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Tutorial - All About Harmonics
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Pinch Harmonics - Part 2

Richard Lundmark 307 lessons

As I mentioned in the end of the last part, you can only produce the harmonics given to you by the divisions and nodes of the natural harmonics. You cannot produce something that is not there! I’ve seen instructional videos of guys playing an Amin Pentatonic scale, and stating that he will first play the A and then “notes from the scale, such as the minor third C”. This cracks me up, since this only means 2 things, first that the guy has no theoretical idea what he is talking about (regardless if he can whip out harmonics like Zakk himself), and secondly that his ear is in such a bad state that he doesn’t even hear that he is playing the major third (or fifth even) and not the minor third.

Another problem (as mentioned in the intro) is that I cannot transcribe all the stuff I do, since no program allows me to notate any other pinch harmonics other than the octave. This is a great flaw in all guitar software for notation uses, that they limit the notation of Harmonics to an extreme degree. When you want to notate the natural harmonic table across a string, the program only allows you to choose a particular fret, and then transform that to a harmonic. But, as we have seen so far, the placement of the natural harmonics are not all coinciding with the placement of a fret. They are exact divisions of the vibrating arc which is the string, and thus not all placed in accordance with the equal temperament 12-tone division of the fretted notes. Thus, I cannot for instance notate the 1/7th division, since that does not co-inside with an actual fret. Thus, I cannot properly TAB these harmonic examples for you with the programs available to me. To understand, and fully grasp these concepts, you need to pay close attention to the table of harmonics presented, and my video-examples and explanations.

However, I should also note that no notation tool I have come across has more advanced functions for harmonics than any other (including Guitar Pro, Finale, Sibelius, Tux Guitar, Power Tab), so I guess we just have to live with this, until one of the executives of those companies stumbles across this tutorial. :) So for now, just choose whatever layout and interface you like best, but for harmonics, use a pen and paper.

There are some places (as with the slap harmonics) where I HAVE notated the harmonics using the arbitrary "A.H." marking just to at least notate something for you. But when we get there, you will have to be aware that this is not fully correct, but rather a very big compromise.

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