How To Play Harp Harmonics On Guitar

by Simon Candy

 

Harp Harmonic Guitar Lesson ImageIn this video lesson, I am going to show you how to play harp harmonics on your guitar.

Harp harmonics are one of the most unique, mind blowing, mesmerising sounds you can get from a guitar.

They have a beautiful, magical quality to them, and while they can look hard to play, I am going to show you the easiest, quickest, most efficient way to get up and going with harp harmonics on your guitar.

I will break down the basic technique of harp harmonics into just a few easy, simple to follow steps, so you can be up and playing with this incredible sounding technique on your guitar in no time.

Harp harmonics bring not just another sound to your instrument, but a whole new dimension from which to express yourself and create with on the guitar.

The harp harmonic technique can look difficult to play, but with just a little practice you can be up and running with this beautiful, magical sound in just a little time.

Check out the video below to learn how:

 

 

Harp Harmonic Lesson Content

Picking Hand Technique

 

Harp Harmonic Picking Hand Technique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Keep your index finger straight
2. Keep your thumb straight (don't bend the knuckle)
3. Keep a good distance between the index finger and thumb
4. Tip of index finger lightly touches the string directly over the 12th fret
5. Use your thumb to pluck the string to sound the harmonic

 

Always maintain a 12 fret distance between the fret hand and picking hand to sound the octave harmonic of any note:

Harp Harmonic Fretboard Diagram 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open String Harmonics

Practice using this technique to play the harmonics of each of the 6 open strings. Have your index finger lightly touch the string above the 12th fret, plucking it from behind with your thumb as shown in the diagram above

 

Harp Harmonic Open String Harmonics

 

 

 

 

Fretted Note Harmonics

Remember you must always maintain a 12 fret distance between your fretting and picking hand to sound the octave harmonic of a note.

For example, if you fret the first fretted note on the 6th string, you will need to place your index finger directly over the 13th fret (12 frets from where your fretting hand is), and then simply pluck the string from behind with your thumb to sound the harmonic of this note:

Harp Harmonic Fretboard Diagram 2 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you fret the 5th fretted note/6th string, you will need to place your index finger of the picking hand directly over the 17th fret/6th string (12 frets above the fret hand) to sound the harmonic of this note:

 

Harp Harmonic Fretboard Diagram 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this technique you can now sound the harmonic of any note, open or fretted, on your guitar.

 

Tracking Harmonics

Next, form a chord shape with your fretting hand and track the harmonics 12 frets above each note you are fretting:

 

• Open E Chord:

Harp Harmonic Tracking E Chord

 

 

 

 

 

• Open C Chord:

Harp Harmonic Tracking C Chord

 

 

 

 

 

• Open G Chord: 

Harp Harmonic Tracking G Chord

 

 

 

 

 

Harp Harmonics

To get the harp part of the harp harmonic sound, we simply alternate a harmonic note with a regular sounding note using the ring finger of the picking hand.

Here are two of the most common harp harmonic patterns.

 

• Harp Pattern 1:

Harp Harmonic Open String Pattern 1

 

 

 

 

• Harp Pattern 2:

Harp Harmonic Open String Pattern 2

 

 

 

 

Harp Harmonics - Isolated Chords:

Apply the harp harmonic pattern to isolated chords to begin training it into your playing.

 

• Open E Chord: 

Harp Harmonic Pattern E Chord 

 

 

 

 

• Open C Chord:

Harp Harmonic Pattern C Chord

 

 

 

 

 

• Open G Chord:

Harp Harmonic Pattern G Chord

 

 

 

 

 

Harp Harmonic Chord Progression:

Below is a typical harp harmonic chord progression similar to the one played in the video above:

Harp Harmonic Chord Progression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Learn how to play these 5 breathtaking harp harmonic chord progressions on your guitar