Instructables
Picture of Pinch Harmonics on an Electric Guitar
What is a (natural) harmonic?

A natural harmonic is a musical note played by preventing or amplifying vibration of certain overtones of a guitar string.  They are usually played by lightly placing a finger on a string at a nodal point (where the string is divided in ½, ¼, etc.).  When picked,  the string vibrates at a higher frequency than the fundamental tone causing a higher pitched overtone.

What is a pinch harmonic?

A pinch harmonic is a guitar technique in which the player's thumb or index finger on the picking hand slightly catches the string at a nodal point near the pickups after it is picked which cancels the fundamental tone of the string, and lets one of the overtones dominate. The result is a high pitch squeal.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Amp or Pedal Settings

Picture of Amp or Pedal Settings
Turn up the gain on your amplifier or use a distortion pedal.  

(Note: The more distortion, the easier it is to play a pinch harmonic.)

Step 2: Holding the Pick

Picture of Holding the Pick
Hold your pick so only a small piece of it can be seen between your thumb and index finger.

Step 3: Pick a note

Picture of Pick a note
Fret the 3rd string (g in standard tuning) at the 12th fret. 

Note: Pinch harmonics can be played with any note on any string, but I find they are easiest to play on the g string.

Step 4: Find the harmonic points near the pick ups

Picture of Find the harmonic points near the pick ups
20130207_215607.jpg
Pick the string and lightly touch it with your index finger at various points to find the natural harmonic points over the pick-ups.  Make mental note of the location of these points.

Step 5: Pick hand technique

Picture of Pick hand technique
20130207_215725.jpg
20130207_215754.jpg
Pick the string and follow through with a slight roll with your pick hand so that your thumb lightly touches the string at a point we found in the previous step.

Pay Attention!
Make sure to lift your thumb after making contact so the string is not completely muted.

Step 6: Add some style

Picture of Add some style
Add string bends or use a whammy bar after picking to make the pinch harmonic really ring out.

is that a 50 year commemorative explorer with rounded edges or a knockoff explorer

nice guitar what type is it . o good instructables
harpe (author)  hellmaster99310 months ago
It's an Epiphone Explorer with EMG pickups
yas400010 months ago
It looks like a dean ml xm
randofo1 year ago
Cool Instructable. A video or sound recording would be really helpful to people who might not know what this is supposed to sound like.