Brad teaches the basics of natural harmonics. He gives you tips and advice on practicing them. Natural Harmonics produce a wicked squealing sound that can really accent your playing.
Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 13:16Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
“Harmonic” is a term that is often used in the scientific field of acoustics. Harmonics are component frequencies that comprise a larger, fundamental frequency. The individual pitches or notes that occur in music are referred to as “fundamentals.” For example, the pitch we hear when the fifth string is struck is a fundamental. This fundamental is called “A”. The pitch that our ears perceive as “A” is actually a sum of several overtone frequencies called harmonics. When we hear a fundamental, our ears cannot distinguish the individual overtones. We only hear their resulting sum or fundamental.2. Natural Harmonics
A frequency is assigned to every pitch or note that we hear. Frequency is measured in a unit called hertz (abbreviated Hz). For example, the frequency of the open A string is 220Hz. Harmonics are integer multiples of this fundamental frequency. For example, if the length of the A string is divided in half, the resulting pitch is an octave higher. The 12th fret marks the exact center of a string. If a harmonic is plucked at the 12th fret, the frequency of the pitch doubles. The frequency of this harmonic is 440Hz. The pitch that results is still A, just one octave higher. If the length of string is divided into an even smaller section, a higher harmonic occurs.
Listen to the introduction music once again. The high chime-y sounds Brad creates are examples of “natural harmonics.” Many guitarists also refer to the sound produced by harmonics as a high pitched squealing sound. The harmonics he plays occur at either the 5th or 12th fret. Harmonics are a frequently used compositional technique. Compare the sound of a fretted note at the 12th fret to a harmonic played at the 12th fret. The pitch is the same, but the overall tone is quite different. Harmonics are added to a piece of music to add a contrasting tonal color.3. Where do Natural Harmonics Occur?
The easiest harmonics to produce occur at the 5th, 7th, and 12th frets of all six strings. The upper octaves of these harmonics are relatively easy to produce as well. These harmonics occur at the 17th and 19th frets. If you have a guitar with 24 frets, harmonics can be produced at the final fret. Due to how frequently they are used, Brad refers to these harmonics as the first set of natural harmonics.4. Performing Natural Harmonics
Note: Open the “Supplemental Content” tab for a fretboard diagram detailing where the first set of harmonics occurs. Brad has labeled the pitch produced by a harmonic at each location on the fretboard. What do you notice about the arrangement of these pitches?
Harmonics actually occur down the length of the entire string. However, many of these harmonics are very difficult to produce. As a result, these harmonics are used rather infrequently. For example, harmonics at the 9th and 3rd frets are occasionally used. These harmonics are typically used in rock and metal.
Note: It is much easier to produce natural harmonics on an electric guitar. Harmonics really jump out when played with a distorted tone. Also, scooping the midrange frequency of a distorted guitar tone increases the projection of harmonics.
Performing a natural harmonic is relatively easy. Begin by practicing harmonics at the 5th fret. Lightly rest the fleshy tip of the index finger on the string directly over the 5th fret. If your finger is not directly over the fret, the harmonic will not sound. Misplacement of a left hand finger while playing a harmonic usually results in a muted string.5. Combining Harmonics with Other Techniques
Do not press the string down at all. Once you pluck the string with the right hand, release your left hand finger from the string. Many instructors teach that you must immediately remove the left hand finger from the string to produce the harmonic. However, this is not true. You actually have a comfortable amount of time to remove your finger from the string. The tone of the harmonic blossoms and becomes richer once the finger is released from the string.
Practice playing harmonics at the 5th fret on each string. It is much easier to produce a loud and clear harmonic on the larger strings than on the smaller strings. Then, practice harmonics on the 7th fret and 12th fret. Harmonics at these locations are slightly easier to produce than harmonics at the 5th fret. Harmonics that are closer to the nut require a little more effort to produce a clear tone. Memorize the pitch that corresponds with each harmonic location.
Also, practice playing two harmonics simultaneously. Simply barre a left hand finger across the desired strings. Pluck them simultaneously. Then, quickly lift the barre from both strings.
Vibrato and bends are frequently combined with harmonics. These tricks are most commonly performed on guitars equipped with a floating tremolo system. A floating tremolo enables you to pull the whammy bar up. This raises the pitch. Guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Dimebag Darrell have exploited these techniques to great effect. Dimebag would frequently force a harmonic at the third fret. Then, he would raise the pitch of the harmonic with the whammy bar. Listen to the end of “Cemetery Gates” for a great example of this combination technique. You can also push the bar down to lower the pitch. Rapidly moving the bar up and down produces a unique form of vibrato.Chapter 4: (2:18) More Natural Harmonics The same harmonics produced at the 5th and 7th frets can also be played at the 17th and 19th frets respectively.
However, most guitars are not equipped with a floating tremolo. Brad demonstrates how to play these same techniques on a guitar with a fixed bridge such as a Les Paul. First, produce a harmonic. Then, use a left hand finger to manipulate the strings on the other side of the nut. The middle finger works the best since it is the strongest finger. Pressing a string down on this side of the nut raises the pitch. Jimmy Page uses this technique all of the time. Listen to the introduction of “Dazed and Confused” from the first Led Zeppelin album to hear some examples of harmonics combined with bends.
In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.
This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the 4th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. Includes 2 backing tracks.Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces drop D tuning in this lesson. He explains many advantages of this tuning.Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke teaches the G major pentatonic scale. He demonstrates all 5 patterns and explains how they can be transposed to any key.Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke talks about changing the pentatonic/blues scales with each chord in a chord progression.Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad will show how to use the Mixolydian scale with a blues chord progression.Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about gear and effects. Brad begins his discussion with power conditioning and removing hiss from your amplifier. He progresses to discuss a plethora of effects pedals. Brad explores...Length: 52:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Brad Henecke introduces the wah pedal and demonstrates its many applications.Length: 15:53 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
About Brad Henecke
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Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.
This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.
From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.
This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).
His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".
Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.
He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).
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