technical_022
technical_022

technical_022

status
live
level
intermediate

a right hand technique.

using my thumb and first finger

first finger hovers over and lightly touches the 12th fret on the A string.

not pressing the fret. only touching the string above the 12th fret line.

thumb is behind the first finger.

best to maximize the distance between first finger and thumb.

the more gap there is, the louder the harmonic.

thumb plucks the A string while the index finger hovers over the 12th fret.

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |--0<12>---------------------|
E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

0 is the open string, 12 is the fret the index finger is hovering over.

<12> means harmonic.

i can practice this on more open strings:

E |----------------------0<12>--|
B |-----------------0<12>-------|
G |------------0<12>------------|
D |-------0<12>-----------------|
A |--0<12>----------------------|
E |-----------------------------|
B |-----------------------------|
F#|-----------------------------|

this frees up the left hand.

the left hand can now move around the fretboard.

its similar to natural harmonics.

natural harmonics technique: left hand hovers. right hand plucks.

artificial harmonics technique: the right hand hovers and plucks.

technically, what i just played was a natural harmonic.

because it was an open string.

but now i can move around the neck.

i will now press and hold down on the 2nd fret of the A string with my left hand.

and do the artificial harmonics technique with my right hand.

right hand index hovers on the 14th fret [12 frets higher than 2].

right hand thumb is behind the index. and plucks.

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |--2<14>---------------------|
E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

just like with natural harmonics, i can then pluck 12 frets, 7 frets, 5 frets, 3 frets, higher than the fretted note:

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |-2<14>-2<9>-2<7>------------|
E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

fretted note + 12 frets hovering above = octave

fretted note + 7 frets hovering above = 5th + octave

fretted note + 5 frets hovering above = octave + octave

i can now practice going up strings:

E |-------------------------------------2<14>|
B |-------------------------------2<14>------|
G |--------------------------2<14>-----------|
D |---------------------2<14>----------------|
A |----------------2<14>---------------------|
E |-----------2<14>--------------------------|
B |------2<14>-------------------------------|
F#|-2<14>------------------------------------|

going down strings:

E |-2<14>------------------------------------|
B |------2<14>-------------------------------|
G |-----------2<14>--------------------------|
D |----------------2<14>---------------------|
A |---------------------2<14>----------------|
E |--------------------------2<14>-----------|
B |-------------------------------2<14>------|
F#|------------------------------------2<14>-|

random pattern:

E |-2<14>--------------------------------------------|
B |-----------2<14>----------------------------------|
G |------2<14>----------2<14>------------------------|
D |----------------2<14>----------2<14>--------------|
A |--------------------------2<14>---------2<14>-----|
E |-----------------------------------2<14>----------|
B |---------------------------------------------2<14>|
F#|--------------------------------------------------|

now i can practice going up a string (loop):

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |--2<14>-3<15>-5<17>-7<19>---|
E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

what is even cooler is even if i run out of frets as i go up, i can "guesstimate" where to hover my finger as i play harmonics high on the fretboard:

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |--14<26>--------------------|
E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

my guitar only has 24 frets

where is the 26th fret?

that is the beauty of harmonics.

they exist regardless of whether frets exist or not.

how do i know where to play it?

i must visualize the 26th fret on the fretboard.

i must extrapolate.

down the string (loop):

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |----------------------------|
E |--7<19>-5<17>-3<15>-2<14>---|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

zig-zag up and down (loop):

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |----------------------------|
E |--7<19>-3<15>-5<17>-2<14>---|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

i can even be cool and move my left hand while the right hand stays the same:

E |----------------------------|
B |----------------------------|
G |----------------------------|
D |----------------------------|
A |----------------------------|
E |--2<14>-7<14>-9-<14>-7<14>--|
B |----------------------------|
F#|----------------------------|

this works since this is still playing 12, 7, and 5 frets between the fretted note + hovered note.

i can then move latitudinally and longitudinally.

scale fragments:

E |---------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------|
G |---------------------------------------------|
D |--------------------2<14>-3<15>-5<17>--------|
A |--2<14>-3<15>-5<17>--------------------------|
E |---------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------|
F#|---------------------------------------------|

chord arppegios, minor shape (loop):

E |---------------------------------------------|
B |-------------------3<15>---------------------|
G |--------------4<16>------4<16>---------------|
D |--------4<16>-------------------4<16>--------|
A |--2<14>--------------------------------------|
E |---------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------|
F#|---------------------------------------------|

chord arppegios, add9 shape (loop):

E |---------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------|
G |--------------6<18>------6<18>---------------|
D |--------4<16>-------4<16>-------4<16>--------|
A |--2<14>--------------------------------------|
E |---------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------|
F#|---------------------------------------------|

advanced: what if i did the same thing with but with added hammer-ons??

E |-------------------------------------------------------|
B |-------------------------------------------------------|
G |--------------------h6-6<18>-------------6<18>---------|
D |-----------h4-4<16>----------h4-4<16>----------4<16>---|
A |--h2-2<14>---------------------------------------------|
E |-------------------------------------------------------|
B |-------------------------------------------------------|
F#|-------------------------------------------------------|

artificial harmonics are called artificial because i am changing the length of the string.

every time i fret, i am changing the length.

as i move up the fretboard i am truncating the length of the string more and more.

and that is why the pitch gets higher.

shorter length = high pitch

whereas natural harmonics i am not changing any string length since i am not fretting.

i am finding the naturally found "natural" harmonic overtones of the string.

natural harmonics = open strings

artificial harmonics = fretted strings

i can play harmonics with a pick also.

instead of plucking with the thumb, i can replace with it the pick

hold the pick with the thumb and middle finger

while the index finger remains outstretched and hovering over the note.

i can do all the same exercises above. this time with a pick.

achieved a more sharp or plush pick sound, depending on the pick.

i also don't have to use thumb to pluck.

i can use my ring finger too.

it will change the angle of my hand.

achieves a different timbre.

advanced:

i can also play this technique with middle finger and small (4th) finger.

middle finger hovers

small (4th) finger hovers.

and then i can do two artificial harmonics at once!

i can combine thumb + index with middle + 4th finger

notes:

high action.

thicker string gauge.

find the hidden harmonics

rest are soft

bridge pickup allows for stronger harmonics

check out:

questions and feedback: if you have any questions, or need clarification on anything, or want to see something more, please email me dark@dark.co. i am always looking to help out and for ways to develop this further. this is a constantly growing brain, and i would love to build it with you. to chase reality together.