Can someone tell me the meaning of this bar of music. It says harmoinic pick on 17th fret but the notation is on E. Should'nt that on a higher octave A? As 17th fret would be A in standard tuning.

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  • could they mean fret the e (octave, 12th fret) and play a harmonic on 17? what is that called a pinch harmonic, or secondary harmonic. i don't have my guitar with me so can't see what note that would produce.
    – b3ko
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 19:05
  • @b3ko can't be a pinch according to the notation. There's secondo being played at the same time.
    – Rishi Sen
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 17:53
  • What piece is this. Would help to hear what it sounds like.
    – b3ko
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


Here is a link to a page with a chart of where the harmonics are on the guitar. According to that chart a harmonic which occurs at the 17th fret would be an interval three octaves above the open string.


  • Web links go away. Please add the chart to your answer.
    – empty
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:57
  • Wow that's a lot of detail in the link.
    – Rishi Sen
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:18
  • 2
    I will be back regarding @pro 's request for the chart. Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:55

I'm having trouble finding a good harmonic on 17th fret. 19th sounds good, but if anything, 17th will give a 10th interval from the fundamental - G# on an E.

  • No, G# is on the 16th fret (16 = 12 + 4), and as Lars said, 17th fret (that's 12+5) gives you E three octaves above the open string. Indeed it might be tricky to play, for instance you need to be careful about the plucking hand placement – it's easier if you pluck closer to the bridge. Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 23:23

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