How to get Pinch harmonics to really squeal on lower strings?

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
KVRer
21 posts since 28 Jul, 2020

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:31 pm

I can get good pinch harmonics on the thinner strings and while I get a Ok pinch harmonics on the lower strings, it does not squeal. I have tried all possible positions and different gain settings and also tried additional overdrive before the amp. (Hx Stomp with the Revv purple amp, Neural Cali with the OD2 and Hexdrive etc.)

Is it my technique? (I get decent squealies on the higher strings) or are my pups not hot enough?. I have the DiMarzio Tone Zone on the bridge pickup)

User avatar
Boss Lovin' DR
7785 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:12 pm

I'm no metel widdler, but for some daft reason I've always been pretty good at doing this stuff -always did it for a laugh whilst playing indie gigs.

I think it's mostly down to technique, as I can get the harmonics going even with minimal overdrive (and even unplugged... :hihi: ). I find that on the lower strings you've really got to dig in hard and fast (oooeerr..) to get the attack more and generate the real squeeelling. Apart from that, I have no clue! :scared:

User avatar
KVRAF
2686 posts since 15 Feb, 2017 from a worn out vinyl groove

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:39 pm

donkey tugger wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:12 pm
I'm no widdler, but for some daft reason I've always been pretty good at doing this stuff -always did it whilst playing .

I think it's mostly down to technique, I find that you've really got to dig in hard and fast (oooeerr..) to get the squeeelling. Apart from that, I have no clue! :scared:
ooooeeerr misses.. oooeerr
a maestro explaining his technique for squeeling
it doesn't come better...

User avatar
Boss Lovin' DR
7785 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:46 pm

toonertik wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:39 pm
donkey tugger wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:12 pm
I'm no widdler, but for some daft reason I've always been pretty good at doing this stuff -always did it whilst playing .

I think it's mostly down to technique, I find that you've really got to dig in hard and fast (oooeerr..) to get the squeeelling. Apart from that, I have no clue! :scared:
ooooeeerr misses.. oooeerr
a maestro explaining his technique for squeeling
it doesn't come better...

Squeal boy, like a pig. :help:

KVRer

Topic Starter

21 posts since 28 Jul, 2020

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:51 pm

LOL thanks.. so I guess no shortcuts, just more practice to make these pigs squeal :)

Rad Grandad
33126 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:55 pm

you gotta learn the points, on lower notes instead of pinch harmonics immediately after plucking my thumb hits the string to get the harmonic but your right hand has to be in the right place...there are no markers over the pick ups for visual representation so you have to find them and then become familiar with the positions. If you want to get harmonics through pinching lower strings understand the timbre will be difference, the physics are different between large and small dia strings :shrug:

User avatar
KVRAF
32301 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:57 pm

Hi-de-Hi!

User avatar
KVRian
682 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:08 pm

If you know how to get open string harmonics by muting at the harmonic nodes with your left hand, then you realize only certain spots produce a harmonic. Those spots are simple fractions of the strings length: ½ at the 12th fret & ¼ at the 5th fret for octaves, and ⅓ at the 7th fret for the perfect 5th. Plus a lot of harmonic content between the 2nd and 5th frets which includes octaves of those 3 primary harmonics, and lots of other high pitched micro-tonal harmonics as well.

Focusing on those harmonics from the 2nd to 5th frets, consider that since harmonics are products of mathematical division, whatever you do on one end of the string, you can do on the mirror opposite end. So all of those harmonics are also contained within the last 6 inches of the string above your pickups. Those are the same harmonics you are accessing with right hand pinch harmonics.

But you have to realize now that those harmonic nodes are in very specific spots, and the margin of error is relative to the length you are diving the string by, so you must hit them precisely with your thumb/pick. Adding to that difficulty is the fact that the "string" length shrinks when you fret the string with your left hand, which not only makes the target even smaller, it also moves it, since its location is based on fractions of the string length and thus completely dependent on the length of the vibrating part of the string. So you will need to learn exactly where those harmonics are in relation to each fretted note. As you fret higher up the neck, the spot you need to pick/mute is going to shift towards the bridge slightly with each note. The key here is really going to be familiarity and accuracy, both of which only come with practice and experimentation.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

KVRer

Topic Starter

21 posts since 28 Jul, 2020

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:49 pm

Totally agree with the all the posts above... I guess I need to practice & experiment hitting the right spots more. That video also is very informative. - (I was hoping for a "your pickups aren't hot enough" answer though ;)).

I pulled out my guitar and was able to get a sort of a high squeal at a certain spot on the low E by hitting it just right and then for the life of me could not repeat it :(.

I will keep at it... Thanks for the pointers!

Rad Grandad
33126 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:48 pm

when you hear a squeal in my playing it is a direct expression of glee :)

KVRAF
2042 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:04 pm

Try using different fingers for the squeal; for me, the ring finger works really well. YMMV.
Joy and kindness are acts of resistance -- fight the power!

User avatar
addled muppet weed
76917 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:53 am

Jafo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:04 pm
Try using different fingers for the squeal; for me, the ring finger works really well. YMMV.
we are still talking guitar? :?

User avatar
KVRAF
32301 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:44 am

:lol:
Hi-de-Hi!

User avatar
KVRian
682 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:51 am

vurt wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:53 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:04 pm
Try using different fingers for the squeal; for me, the ring finger works really well. YMMV.
we are still talking guitar? :?
The ring finger is the only one you don’t use. :shock:
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

User avatar
addled muppet weed
76917 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:18 am

jamcat wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:51 am
vurt wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:53 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:04 pm
Try using different fingers for the squeal; for me, the ring finger works really well. YMMV.
we are still talking guitar? :?
The ring finger is the only one you don’t use. :shock:
damn. wish id read this before last night!
ive mislaid my wedding ring...

Return to “Guitars”