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Thread: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

  1. #1
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    Default how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    anyone have any clues as to how he gets those screaming harmonics? is just great technique or is effects, or maybe both. I am trying to learn no more tears and the harmonics i am getting pretty weak compared to his. any help will be appreciated.

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    Super Toneologist Ball&Chain's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Its technique mostly. Im sure the equipment he has doesnt hurt, but you can pretty much get them with a decent guitar with a good responsive pickup and an amp with a good amount of gain. If you dont nail the pinch, it really doesnt matter what the equipment is because your not going to hear a sound thats not there. So, practice for accuracy is key.

    Another thing that helps is a nice thick pick. I tend to like the more pointed ends, but you can get by with a more rounded end also. you really dont want the pick to bend at all, so a 1mm plus pick is a good bet. Right now im using a 3mm v-pick and it seems to do really well for pinch harmonics.

    where you pick has alot of effect as well. its going to sound different if you pinch near the neck as opposed to just in front of the pickup and anywhere in between.

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Hit the string with your pick and your thumb kinda at the same time. there is also 3 sweet spots over and between the pick ups that will give you a different harmonic. Try it on your a string d or e string g, there are very easy there. Hope that helps a little.

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    KatyPerryologist astrozombie's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    i use .60mm picks, while it IS easier to do with thick picks, i find i can perform them on any pick.

    its just like anything in life bro: it takes practice. dont get discouraged if you cant nail em like zakk does: remember he gets to redo it as many times as he wants in the studio.

    when i started out, my harmonics were weak, but with years of practice... theyre second nature.

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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Two things I learned from experience: set the presence higher on your amp and use pickups with extended midrange like the JB or Dimarzios. The best players get variety of pinch harmonics with slightly driven amps because of technique. Search Eric Johnson instructional video on Youtube. He shows a dozen ways to get harmonics.

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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    great thanks for the tips i have been practicing and they are getting better but the still do not squeal like zakks, but i am getting closer. the guitar i use is a washburn wi14 that has been gutted and rewired with better pots and i have the sd hot rod set for pu (jb-4 bridge, jazz neck) i was wondering if the difference was that he uses active pickups versus me using passive. oh yeaj almost forgot i really like the red jazz 3 picks.

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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Quote Originally Posted by jackson111 View Post
    great thanks for the tips i have been practicing and they are getting better but the still do not squeal like zakks, but i am getting closer. the guitar i use is a washburn wi14 that has been gutted and rewired with better pots and i have the sd hot rod set for pu (jb-4 bridge, jazz neck) i was wondering if the difference was that he uses active pickups versus me using passive. oh yeaj almost forgot i really like the red jazz 3 picks.
    I believe the opposite. It is easier to get a variety of harmonics with passive pickups. EMG 81 is the best pickup for the kind you want. Zakk gets them but listen to Shadows fall too because they get the same wilde (pun) harmonics as Zakk does He uses EMG 81 too.

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    Toneologist Crane's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    I had a 40watt Fender amp that I could not get past 1 on the volume - and it was hard as heck to get pinch harmonics

    then I got a 5 watt Fender Vibro Champ and viola - I am getting harmonics without even trying
    one time, I looked down at the guitar to see where the sound was coming from cause I wasn't even trying....

    i'm not saying to go out and buy a tiny amp,
    but once you know how to do them, imho the rest is gear

    also : on one of my guitars, i can get pinch harmonics out of the bridge hb, but not out of the neck hb

  9. #9
    Jay 77
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Pick thickness doesn't make much difference, since you need to choke down on them anyway. You need an amp with some gain (not necessarily a ton), and from there it's a matter of technique. The JB you have should be just fine. Just practice, practice, practice. You'll find that once you hit one, you'll be able to do them regularly. You just need to get to that point first. Good luck!

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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    It's also a matter of knowing your instrument. My technique is slightly different getting harmonics from my Hamer than from my Epihpone, then from my Charvel, etc. They all have different pick ups so this is a factor as well. The thick mahogany of the Hamer seems to be the most condusive to getting them. It has a Custom in it, and I drive my amp with a tube screamer so I do have a good amount of gain as well.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    On the low strings, fret a note with your index finger and try lightly touching 3 frets up from where you're fretting with your pinky, then pick. Wiggle your index finger and you get a Zakk harmonic. Might not technically be a 'pinch harmonic' but it sounds the same.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Metalman_666's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Practice the technique clean. If you leave your amp on a clean channel and hit all those sweet spots, it won't be a screaming, loud pinch but you'll hear the harmonic clearly enough when you nail it. Perfect pinch harmonics on the clean channel with your JB and you're well on your way to Zakk-style ones with heavy gain.
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    Riffologist Extraordinaire ex-250's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    what ive always found to make a difference is use some biiiiig vibrato. that gets things more in the zakk realm of things.
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    Zuhahahaologist daemon barbeque's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Mr. Wylde uses a small trick to make his harmonics bigger than they actually are. The drive and chorus he uses beef up the harmonics.
    He uses thick strings to get fuller harmonics.
    On that particular song, the harmonics where made closer to the neck instead of typical picking point.
    Every time you pinch a note, you have to move your picking hand to hit the sweet spot, and vibrate your noting finger as you would bend on a out of tune guitar to hit the right note.
    And the final trick, doubling the tracks with two different harmonics make them sound huge!

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    BrandNewGlossologist Diocletian's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    I find it really easy to get pinch harmonics even using strat pickups. But that's the problem. It becomes too easy and you end up doing them too much. Like Zakk.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    could the wood my guitar body be made of keeping the harmonics from being over the top? the wi14 has a basswood body. the other factor i forgot to tell you is the amp i have is a vypyr tube 120. it has the mx wylde pedal as one of the effects but it seems to hav no bottom end to it, all mid and high. when i switch to the plexi high gain channel and then stack the mx wylde effect on top the sound screams with harmonics but it is pretty noisy, plus the sound will feedback the second a note is silenced unless i turn off my pot or mute all the strings. as far as selecting an amp modle with no effect the dual rectifier, sounds the best for bringing out the harmonics, the jsx and 6505 models aren't bad either.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Oceano's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    Really you're equipment will only help your pinch harmonic sound more like Zakk's. It won't help you make them come out. Most people that get good at it can make them come out of a clean or acoustic guitar. There's a youtube video of Billy Gibbons showing how he does pinchies with very low gain. He shows where harmonics are past the frets and then picks there with his pick and thumb, and BAM! It really helped me make my technique better so that I could do Zakk-ish/Killswitch Engage-ish pinchies as well as very low gain ZZTop type ones.

    Keep practicing bro and don't give up

  18. #18
    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    When I really want some digging over the top pinch harmonics: (and I love em!)

    I choke down on the pick leaving just a small tip showing.

    Twist the pick sideways as I pluck that note, rotating it out sort of, thus causing my thumb to barely scrape past the "just picked" string. (Thats what makes it ring)

    Bending the string as you pick it also helps.

    And nothing beats tons of gain for this technique.

    Good luck young padawan

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker jake_xms3_punk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    i think its all technique. tons of gain helps them ring but with the right technique you can do it on an acoustic.
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    The Drama Dude CTN's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to get pinch harmonics like zakk

    practice on an acoustic guitar. when you can do them flawlessly on an acoustic, then an electric will be a piece of cake.

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