Playing Pinch Harmonics Authored by Nick Kellie 02/19/2016 JamPlay, LLC Guitar Lessons Articles Guides Playing Pinch Harmonics Tweet Technique Focus - Pinch Harmonics In this lesson we are going to look at "Pinch Harmonics." First of all I want you to touch the low "E" string over the 12th fret, ensuring that your finger is over the metal fret itself, now pick the string. Notice that you get the same note (E) an octave higher. Now turn some gain up on your amp and gently touch any string with the fretting hand, moving over all the frets. Notice that as we move along the length of the string we get all manner of harmonics occurring. "Pinch harmonics" are really a way of utilizing the guitars harmonics on fretted notes. In order to get a harmonic on a fretted note we must develop technique in the picking hand, by which we get the harmonic to jump out. We are effectively "pinching" the string. It is essential that we show as little pick as possible to the string and that we drag the pick through the string then the flesh of the side of the thumb should gently rub the string. It is very important that you experiment by moving the picking hand along the length of the string you are picking (around the pickup), to get different harmonics. Keep Twangin' Lick Breakdown Lick 1 - Zakk Wylde gets a real edgy aggressive sound by using pinch harmonics. Make sure you really get definition in the pinched notes so they really stand out. Accuracy is the key here, we really need to hear the harmonic squealing out. Click to Enlarge Your browser does not support the audio element. Lick 2 - Billy Gibbons uses pinch harmonics as an integral part of his style. Here you start off picking the harmonics around the bridge pickup and gradually move towards the neck pickup. This gives a variety of harmonics. Click to Enlarge Your browser does not support the audio element. Lick 3 - In this example we apply harmonics to bent notes in the style of Robbie Roberston. Ensure that you pitch the bend accurately and that you get those harmonics screaming out! Be sure to experiment by moving the picked harmonics along the length of the string. Click to Enlarge Your browser does not support the audio element.