales, Licks, Riffs, just experiment out. Don't know what you'll stumble unto. - Choo Nerez (

61 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the song is young lust by pink floyd,but to see a good tab you have to go to and look at the version by guitar lord 14,except it says 2 a.h(artificial harmonic) and b(bend)
    Doesn't that mean an octave? A pinch harmonic to produce the sound 1 octave higher? Im probaly wrong but an 8 is often use to describe octaves....
    spanner, your description was a pathetic one... thats all I must say, half the people in here have no idea what a false harmonic is and the blab all day thinking there genuises, the article is right u play a false harmonic while holding your finger down on the fret, and as your plucking the string 1 billimineare meter of your thumb hits the string after the sweep, it's hard to try an make newbies understand this but really is a simple technique. oh and btw, go crazy with it, use your tremelo bar, Excellent example, watch some pantera videos, dimebag does false harmonics all the time, it is a must, makes your music sound professional
    In order to play an Artifical Harmonic you must finger a note on the fretboard, pushing the string right down to the fret ( for this example lets play the note A on the second fret on the third string ). Then lightly touch the string with your other hands index finger exactly 12 frets higher ( in our example we would lightly touch the third string above the 14th fret with our index finger). Then in order to produce the chime you must pick the string behind your index finger. This can be done by holding the pick between your thumb and middle finger, or just using your thumb. As soon as the chime has sounded remove your index finger so you don't accidentally stop the harmonic from ringing.
    Uhmmm i feal loads of bunch of rage sounds funny ... nevermind... well thing is doing pinch harmonic (showing off my self) im quite good at it... well get a small pick and then hit a littel with ure thomb after you've hitted the string with the pick ofcourse its like 1:10000 secs after so lol you gotta be fast... but uhh this technic pinch is my favorit of all i use a load of vibrato and shit in it ... makes it sound nice ... oh and yea dont do it in acoustic way god damn? thats really stupid... Distortion shit load of gain and you do the pinch !! ROck on! \,,/
    jetman_james wrote: bet i could kick your a$$! then i would stomp all over your "students"(
    jetman_james, I really am suprised in your lack of respect for a fellow player's point of view on a specific technique.
    SpacefingerS wrote: jetman_james,Spanner.....and u call yourself TEACHERS, u should be ashamed!!!!
    Thank you, SpacefingerS, for saying what needed to be said. About pinch harmonics, everyone does them differently. Don't let your personal opinion become something that you use to tell other people that they suck. Everyone has at least one technical thing that they do "wrong" from what the books say, and that's what gives each person's playing character! For example, I hold my pick in a way that almost made my former teacher drop me as a student, because I refused to accept the way he taught it. I tried, but it wasn't comfortable to me, it wasn't my style. With a broad subject like PH, there's going to be a thousand different opinions about how to do it "right," but noone's really correct, so shut the hell up about it. BTW, I hold my pick with my thumb on one side, the pick angled about 45 degrees away from my palm, and both my index and middle fingers on the other side. This makes it easier for me to palm my pick for a two-handed tap solo and allows me to use my ring finger instead of my thumb to produce pinch harmonics, which is usually easier, except on riffs like that in Lamb of God's "Laid to Rest."
    wow easy easy easy thats just a pinch harmonic the one from beginers guide SUCKS they're like ok pick the string then hit the 14th fret with your index finger on your pick hand while still holding the 3rd fret with neck hand i was like wtf...
    what kind of harmonic is angus young using in you shook me all night long?and how the heck do you play them.?
    Mr. Kill
    guys if u didnt understand this one go read the other.. idk but i read the other and i understoud how to do em in less then 5 mins and i didt from first try .. just figure out where to do it and ull get it really fast
    you guys hey listen how i do artificial harmonics. i guarantee this is the best way. place ur left hand on any fret, whatever finger. it doesnt work as well for higher strings because its hard to make artificial harmonics after say the 15th fret. so after u place ur finger on x fret, ur pick is between ur thumb and index like usually. ok. bend ur right hands fingers, look at the middle finger, and see the bend closest to the nail, where the ripples are? when u pluck lets say up, place ur middle finger to the right of where u pluck and pluck ur pick and the finger at the same time. it will create the best harmonics possible if u can master it, which is not difficult at all. if you need help with this, feel free to email me at
    PLEASE! EXPLAIN THIS.... I was watching Herman Li, from Dragon Force, do some type of harmonic (you hear the bell like sound) then he pulls the Whamy bar and you hear a bad-ass sound! How do you do that and what's it called? Please! E-mail me here I will owe you one!!! Please!!!!!
    wow, ppl have so much hate for eachother these days, let it go ppl. its no big deal, who cares what other ppl think as long as ur music is loud and ur mind is open. stop arguing
    thanks guys all this managed to do for me was confuse the sh!t right out of me? Its a good thing i already knew how to do them.
    i want to know exactly how to get harmonics like dimebag cuz hes the master and although you guys were a bit helpful i would much rather have someone show me in person but i will try to do it myself first
    hey help! i need to know artifical harmonics like in the intro to disasterpiece by slipknot.
    Tenkuu wrote: PLEASE! EXPLAIN THIS.... I was watching Herman Li, from Dragon Force, do some type of harmonic (you hear the bell like sound) then he pulls the Whamy bar and you hear a bad-ass sound! How do you do that and what's it called? Please! E-mail me here I will owe you one!!! Please!!!!!
    This is essentially the same thing as a pinch harmonic only it uses a tremolo system in turn it trun the sound into a "Divebomb" which was a technique pioneered by Jimi Hendrix beyond that though to get really nice ones you need a guitar with a Floyd Rose so you dont mess up your strings
    sorry weird typo in the first of that ... in turn to turn it into a...
    Harp Harmonic, IE where you fret a note, and then (Like a natural harmonic) use your picking hand to stroke above the fret bar of another fret. So, if you fret the first fret, then stroke over the 13th fret, its like playing a 12th fret NH, but up a half-step. Then there's the tapped harmonic, which involves fretting, and then tapping the string over the fret bar. It produces a stronger sound than the HH or the NH, but isn't as pure a note as a PH.
    Chuckie B.
    You know, here is what i have always thought: Pinch Harmonic - When you pop the string with your pick and then straight away touch the side of your thumb against the string at roughly 24th fret position but there are other places closer to the bridge where it works but it will give a different pitch sound. For me the 'sweet spot' for pinch harmonics is just behind the neck pickup. Artificial Harmonics - When you play a note and then with a pick hand finger touch lightly on a fret which is usualy an octave above the freted note. (Don't forget you can touch any fret with the pick hand finger (Not all work) it does not have to be one octave higher. E.g. Playing the 7th fret and then touching the 12 will give a sound 2 octaves higher.) These are also called tapped harmonics. Natural Harmonics - When you lightly touch a string over a fret and then pick the string to give a different pitch note. (These are handy because you do not have to keep your finger on the string for the note to carry on. E.g. Play a natural harmonic on the G string at the twelth fret. Once struck, you can take off your finger and mess around somewhere else on your guitar with the note still sounding. Also you can bend the string behind the nut when a natural harmonic is sounding. there are a lot of places where natural harmonics work. Move your finger up the neck slowly and pick at a moderate pace to locate them. There is more i could write about this but i have to go!
    Pinch harmonics are really easy once you know how. I read on another forum about this guy who took 2 years before he could get them but I managed it in a day. Just put your firt finger on your left hand above where the 24th fret should be and pick it like you would a natural harmonic. Once you can do that try doing it with one hand using the side of your thumb instead of your finger. Once you have done that try it on different frets by fretting the note and then moving the point where your thumb touches the string towards the bridge slightly. Easy?
    skwerl all your doing is lightly touching the string at the indicated fret, just like barely touch it when you pick the string and it'll make a really high pitched sound, once you get the feel for it its really easy
    To get a pinch harmonic, it's a lot better to use distortion. The G string works best, also around the 7th fret is clearest.
    Also, what's a natural harmonic? I always thought it was a harmonic above the fretboard, not pinched. Are they BOTH artificial?
    Technically, they r both natural. They both are used by hitting a sweet spot on the string that doesnt need to be pressed to hard to ring clearly. It happens on certain fractions of the string, like on the 5th fret and 12th are regs. For PH, it changes depending on how u change the length of the string (the fret ur finger is on).
    half of you are talking about natural harmonics like the 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th(same pitch as 4th), 12th frets. an artificial harm. is produced by pressing at the fret like you were going to play the note and let it ring out. personally i found that if you hold the pick normally and you angle it so that you can place the pick on the underside of the string and your index fingernail on the topside, as if you were going to kind of pinch the string with the pick and your nail, and then keep it at that angle and downstroke the string so that your fingernail taps the string after you strike it-you will produce this harmonic while fretting the string rather than open stringed-frethand(natural ) harmonics. it is best to practice this with the bridge pick-up and lots of reverb or lots of pre-gain. e-mail me for help if this is still too confusing and i'll do my best to get back to you because i'm lazy and always forget to check my e-mail.
    You people really need to practice, the way to do this is to place youre finger lightly over x fret and pick with a pick or youre thumb at the fret an octave higher, try it.
    no its not. that, once again, is a natural harmonic. an artificial harmonic is produced how i described above or as the lesson points out. this is a pinch or artificial(same thing) harmonic. maybe you need to practice with a guitar teacher, which, coincidentally, happens to be how i pay the rent. thanx for your input, but maybe you should do a little research before you tell experienced players how to play.
    wait.... i just saw this OTHER article on how to get a pinch harmonic for the 2nd fret, u put ure finger on the 2nd fret, then the finger on the other hand on the 14th fret and u get a pinch harmonic.... thats just 1 example
    which sound better, artificial or regular harmonics? and which is less difficult to do? (its a general question)
    splinterguitarist, aren't those artificial harmonics when u tap the fret an octave higher?