A harmonic is a type of sound you can get out of guitar that has more of a bell or chime feel to it. They are very useful for different types of effects in different situations. The lesson will focus on the most basic of harmonics commonly called natural harmonics.
A harmonic is done by lightly pressing a finger on a guitar string in certain areas. Done correctly you can create different notes with the bell or chime sound. For example.
Harmonics are usually notated either using '< >' around a fret number or by using N.H (stands for natural harmonic) above the fret number. The fret number refers to which fret we play the harmonic at. For the above tab that would be the 12th fret.
Usually when playing the guitar we would fret at the 12th fret, placing our finger directly onto the fingerboard just behind the 12th fret. When playing harmonics, you do not want to actually fret all the way down. Instead your finger should just lightly touch the string and your finger should be exactly above the 12th fret, not slightly behind the fret but exactly above. While your finger is in that position, pick the string with your right hand. The harmonic should sound although it's a little muddy, this is because your left hand finger is still touching the string stopping some of the vibrations. So after you pluck the string, remove your left hand finger off the string and the harmonic should ring clear. If you a little confused here is step by step guide.
- - Take any finger and place it as if you were going to fret the guitar. Instead of actually fretting just lightly touch the guitar string.
- - Place the finger directly above the 12th fret. Not slightly behind the fret as done when actually fretting but instead directly above the actual 12th fret.
- - Take your right hand and pick that string
- - Just after you pick, remove your left hand so the harmonic rings clear.
With some practice you will get it. Harmonics are not found everywhere on the guitar, just in certain places. For the most part, harmonics are usually played on either the 12th, 7th or 5th frets.