Zakk Wylde's crazy harmonics

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by turbineguy, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. turbineguy

    turbineguy Junior Member

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    I've been trying to figure out how he does that crazy wide-sweep picked harmonic from the intro to Mr Tinkertrain. I watched a video clip of him on another thread in this forum where he discussed & played pick squeals, but it wasn't quite what I was thinking of.
     
  2. VoodooHighway

    VoodooHighway Senior Member

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  3. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    What Zakk calls "pick squeals" are also known as pinched harmonics. Oddly enough, there's no pinching involved. The basic idea is you're gripping the pick real close to the tip and right after you pick, you let the side of the pad of your thumb barely touch the string just to deaden the main tone. Look up pinch harmonics on youtube, you should find some helpful vids. It takes a ton of gain and some practice to get the feel of it.. and it works much better on certain areas of the neck than others. Zakk's active pickups surely play a role as well.
     
  4. turbineguy

    turbineguy Junior Member

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    Thanks, that was the vid I watched yesterday. I think you're right about the gain, but how do active pickups affect this?
     
  5. madams17

    madams17 Senior Member

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    Not that much. Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top does this quite a bit also, just in a different context than Zakk. Listen to the ending solo to La Grange and you will hear it.

    Moving your right hand up and down the string over the pickups will also have an effect on it, and you will find a sweet spot for different notes.
     
  6. MesaBoogie

    MesaBoogie Senior Member

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    I had a guitar lesson on this quite a while ago. My teacher said these pinched harmonics come in a couple of steps:

    Know your guitar: what you are basically doing is making fretted harmonics beyond the scope of your fretboard. You know, it's basically the same as fretting a chord and then taking your plectrum between thumb and middlefinger, lightly touching the 12 (or 3 or 5 or 7 for that matter)frets higher than the frets of your chords with your index and then plucking (it's easier done than said). So you have to do basically the same but then where you pick the note altogether.
    In your mind you are extending your fretboard to your bridge and then figure out where the corresponding frets are.

    With a lot of gain, you can get harmonics easier and thus pinched ones as well.

    As with anything IMO you should first practice this on an acoustic (no really), it may be faint, but you'll hear it when it's there.

    Hope this is kind of clear (doubt it though :fingersx: )

    Grtz,

    Mesa.
     

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