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Weekly Riff | 2.17

Weekly Riff | 2.17

Finally!! A lesson with no distortion!!

Get ready for a crash course in harp-harmonics. In the same family as natural harmonics, the concept of harp-harmonics is a technique that employs a new use of the right hand to produce a very non-traditional sound on the guitar.

The easiest way to go about learning this technique (which can be used in a variety of applications from arpeggiated passages to full on melodic leads and solos) is to start out with a simple chord shape with your neck hand and a clean guitar tone. Then, take your right hand and pluck the string exactly 12 frets (1 octave) above where your hand is fretting the notes at. You can do this with any chord that you create with your left hand; just remember the right hand has to land 12 frets above where the left hand is.

Tim starts with the infamous A minor chord, and then takes all of the chord tones and with his right hand, plucks the corresponding string where his left hand is; exactly 12 frets up the neck. Using the first finger to tap the harmonic and then the thumb to pluck the string to create the tone, Tim uses a stick and run type of maneuver to quickly move around from each note in the arpeggio.

The secret with this technique is to use quick attack and clean picking in order to get just one string to resonate at a time, and with the right approach to one's attack; a tone very similar to a harp is produced, offering a very unique new take on traditional guitar technique.