Tapped Harmonics

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GrandHighpoobah

Tapped Harmonics

Post by GrandHighpoobah » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:22 pm

Hi, I'm new here.
I'm familiar with the concept of tapped harmonics, and on their own they don't present a problem, but I haven't gotten the hang of playing them as part of a chord. For instance, playing a tapped harmonic on the 2nd (or 14th) fret and playing another string at the same time. I haven't been able to find anything about this online, so I thought I'd post here. Anyway, thanks for the help.

Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:09 pm

Welcome, Oh Grand High Poobah! (Love your screen name)! :lol:

Please tell us a little bit about yourself in the "Introduce yourself" section. You'll get some warm welcomes and tips about getting around the site.

As to your question, we call them "artificial" harmonics.

In your example, we would normally touch the 14th fret lightly with the right hand index finger ("i") and pluck the string with the ring finger ("a"). This leaves your thumb ("p") and middle finger ("m") free to play any other notes in the chord.

It's one of the most astounding effects we have on the classical guitar. (Besides tremolo).

Hope that helps.

Have fun!

Alan

GrandHighpoobah

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by GrandHighpoobah » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:16 pm

Thanks for the quick response. What I really need to know, however, is how one would play an artificial harmonic on one string as well as another string at the same time. I just realized I wasn't very clear before, so I hope that helps a bit.

Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:59 pm

Ouch!

I've only seen one example of that and it's the last chord of Roland Dyens' "L'Hymne A L'Amour". It's a whole six string chord, but I'm not sure how it's executed. It appears that you have to sort of use the technic described above and drag the whole right hand from the 1st string to the 6th as quickly as possible. Find someone playing that piece on YouTube and see if you can figure it out.

Even as far back as Tarrega, composers have written passages using artificial harmonics and natural ones at the same time. But, playing more than one art. harm. at the same time seems like something you'd have to take your shoes and socks off or something.

Alan

John Kotopka

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by John Kotopka » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:47 am

It is indeed possible to play 2 artificial harmonics simultaneously, but it is very difficult.The fingers I and M are used for the harmonics and P and A are used to pluck the strings respectively. If you are using +12 fret harmonics (i.e. an octave), then this technique is only feasible if the LH finger on the higher-pitched string is even to, or more towards the bridge then the lower-pitched string. For instance, LH 1st finger on 5th string 3rd fret (C), and LH 3rd finger on 2nd string 5th fret (E), then the harmonic points would be at the 15th and 17th fret respectively. This is certainly do-able, but not of much practical use.

Assuming +12 fret harmonics still (fretted string length divided by 2 if you prefer), it's probably impossible to use this technique if, for example, LH 3 is on 5th string 3rd fret C, and LH 1 finger is on 2nd string 1st fret C, since the higher-pitched string fingering is more towards the nut and that would put the RH fingering into an extremely contorted position. However, since there are about 11 usable harmonic points along the length of every string (including fretted notes :) ), it's theoretically possible to use these kind of LH fingerings as well, although its use seems dubious at best.

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Blondie
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by Blondie » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:11 pm

Just to clarify, and assuming the OP wasn't mistaken with terminology, but tapped harmonics actually relates to how the sound is produced, not the type of harmonic. In other words, you could play a tapped artifical harmonic or a tapped natural harmonic.

I haven't seen this done in classical guitar but it is very popular in contemporary fingerstyle (steel strung) guitar and also in rock/metal (Eddie Van Halen does it a lot). Try whacking the inside of your forefinger firmly across all six strings at the 12ft fret (ie directly on the harmonic node over the fret wire). That's how you played tapped harmonics, they are not plucked.

You can apply the same technique to artificial harmonics, by fretting a note then tapping the string 12 frets above, for example. It gets trickier with more notes, and tends to be used a lot with open string tunings like DADGAD.

canoe man

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by canoe man » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:01 pm

To grandpoobah, the I am that I am. Tried it on my best guitar, I think tapped harmonics will remain effective in the electric world of guitar. I don't get much sound.

SavageTofu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:06 am

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by SavageTofu » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:00 pm

Electric guitar & steel string guitars are amplified with effects to help with those tapped harmonic bell tones. It would make sense that if you amplified your nylon that could possibly help in this endeavor.

SavageTofu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:06 am

Re: Tapped Harmonics

Post by SavageTofu » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:15 pm

probably easier with lower action... I notice it’s easier to attempt on my Córdoba GK Pro. The action is a little lower on those classical Flamenco style guitars.

And..... Just a lot of practice.

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