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Pinch Harmonics

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Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 66
Topic starter  

What's a good way to practice pinch harmonics?

I've very seldomly ever been able to successfully do a pinch harmonic, and when I have, it's not very loud or sustained. It just kind of rings quitently for a short while. I suppose this could be my equipment, but I haven't mastered technique so I couldn't say.

Just wondering, what's the best way to try to practice them? I would suppose that starting on the bigger strings would be easier, because I was told you're basically trying to pick it, and then slightly brush it with your thumb instantaneously to try to get it to ring.

Also, I'm kind of confused on how you go about doing them. A friend said to finger the fret normally, and then pick and and try to brush it with your thumb, but I'm not sure if this is corrrect.

Any suggestions?

(By the way, I've been inspired after listening to hours of Judas Priest and Pantera and hearing all those quick pinch harmonics in succession. I'd like to do that. So, anything that would lean me more toward that would be appreciated.)

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1206

I read on the Net somewhere of an easy way to do pinch harmonics. I've tried it and it sounds OK, but I still couldn't get them to occur each time. Anyway, what I read said to push up slightly on the string with your fretting finger and just as you are picking the string, let off. You have to get the timing just right (which is why it doesn't always work for me), but it sounds pretty good when done correctly. I'm not sure if that's a proper way to do them, so I'll leave that up to someone else to comment on. I'll see if I can dig up the link though.

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 311

There is some helpful information here

I can do a pinch harmonic any time I want to after about 7 or 8 monthes of learning how to do it. You're equipment makes a huge difference, if your pick-ups arent set right then you'll have allot of trouble with it. You also need some pretty heavey distortion to get it good.

When doing a pinch harmonic, (I recommend starting on the D or G string, seems to work the best for me) I kinda hit the string with the side of the pick instead of the front, doing this puts my thumb in the proper position to get the harmonic ring. Slide the pick off the string, and just barely hit the string with your thumb (around the knuckle) They say to do it right after you hit the string with your pick, but if you use the pick in the way I describe you can concentrate on hitting it at the same time. Since the position of the pick wont let you possibly get it at the same time, it will be closer to the correct timing! I hope I havent confused you too much :)

Let me know if I can clear anything up for you.

p.s. Try to learn the main riff from cemetary gates, thats the song that I learned how to do it on

'You and I in a little toy shop, bought a bag of balloons with the money we got"

feel free to talk with me on msn at [email protected] no icq anymore