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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can do these like nobody's business, and had a buddy on another site ask for advice on them. I made this craptastic video to show my right hand. Excuse the obnoxious fuckin' riff and vibrato. :lol:


And basically how I hold the pick for channeling my inner Zakk. I do NOT usually use this much gain. :lol: My advice to him (and anyone else) is to dial in a sillyass supergain patch like this one and just woodshed them until you get the feel for how they're done.

Anyone have a better way to explain it? :D
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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you hold the pick in a more traditional way, i notice most of you guys do, i find the way i learned seems to let your thumb brush across the strings easier.

as for how i hold it, imagine a pair of soggy underwear that you found in your car seat and you had to pick it up, thats how i hold my pick.

its one of those things thats hard to explain, and just needs lots of practice


also, vibrato really helps the harmonics along too for people starting out, i guess it kinda carries the harmonic a little longer
 

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Where?!
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I'll have to spend some time with this, as I actually spent a fair bit of time practicing these this afternoon to get the pinch harmonic in the Inside Four Walls riff to really scream. Model timing sir!:)
 

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Nerdington Willoughby
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And obviously you have to pick in the right location to get the right harmonic...

Other than that, it's just one of things that's hard to teach, like walking or breathing.
 

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I miss you Avalanche
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I do NOT usually use this much gain. :lol: My advice to him (and anyone else) is to dial in a sillyass supergain patch like this one and just woodshed them until you get the feel for how they're done.
Fucking pussy! :fawk: :lol:

I don't understand why you would suggest to someone to make a sillass supergain patch? Are you suggesting he do that just to learn, and then go back to less gain?? Then what's the point? If he can't figure out how to do them on less gain, then he'll be dependent on the high gain setting.

PH's are so integral to my style of playing. That's why I use my sillyass supergain settings all the time. Imaging Zakk Wylde crossed with Adam D. from Killswitch... that's me on stage ;)

Oh, and on a 'suggestive' note, there's two major spots to strike the string with the pick. One, the most common, would be directly in the middle of where 2 humbuckers would be (which is why I can't play a H/S/H guitar, the S gets in the way!), and the other is right behind the neck pickup (again, humbucker size). You can get two different pitches hitting the same fret. I utilize this in one of Justdefy's songs, Sacrificial Pride.
 

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Nice slap-tastic ending.

About the only thing I can add, to make is easier for a beginner, is try JazzIII sized picks at first. It's easier to "choke up", and the sharper point releases the string more reliably so that the meaty side of the thumb and make contact.
 

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^Jazz III's are the shit, Only problem I have with them is losing them when I want to play other than that I have a ton lying around.

I've been playing them so long I can't play with regular sized picks anymore
 

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Looks a lot like my technique, Chris. I hold the pick with a bit straighter thumb than you, but otherwise the same. To hit a pinch harmonic, I just roll my hand a bit to let my thumb brush the strings. +1 on using an insane gain patch to learn.
 

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Devil
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I do NOT usually use this much gain.
:squint: ...Uh huh...

My advice to him (and anyone else) is to dial in a sillyass supergain patch like this one
*cough* 2101 :fawk:

The only thing I can add to this is a pinch harmonic is in actuality a variant on the touch harmonic which is a variant on a natural one.

For example, there are easy-to-find harmonics on the 5th and 7th frets. If you slide a finger of your left hand (assuming the player plays right handed) along the string past the frets (or over/between pickups...whatever way you want to look at it) while picking the corresponding string, you'll find various tones and textures of harmonics. Find a place where you like the sound and that's where your thumb should lightly rub the string as you simultaneously pick it. Then you put on ridiculous vibrato as if it's a joke and you got yourself a badass pinch harmonic (artificial harmonic for us music snobs).

If you want a scientific explanation of why this is, it all has to do with ratios and partially cutting off a strings vibration. It's easiest to get harmonics off of 5, 7, 12, 19, etc. due to the very even ratios (1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1/4 again respectively).

However, this isn't exactly very useful as the only time I've noticed open string harmonic abuse is when playing with touch harmonics and a trem (think Dimebag). When you fret a note, you are changing the distance between the end of the string and the bridge, so that "sweet spot" can vary depending on what note the left hand is holding. So if you find yourself being able to nail a nasty one with one fret, but get a dull *plink* out of a higher one, the thumb should touch closer to the bridge and vice versa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fucking pussy! :fawk: :lol:

I don't understand why you would suggest to someone to make a sillass supergain patch? Are you suggesting he do that just to learn, and then go back to less gain?? Then what's the point? If he can't figure out how to do them on less gain, then he'll be dependent on the high gain setting.
Because that's how I learned it, and I can do PH's really fuckin' well. You don't understand it because your tone is gosh darn ridiculous awful don'tcha know, and you need an asston of gain to cover all of your mistakes anyways and you can't even play leads. Please. :fawk:
 

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The Tremol-No Guy
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Looks a lot like my technique, Chris. I hold the pick with a bit straighter thumb than you, but otherwise the same. To hit a pinch harmonic, I just roll my hand a bit to let my thumb brush the strings. +1 on using an insane gain patch to learn.
I'm with you two clowns.
I actually have a callous on my thumb where the pinches hit. :)

I can get them in about 4 different places between the end of the neck and the beginning of the trem/bridge.
Practice them on one string at a time.
If you can get them in that area on the High E, you're kicking ass.
If you can whip out swept pinch harmonics, you're Rusty Cooley. :D

I would advise folks to listen to all of the 'Dave' VH albums.
Pinch harmonics all over the place (along with tapped and au natural)

Dime and Zack are other good examples.
Also check out old Nugent for some "normal gain" PH's.
 

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I miss you Avalanche
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... and you can't even play leads. Please. :fawk:
That's because I don't like to play solos. :fawk: Frankly, I don't understand why everyone makes such a big deal over soloing.

Once I finally got the technique down, I used to sit there and run a scale up and down using nothing but PH's, until I could hit a PH any fret, any string. Is very nice :D
 

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Head of Agile Gestapo
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Still working on getting them. I can barely do natural harmonics. :(
 

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Super Moderator
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Great video, Chris. :yesway: Nice tone and cool riffin'.

The other guitarist in my band and I have a joke side-project called "The Pinch Harmonic Orchestra" which is basically just Exsanguination songs (my main band) being played 100% with pinch harmonics. You really can't listen to it without laughing. Even when playing solos, every single note is pinch harmonic-ized (in solos that normally couldn't be pinch harmonic-ized, the way the solo is played is just changed so that it CAN be played 100% with pinch harmonics). And as a joke, sometimes I'd play old Ozzy songs like Crazy Train in this style, which is even more extreme than Zakk Wylde, because it's 100% pinch harmonics. :lol:

As for how to do pinch harmonics, I just explain it as holding the pick so there isn't much of the pick sticking out and to make sure that your skin really lightly brushes against the pick after you've picked. It's the combination of pick and skin that makes pinch harmonics.

I've noticed that EQ also has an effect on pinch harmonics where even with low gain, certain EQs will be more pinch harmonic-friendly than others.

I think your video should help people who aren't sure how to hold the pick. :yesway:
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Oh, and on a 'suggestive' note, there's two major spots to strike the string with the pick. One, the most common, would be directly in the middle of where 2 humbuckers would be (which is why I can't play a H/S/H guitar, the S gets in the way!), and the other is right behind the neck pickup (again, humbucker size). You can get two different pitches hitting the same fret. I utilize this in one of Justdefy's songs, Sacrificial Pride.
On another "suggestive" note, and from a guy who doesn't do many pure pinch harmonics, but is pretty much addicted to pinch semi-harmonics to bring out overtones while soloing... :fawk:

Actually, as I bet you recall from high school physics and the study of vibrating strings, a pinch harmonic needs to be done at a harmonic node, and not at some absolute fixed position exactly X" from such-and-such a pickup. With enough gain you can kind of fudge it, but to get really clean pinch harmonics out, you need to experiment a bit to get an intuitive feel for where exactly you need to "pinch" to get a pinch harmonic of such-and-such a pitch to ring out.

And solos are fun. Besides, chicks dig them, get back to me when you're getting laid after shows. :fawk: (and fair warning, if you come back with that "I don't want STD's" line again, I'm just gonna Cock Hunter you, because obviously you love the cock if you don't like sex. :fawk:)
 
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