Does anyone know how to generate these two types of sounds.

First one is 1:09 in this video

where he quickly plays two or three notes that sound like artifical harmonics. It seems he performs some kind of trick with his right hand but I'm not sure. Can anyone explain what is going on?

The other one occurs at 0:49 inside this video

He picks the string at the tuning screws! If I do that on my guitar it almost makes no sound. The performer uses a whammy type of pedel. But what is the trick behind this picking?

4 Answers 4


It looks like pinch harmonics is what you are referring to. It's difficult to explain in text, however you clip the string with your thumb after your pick it and it makes a high pitched screech.

This video seems to explain them well:

  • Indeed, it seems to be what is going on. Thank you. Do you have any idea about the other clip?
    – niaren
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 12:03
  • I'm not 100% sure, but it seems he is hitting the string above the nut, while holding his finger lightly on the string below (to cause a natural harmonic). I wasn't able to replicate it on my Les Paul - it could be due to the nut, body type, wood, pick I'm using or maybe I'm completely off the mark :)
    – Chris S
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 13:34

I've seen other players pick above the nut to get sounds that come through the pickup. Also, picking behind the bridge on Jazzmaster-style guitars is a very Sonic Youth/Nels Cline move. I would think you need to go hard to get noticeable vibration in the strings, but I don't know the technique.

I am sure that's a Whammy pedal that changes the pitch after the picking. Foot-controlled expression pedal for pitch shifting is exclusively the Digitech Whammy, as far as I know.

  • 1
    Yes. On the first video I noticed his left knee raising and lowering as soon as I saw the clip. I reckon it's an octave doubler. Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 16:38

The 1st is pintch harmonic

The 2nd is not. He plucks the string behind the stratocaster guitar nut and uses a Whammy Pedal to increase the note by one octave. Then he pulls the guitar lever (whammy bar)


They are definitely pinch harmonics. The key is going to be to find the correct notes in the left hand, and to find the right partial above the fundamental in the right hand. In other words move your right hand up and down the string to achieve higher and lower pinch harmonics.

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