I have a slight problem…I can’t seem to get any good harmonics outside of the seventh to twelfth fret range. Does anybody know why?

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Fresh (zingy) strings help… so, if you have old, dull strings, it will be hard(er).

Also, try to pluck closer to the bridge (where the strings are more taut), and remember that you might have to pluck a bit harder than you usually do to get the harmonics. Also, shift the position where you pluck slightly back and forth - you might accidentally mute the harmonics.

Finally, the harmonics in the lower part of the fretboard (1st to 5th fret) do NOT always coincide with the position of the frets, so you need to do some trial and error to find the right spots for the harmonics.


Quick question: would it be possible to play chords with harmonics?


So, I haven’t done a full deep dive on harmonics yet, but this would be some input to your question based on my current knowledge:

  • not all of the notes of the 12-tone scale can be generated using harmonics (assuming standard tuning); so, that already limits which chords even in theory could be played
  • I guess you could play a few select chords using the harmonics, which are available when you can find the three notes you need on three different strings, such that they all can ring at the same time. Remember that you don’t need to start with the root on the lowest string, but can use inversions and other voicings. Also - as is also true for standard chords on bass - the fifth can be omitted as it doesn’t really add anything - it’s more important to have the third and the seventh (or even the ninth or eleventh) included to get some nice chord flavors.
  • obviously, you won’t be able to strum these “harmonics chords”, but just plug them and let them ring
  • there might be additional possibilities for such chords when using so-called “artificial harmonics”, but this is rather advanced stuff

Hah, I actually just found this, which is probably exactly what you’re looking for…


Awesome, thanks so much!

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