A guitar harmonic
is a musical note
played by preventing or amplifying vibration
of certain overtones
of a guitar
Music using harmonics
can contain very high pitch
notes difficult or impossible to reach by fretting
. Guitar harmonics also produce a different sound quality than fretted notes, and are one of many techniques used to create musical variety.
Harmonics are mainly generated manually by different playing techniques. Another method issound wave feedback of a guitar amplifier at high volume, which causes an "infinite" vibration of certainstring harmonics. A third method, magnetic string drivers like the EBow
, can generate string harmonics.
Harmonics are most often played by lightly placing a finger on a string at a nodal point
of one of the overtones at the moment when the string is driven. The finger immediately damps
all overtones that do not have a node near the location touched. The lowest-pitch overtone dominates the resulting sound.
When a guitar string
is plucked normally, the ear tends to hear the fundamental frequency
most prominently, colored by the presence of integer multiples of that frequency. The lowest frequency of vibration along the entire length of the string is known as the fundamental, while higher frequencies are referred to as overtones
. The fundamental and overtones, when sounded together, are perceived by the listener as a single tone, though the relative prominence of the frequencies......