Harmonics, the beautiful little bell like tones that immerse from the guitar like magic… but how do you make them consistently, and get stellar tone?
In case you missed it, last week I released a lesson dedicated to the beauty of harmonics, and most importantly how and where to play them. In the video lesson I discussed 3 things you can do to play cleaner harmonics and make those little sonic angels sing.
Be sure to watch the full lesson so your harmonics can be heard in the next county.
Can you show pinch harmonics for us–Thanks
Hi, another very valuable lesson. Thank you. Tony J.
“Black Mountain Side” Jimmy Page.
Tuning using harmonics actually puts your guitar slightly out of tune, assuming you want to tune your guitar using equal temperment. This is because the harmonics are pure ratios of the fundamental frequency while equal-tempered intervals are not.
#smallwin. Thanks Tony. I was having problems with the harmonics at the end of Little Martha, especially on the 5th fret. This lesson helped. Thanks again.
Hi Tony, great lesson as usual. I have used the low E string 7th fret harmonic to tune the B string and the 7th fret A string harmonic to tune the high E.
Great tips on producing harmonics. Thanks
Great lesson, and fooling around with it after the lesson I found it is easier for me to approach it from the side so my finger just touches the string and rests up against the side of the neck. Seems for me at least more consistent especially when pulling my finger off the string.
great job Tony, could you do the harmonics from the 12 th fret below while doing the harmonics one string at a time while holding the chord shape with the fretting hand and using the index and the thumb. I saw it once and can’t find it again. Thanks
Nice — thanks! I think that it’s also useful to understand what is happening to the vibration of the string when we play a harmonic. When we play a 12th fret harmonic we make a fixed point (like at the nut and bridge) at the middle of the sting and so it vibrates in a kind of wave form with the top half of the sting moving up and down in sync with the lower part moving down and up. When we play a 7th fret harmonic we make a fixed point one third of the way along the string and it vibrates in a 3-part wave form with the top and bottom thirds moving up in down in sync with the middle third moving down and up — so there is actually a second fixed point two thirds of the way along the string. You can check this out by playing the harmonic using your finger on the other fixed point which should be about half way between the 19th an 20th frets. You will also find that when you play the harmonic the regular way you can touch the string there without deadening the note. Finally, when we play a 5th fret harmonic we divide the string into four with fixed points at the 5th fret (created by our finger), at the 12th fret and half way between the 12th fret and the bridge. At this point you may be asking yourself why I am telling you all this. Well, take a look at where the 3rd fixed point is on the string when you play the 5th fret harmonic, i.e., 3/4 of the way along the string from nut to bridge. It’s probably not too far away from where you typically pluck/strum. Now this is exactly the wrong place to pluck the string in this case, because that point on the string should not be moving. Instead, try plucking the string half way between there and the bridge, which will probably be somewhere near the bridge side of the sound hole. It is *much* easier to get the 5th fret harmonic to ring out if the string is plucked there. Sorry if I have been teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but this tip helped me a lot and I hope that it now helps someone else.
I thought it was Tony’s acoustic challenge?
Excellent Harmonics session.
Concern: Never heard of the 5 day challenge until today. Tried to find the cost…. Couldn’t. I don’t continue if I don’t know the costs. I will never sign up for anything unless I know everything in advance. I’m retired on fixed income, and cost is critical to me. Give us some clues. It should not be difficult to discover. These are my thoughts. Not everybody is in the same boat.
Cost for 5 day,
Cost for 10 day,
Fretboard Wizard, etc. ??????????
Thanks so much!! It helped me very much!!
I use the harmonic on the low E at the 7th fret to tune the open B string and the harmonic on the A string at the 7th fret for the high E open. I find this a llittle better than using the 4th fretted G to tune the open B. Nevertheless, your video is well done and provides a very good introduction to harmonics. Thanks!
I appreciate you efforts at helping those of us who struggle to be just the simplest guitarist. Perhaps not even worthy of being called a guitarist.
“Little Martha” by the Allman Bros has a tasty harmonic run in one of the bridges. Can’t place the Zep intro.
Bron yaur stomp – tuned to C major
Another awesome instruction video.
Lindsey Buckingham uses some really nice harmonics in “Over My Head” – Fleetwood Mac:
THANKS! I never knew that the harmonics are hit the best with the position being over the active fret and not somewhere in-between the fret! I just wanted the sound and didn’t realize the positioning was a more effective producer.
Great lesson, but would have liked to see you use them in a song. Also, in your title. I think you meant to use the word emerge instead of immerse. Thanks for the lesson!
Very good lesson, Tony. That was a “light bulb” lesson for me for sure🤓
Been playing for a long time now. I found you by accident going thru my emails one day and have really enjoyed all the cool tips and techniques you discuss and demonstrate. You are a great teacher and I like your approach to the simple things that we as guitar geeks forget sometimes. Keep up the great work Tony!!
It’s “Dazed and Confused “
Thanks for the lesson.