mixing in pinch harmonics with lead lines/power chords

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by still.ill, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    mixing in pinch harmonics with lead lines/power chords
    i can play pinch harmonics fairly well just by themself now but find it really hard to play a pinch harmonic amonst regular leads and especially after power chord riffage--- for example welcome to the jungle i play the main riff and when it gets to that short lick with the pinch harmonic in it my hand position thats holding the pick is all messed up and i can't play the harmonic

    but i observed that slash doesnt play the harmonic live either--- so i guess i should just not give a crap and not practice this?
     
  2. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Get used to holding the pick in such a way that you only have to make a very minimal adjustment to your hand position to play a pinch harmonic. You should not grip the pick differently at all to play regular notes vs. pinch harmonics. I grip the pick between my thumb and the side of my index finger, with the side of my thumb protruding beyond the edge of the pick. To play a pinch harmonic, all I have to do is rotate my wrist slightly so that my thumb is closer to my body. This brings the edge of the thumb into position to drag across the string after the pick, creating the pinch harmonic. Using this technique you should be able to mix pinch harmonics very freely into rhythm or lead lines. That's how Satch, Vai, and others can pretty much throw them in at will.
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I use small, pointy picks and don't have much pick showing, and don't dig deeply into strings, so it is pretty easy for me also just to alter my angle to get pinch harmonics.
     
  4. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    yeah but i find playing power chords right before a pinch harmonic messes up my position completley
     
  5. ?&!

    ?&! Member

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    I've never had a problem getting pinch harmonics to squeal at will. I use small, pointy picks, and I adjust the angle just a tad and dig in. I will sometimes play entire songs with as many pinch harmonics as possible at rehearsal, just to annoy my band mates. If you want to learn how to grab every flavor of pinch harmonic under the sun, spend some time woodshedding the Reverend Billy G's leads on "Gimme All Your Lovin'". Get that one down, and you'll be able pop off squealers any time you please!
     
  6. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    What exactly is messing you up? Are you having to re-grip the pick when you change from one position to the other? If that's the case then you're not starting off with the right pick position. It really should be just a matter of rotating your wrist/changing your hand angle slightly. Experiment with gripping the pick in various ways until you find a position that allows you to pick regular notes and pinch harmonics without changing your grip on the pick at all.

    EDIT: I've used regular-shaped Fender and Dunlop Ultex picks for years - you can definitely pull of this technique with a normal pick.
     
  7. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    no i start off with the right pick position and than i play some power chords which somehow knocks my pick further into my hand so i can't play the harmonic that comes up
     
  8. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Try using picks with a matte finish or with some kind of textured surface. I switched from the Fender picks to the Ultex picks for that reason - the Ultex have a nice matte finish so they don't slide around. Also, you might be picking too hard - experiment with picking more gently and see if you can hold the pick in place.
     
  9. DamianL

    DamianL Member

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    I find that these picks pop harmonics beautifully...

    My new favourite, switched from Jazz IIIs....

    They are much floppier though...but if you grip near the tip they are hard enough for me...

    Great for rhythm and lead work

    Made of nylon like the Jazz III and great rubber grip surface



    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sadhaka

    Sadhaka Member

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    This is the post to read.

    May I just add:

    IMPORTANT! Don't forget that like natural harmonics, pinch harmonics only work at certain subdivisions of string length from the fretted note. If you are playing a power chord progression that has palm muting you will need to move your right hand forward some to get the correct harmonic position. There are several positions on a string that produce each harmonic.

    These harmonics are easier to achieve with the bridge pickup.
     
  11. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    You know Zakk Wylde ruined them for everyone!

    Like Sadhaka pointed out, learn the nodes, and be able to play every pitch at the harmonic point you want, I have my students who want to work on that, play through something like the whole Star Spangled Banner tune with all harmonics, keeping correct notes/intervals and on a clean tone. No distortion, it's too easy then. When they can do that, and know the string's divisions, they can do any rock harmonic thing in their sleep.

    Also practice with no pick, pretending to hold a pick and using only the flesh of the finger. It's harder (much) but, it lets you get a feel for the string and develop a very good touch. When you get them singing, a pick will be very, very easy.
     
  12. SvenHock

    SvenHock Member

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    Yes he did and though he's a great player, I cant stand listening to him or Ozzy anymore.
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Me too. Ozzy should've quit a long time ago, and left a great legacy.
     

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