How Do I Use Harmonics on the Guitar?
Basically you are playing harmonics every time you pluck a note on the guitar. However, you usually don’t hear them because the main note (the “fundamental note”) is much louder. So to play “harmonics” on the guitar, you need to eliminate the fundamental note. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
Open String Harmonics
Open string harmonics are also referred to as natural harmonics. To do this, you simply place your finger on the string at certain fret points, and don’t push the string down to the fingerboard. So lightly touch the string just over the fret. The natural harmonics occur at fret numbers 3, 4, 7, 9, 12 and then the cycle repeats from the 12th fret (the 12th fret is one octave above the open strings and the following frets are a repeat of the first octave).
Fretted harmonics are more difficult to achieve but give the guitar player significantly more options. The idea is that you finger the fret of the note to be played, then touch the same string 12 frets above the fingered note. The touch of this string is similar to open string harmonics technique, in that you don’t push the string to the fret board. You will then need to pluck the string above both of your fingered notes so that the string resonates.
Here is a video of Eddie Van Halen playing a solo with harmonics. Enjoy!
Tags: artificial harmonic, fingerboard, fingers, fret, guitar, guitar harmonics, guitars, harmonic, harmonics, music, musical tuning, natural, open string, push, referred, refers, simply, string, string instruments, strings
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