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Michael Johnson >> Guitar Techniques II >>


Teacher: Welcome class to the lesson series on Guitar Techniques. In this lesson you will learn various harmonic techniques. You will learn how to pick, fingerpick, and tap harmonics. This techniques sound very cool and I'm sure you all will enjoy this lesson. Let's get started, our first technique is picking harmonics.

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Basic 1

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Basic 1

Teacher: The harmonic sound is from down picking the fingernail, and then pick to create the harmonic. Here's an image of the technique.

Pick Harmonic - Fingernail


Teacher: The fingernail creates the note, and the pick after that shortens the vibrations of the note to create a harmonic. You can also use your pick and then hitting the thumb as well. Here's the technique.

Pick Harmonic - Thumb


Teacher: So use the pick first, and then the thumb to create the harmonic. Now there are specific "sweet" spots for picking harmonics. Try moving the picking hand to various positions and listen for the harmonic sweet spots. This next example illustrates this variation.

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Basic 2

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Basic 2

Teacher: Now notice the note on the 7th fret remains the same while the picking shifts positions, the video will give you a better idea for using this technique. You can use either fingernail/pick or pick/thumb harmonic picking. I prefer the fingernail/pick technique.

Audio: Can do Picking Harmonics, but didn't know I could change the sound at the pickups....

Teacher: Good point Audio, make sure your bridge pickup is selected. Using that pickup will pickup the harmonics closer to the bridge. Here's a scale using harmonic picking.

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Scale 1

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Scale1

Teacher: I use the A Minor Pentatonic scale, while harmonic picking in one position. You can alter harmonic picking positions as well. Try to find you favorite harmonic sweet spots. Here's a riff using harmonic picking.

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Riff 1

Part 1 - Pick Harmonics - Riff1

Teacher: Here I play a basic riff, the first bar is normal, the next with harmonic picking, and then shifting the harmonic picking to a different position. Notice how much you can change the sound of a riff using this technique. The video will give you a better idea of using this technique.

Miles: So you just pick up and down the string on the same note?

Teacher: Miles, you only down pick on all of these notes, that's how you create the harmonic picking sound. Either down pick fingernail/pick or pick/thumb. The picture I gave you earlier help illustrate this technique. Let's try another harmonic technique, in this example you fingerpick harmonics using your picking hand.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Basic 1

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Basic 1

Teacher: For this technique you play a note on the 7th fret, then with the picking hand you extend your index finger and slightly touching over the 19th fret and use your 3rd finger on that same hand to pick the note. The video will help illustrate this technique better. Here's a picture of the technique.

Harmonic Fingerpick 1


Audio: Is there another way, so you don't lose your Pick???

Teacher:
This is a tricky technique, it takes a little time to get use too. Audio I tuck my pick under my 2nd finger while switching to this technique. But to answer your question, no, you have to fingerpick the note. You can also play various positions to find harmonic sweet spots as well.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Basic 2

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Basic 2

Miles: I get it, it is suppose to make that sharp sound, that is what makes it sound like a harmonic right?

Teacher: You bet Miles. Notice in this example I hold the same fret note and move the fingerpick harmonic over the various fret positions. Make sure you hold them directly over the fret. You can also play scales using this technique as well.

John: If you pluck with the pick regularly and lightly touch the string above the same frets it will make a similar harmonic noise.

Teacher: John, yes that works as well, very good observations. There is now hard line rules on these techniques. I strongly suggest you all try experimenting with these techniques. Here's the A Minor Pentatonic scale using the last harmonic technique.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Scale 1

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Scale 1

Teacher: Notice how the fingerpick harmonic position mirrors the note positions as you descend the scale. In this example you are playing an octave harmonic using the octave position of the A Minor Pentatonic scale pattern. Visualizing the scale pattern while fingerpicking the harmonic is very important. Here's another example.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Scale 2

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Scale 2

Teacher: This example shifts the harmonic fingerpicking to another harmonic position. You use the same pentatonic pattern, only fingerpicking the harmonic starting on the 15th fret,

Miles: When i hit the string and try to do the harmonic the sound stops

Teacher: Miles try playing around by subtly changing positions, if you play on a dead harmonic position that will happen. Try to find the harmonic sweet spot. Let's try playing a riff using this technique.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Riff 1

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Riff 1

Teacher: I play a riff in the A Minor Pentatonic scale, and then harmonic fingerpick in the octave position. Notice how I follow the riff position in the octave position. Here's another riff.

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Riff 2

Part 2 - Fingerpick Harmonics - Riff 2

Teacher: This example starts with a basic riff in the A Minor Pentatonic, then shifts the position of the harmonic fingerpicking to create various harmonic sounds. It's best to start off with a very basic riff like this, build up your technique, and then build up to more advanced riffs. This technique is used by rock, jazz and classical guitarists. Time for harmonic tapping.

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Basic 1

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Basic 1

Teacher: Harmonic tapping is basically the same technique as the harmonic fingerpicking, but in this technique you tap the finger lightly over the fret. The same principle applies to the harmonic positions and various sweet spots as well. Here's an example of changing the the tapping positions.

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Basic 2

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Basic 2

Teacher: You hold the fret hand on the 7th fret/3rd string, while you change the harmonic tapping positions. You can use this technique on scales as well.

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Scale 1

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Scale 1

Teacher: You harmonic tap on the frets of the octave scale pattern while playing the A Minor Pentatonic.

Miles: I noticed if you move your finger on different frets and tap the same note it makes different sounds.

Teacher: Miles, yes, you change the harmonic sweet spots. Here's a harmonic tapping Eddie Van Halen style riff.

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Riff 1

Part 3 - Tap Harmonics - Riff 1

Teacher: In this example you hold an Em chord while tapping harmonics that follow the chord positions on the octave position. You later shift to the Am chord and follow the fingering. Here's two last techniques.

Part 4 - Various Harmonic Techniques 1

Part 4 - Various Harmonics Techniques 1

Teacher: You band the note on the 7th fret while tapping or fingerpicking on the various harmonic positions. Here's the last technique. The tab will show the pull-off, while the video illustrates the harmonic palm technique.

Part 4 - Various Harmonic Techniques 2

Part 4 - Various Harmonics Techniques 2

Teacher: In this example you play a one-hand pull-off while you run the crease of your hand lightly on the string while sliding downward. Make sure the crease of your hand lightly cups the string. Try experimenting with this technique.

Teacher: Well time to go, see you all next lesson!

Miles: thx teacher

Teacher: Bye!

Pat: thank you.

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