Pinched Harmonics

A technique where the guitarist lightly touches the string with the thumb or pick edge while picking, creating a high-pitched, squealing sound.

Pinched harmonics, also known as artificial harmonics, are a distinctive and attention-grabbing technique in guitar playing, often used to add excitement, emphasis, or a unique tonal quality to a performance. By lightly touching the string with the thumb or edge of the pick while simultaneously striking it, guitarists can create a high-pitched, squealing sound that contrasts with the more typical timbre of the instrument. Pinched harmonics are frequently used in solos and riffs across various music genres, particularly in rock and metal styles.

Developing a clean and consistent pinched harmonic technique requires practice, focusing on hand positioning, pick angle, and precise finger placement. Incorporating pinched harmonics into one’s playing can greatly enhance the expressiveness and impact of a guitarist’s sound, contributing to the overall depth and emotion of their performance.

Check out these Licklibrary guitar Lessons and Courses to learn more about harmonic techniques on guitar.