4 Harmonics


To me, harmonics sound like a bit like a doorbell. They are light and airy which can sound amazing in band situations. This techniques is usually used to fill out a sound rather than be the main focus, and can give amazing sounds when paired with effects [link].

A Harmonic sounds like this

[insert sound clip]

It sounds very different to the guitar sound we know and love, but still sounds amazing. So how do we play it?

The first thing to know is that you can only play harmonics on certain parts of a guitar. The neckbeard below shows you where you can play them.

[insert neckboard]

Now we have our places and where we can play them, we need to know how to play them. Instead of pressing our finger on the fretboard between the frets, we rest our finger on the string above the frets as you can see here

[insert a yes and no pic of harmincs]

When you pick in this position you will hear that lovely sound. When we play the string, we expect to hear the full sound, but our finger actually dampens the sound and absorbs the main sound we usually hear. This leaves what we call ‘the harmonics’ left to play through the string. Because of this, it’s important to remove your finger after you have played the sound otherwise you finger will absorb the harmonics too.

This lovely technique can help you thicken out the sound of a band and help you spark ideas for other songs!