Pick motion for pinch harmonics

I’ve decided that I just don’t do enough pinch harmonics, so now I’m trying to integrate them with my playing (basically 2WPS with some double-escaped); yeah, I gotta cover the cake in frosting.

The best pinch harmonics that I can do are DWPS trapped rest strokes where my thumb “bounces off” the string that is ringing.

I can’t do them at all on UWPS.

I can do them somewhat OK on double-escaped motions, but really on the downstoke only.

How do you do them? And has @Troy made any remarks about this? I am about to make this statement, and wondering if it is correct: “Pinch harmonics can only be made on downstrokes when the thumb brushes agaist the string that is ringing.”

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This is a very good lesson on them :slight_smile:


Check out some Frank for upstroke right hand harmonics:


Oh yeah that was cool and unusual, at times I could also do it (not consistently). However, I have no idea how this can be compatible with causality :rofl:

Edit: I mean, the thumb has crossed the string before the pickstroke! (Or maybe at the same time?)

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Pinch harmonics are an application where finger movement is worth its weight in gold.

Holding the pick in the standard style, fret the 7th fret. Rest the side of your thumb on the string over the 19th fret, and then use finger and thumb movement to make the pick sound the string. With some practice, you’ll be able to get clear artificial harmonics with both up and down strokes.

I must admit that pinch harmonics are something I always struggled with.

I could never switch from normal picking to the pinch shape fast enough. My pick always seemed to be too far out from my thumb to make contact at the same time.

This week I intend to fix this and those videos and the advice from @ShadowoftheSun are really useful.

In the past I always used a strange method of switching the pick to my 2nd finger and thumb to do the string pick then using my 1st finger to rest on the string and execute the harmonic. This is a very accurate method as you can easily locate the right harmonic with the index finger. But it takes too long to do the switch of the pick between the index finger and 2nd finger and back.

Unfortunately I developed this technique when I was starting out years ago and now it’s sort of an automatic thing and if I try and do it fast it of course sometimes completly derails the sequence.

I intend to try and change that this week with the advice on this post and other posts.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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