How do Harmonics work?

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by pavandude, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. pavandude

    pavandude New Member

    Maybe this's a question of physics, but i'd still like to know, why those certain spots, is it the tension at those parts least? And 1 more, do the dots on the fretboard represent harmonic scales?
  2. shak

    shak Harrr!

    it is pure physics .. first you ned to understand that when you pluck the string you basically produce a standing wave .. with wavelength = 2L where L is the length of the string ..and alos that frequency = speed of wave/length of wave

    natural harmonics: when you lightly touch string at 12th fret (almost the middle of the string) and then pluck you produce a standign wave with three nodes .. 2 at either ends and one at the twelfth fret where you lightly placed your finger .. this results in a shorter wavelength ... almost equal to L or 2L/2 .. thus frequency goes up by the factor of 2 and you ehar a sharp sound

    artificial harmonics: in this type you basically introduce a third node at the point where you pluck teh string . .depending on the wavelength of this stadning wave .. the frequncy becomes really high and you hear a sharp screaming sound . ..
  3. Double Click

    Double Click New Member

    Try searching the forum before you post....I'm pretty sure this topic has been discussed to death.

    No, the dots dont represent harmonnic scales. Theyre just there to help you keep track of your position on the fretboard.

    I shudder to think what alpha1's reply to this thread is going to be like :shock:
  4. shak

    shak Harrr!

    dots are better called "position markers" the name explains itself ..
    but its true .. you get better N.H at 3/5/7/12 frets etc ..
  5. pavandude

    pavandude New Member

    why the 2 position markers on the 12th fret? is it possible to get artificial harmonics on an acoustic?
  6. DrSaurabh

    DrSaurabh Wh@+s Up D0C

    yes it is possible to get artificial harmonics on an accoustic as per my knowledge......technically u can even play pinch harmonics on an accoustic...but they sound much more pronounced on an electric..with good pickups and a good amp...
    @ double clik...even me waiting for alpha 1s reply:);)
  7. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    ok this is what i know of artificial and natural harmonics.

    natural harmonics basically are formed by putting your finger lightly over a certain point that will create an extra node of vibration on the string after setting the string in vibration at another frequency. So basically, lets imagine you play the open D string. now th string is vibrating at the fundamental D note that you mainly hear and some other octaves of D overtones. by lightly placing your finger o n the 12th fret, you will cancel out the fundamental node of vibration that will allow another overtone (the one formed with a node at where your finger is) to be the dominant tone.

    artificial harmonics are the same thing - but you fret a note to artificially change the fundamental note. and then you can add a harmonic 12 frets down.

    now its possible to not just make the note that has twice the frequencey (half the wavelength) and hence is not just the next octave of the note a harmonic. i think the 7th fret interval works for the 5th because that changes the string length by precisely the amount required. the string length is basically half the wavelength. so by changing where you placve yor finger you create a different wavelength - its the same as playing a normal note in fact, except lightly touching a harmonic simply makes that overtone the mst dominant one.
  8. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Dont shudder, dont think.

    Am too tired to reply anything of significance.
  9. Double Click

    Double Click New Member

    YAAAAAAAAY :rock:
  10. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Yeah d00d
    am just back after collecting the Flying Vee.

  11. Double Click

    Double Click New Member

    I hate you.... :mad:

    .......................ummm heehee sorry bout that I meant.. I think u'r great :nw: ...u'r a ehem.. could I try out the V?
  12. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    uh oh!

    The V till now was with Ronnie, Bangalore.
    Now it is with me, not-Bangalore.

    d00d the guitar was there in Bangalore for one week, you shuddve checked with Ronnieanand.
  13. Double Click

    Double Click New Member


    Wait a sec....I thought u lived in bagalore?

    *mumble mumble lousy mumble simply confusing me mumble*

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