Tech­nique Fo­cus

Nat­u­ral har­mon­ics

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY | METAL -

Dime­bag was the king of in­cred­i­bly clean and sus­tain­ing nat­u­ral har­monic screams, which he in­vari­ably played on the third string be­tween the 1st and 3rd frets. Nat­u­ral har­mon­ics are played by mo­men­tar­ily touch­ing the string at a node point and re­mov­ing the fin­ger to al­low the string to sus­tain. Th­ese node points – mostly po­si­tioned be­tween the fretwire, for ex­am­ple, just above the 3rd fret (fret 3.2 to be pre­cise) – pro­duce a high ‘D’ pitch. An­other use­ful har­monic is just above the 2nd fret (fret 2.3), which gives us a high ‘G’. Some­times the har­mon­ics line up with the fretwire such as the ‘A’ over the 2nd fret and the re­ally high G over the 1st fret. To pro­duce all of th­ese har­mon­ics re­quires a great deal of ac­cu­racy, which makes Dime­bag’s seem­ingly ef­fort­less per­for­mance style all the more im­pres­sive. Rather than pick­ing the notes, Dime would use the whammy bar to slacken the strings, then snap them back into po­si­tion while si­mul­ta­ne­ously touch­ing the cor­rect point on the string. In or­der to do this cleanly he also muted the other five strings us­ing his thumb and fin­gers.

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