Pinch harmonics

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 16, 2022

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A Pinch harmonic (also known as squelch picking, pick harmonic or squealy) is a guitar technique to achieve artificial harmonics in which the player’s thumb or index finger on the picking hand slightly catches the string after it is picked, canceling the fundamental frequency of the string, and letting one of the harmonics dominate. This results in a high-pitched sound which is particularly discernible on an electrically amplified guitar. By using string bending, a whammy bar, a wah-wah pedal, or other effects, electric guitarists are able to modulate the pitch, frequency, and timbre of pinch harmonics, resulting in a variety of sounds, the most common being a very high-pitched squeal.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

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