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?Learning Natural and Artifical Harmonics for Lead Guitar

Aug 28, 2008
Natural Harmonic

The easiest harmonics to produce are probably "Natural Harmonics". The technique used is to play with an open string. You would pluck the string with the right hand with your pick as usual, and at the same time mildly touch your left finger to the string at the proper point and then remove it immediately. Your left finger forces the string to stay still in that point, hence creating a node, while the rest of it vibrates. The clarity the 'harmonic' relies upon how quickly you remove your finger. The most important thing about "Natural harmonics" is that where you place your left finger .This is so because it has to match the right placement of the node of the harmonic series you desire to produce.

In most cases you require to place your finger above the fret, not the gap in between them. You can acquire all the "harmonic" easily with a little practice except the 9th fret that is fairly difficult to get. The 12th fret is simplest and best lace to start.

Artificial Harmonic

"Natural harmonics" being created on open strings have limited notes which we can easily create. While "Artificial harmonics" include one more step and give a lot more possibilities, although they are much hard to play. Nevertheless, the principle is easy - we have just to shorten the string by fretting it somewhere. For example a 2nd harmonic although still comprising of 2 equal notes split in the middle would sound higher because we have shortened the string by fretting it.

It also signifies that we have to move the point that we produce the node up by half the distance we have moved up the fret board (so that we are still hitting the exact center of the part of the string that is free to move). Since we work out the positioning of the nodes as a division of the part of the string that is able to resonate, all of the nodes will be closer at hand, and will act on the string slightly. To actually play the "harmonic", since your left hand is busy in fretting the string, you must place a finger from your right hand on the appropriate point, and use some other finger on the same hand to really pull the string - this is not easy - pretty hard to perform but with practice you can meet the task.

To create "artificial harmonics", implement the exact same rules , simply remember that you have to adjust for the amount you have moved up the neck.Entire complex melodies can be played by practicing artificial harmonics , but if you are moving your fret hand up the string even to play successive notes, you also require to change the place to match the "harmonic "you are producing.

Both the techniques mentioned above are equally at home on a classical or electric guitar.
About the Author
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