It can be heard, for example,

What's the name of this short bright sound and how to produce it?


This bright sound (it needn't be short) is called "harmonics", and it can be produced by putting a finger lightly on a nodal point of an open string- that is, some small fraction of the length (a half, a third, a quarter...) and plucking that string. This will result in a note an octave higher than the open string (if you touch the string halfway), an octave and a fifth higher (third way), two octaves higher (fourth way), and so forth up the harmonic series.

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    There are also some tutorials like youtube.com/watch?v=MPiPW4ZfCt4 (was missing 'harmonics' to find it before). Thanks! – neek Apr 26 '16 at 11:11
  • Sure thing, neek. Have fun! – Scott Wallace Apr 26 '16 at 11:54
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    Natural harmonics to be precise – teodozjan Apr 26 '16 at 13:01

They're harmonics, but they don't HAVE to be from open strings, (these examples are), although they're the easiest to produce. Best sounding when plucked very close to the bridge. If a string is fretted, you can use the thumb at the node (any of them) and pluck the note, usually with your pick. They're called pinched harmonics, and are most often heard on electric guitar tracks.

  • Quite right, they needn't be open strings. Thanks for the elaboration, Tim. – Scott Wallace Apr 26 '16 at 11:53

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