Question about how to get good pinch harmonics with less distortion

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by jl2556, May 12, 2020.

  1. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    That is weird. I didn't even know the amp had something to do with pinch harmonics. Are we talking about squeals ? like dimebag / heavy metal thing ?
     
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  2. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Holic

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    The amp has nothing to do with producing pinch harmonics. More distortion will help soft harmonics ring out louder by amplifying the overtones, but otherwise it is all in the right hand.
     
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  3. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    In my experience, fresh strings and plenty of gain help with pinched harmonics, but it's totally a technique thing, which sounds like not a problem in this situation.

    I know that when I have been practicing my pinched harmonics and have my technique dialed (e.g. picking-hand thumb positioned correctly over the harmonic node and my pick/thumb strikes done correctly), the harmonics come out pretty strong no matter how much or little gain I have dialed up. All that said, in the heat of the moment my technique isn't always spot-on and I have found myself increasing gain to get the harmonics comparably loud to the rest of the notes I'm playing. I believe that if my technique were more perfect I wouldn't have to use so much gain. Speaking of technique, I personally have a much easier time catching those harmonics on a 24.75" scale guitar than on a 25.5" scale guitar. Never figured that one out. Please keep in mind that I am respectfully drawing from only my own experience.

    I just listened to Tobacco Road, and although Steve Vai's sound doesn't seem to be really compressed, there is a really healthy amount of gain/saturation going on, I wouldn't personally call it low-gain; it's not "Peavey 6505+ high gain" but it is heavily overdriven. I wonder if using a pedal without the mid-hump that a TS-9 has would get you closer to that sound.

    Finally, I ended up becoming a pretty capable tech and starting a successful and enjoyable side hustle because I tried to fix my guitars instead of my playing when my technique wasn't where I needed it to be. Once again, just my own experience, and no dish on your playing technique. If you can find some improvement for your problem through amp mods, that's something you can easily sell to others.
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could always try a DS1-- that has been a go to pedal for decades for a lot of guys that are masters of pinch harmonics. I believe both Vai and Satch were comfortable doing guitar clinics at places like Guitar Center as long as they had a DS1 and a delay pedal going into just about any backline tube amp.
     
  5. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    Here's my secret. It's easy:

    complex musical score.gif
     
  6. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    Because they are F'ing awesome. Vivian Campbell, Tracy G (love the Live Evil album), many others.

    I have a friend who can get them everywhere, acoustically, unplugged electric, plugged in electric. I can't get them to save my life except for the accidental Robbie Roberston/Roy Buchanon pinch squeal.
     
  7. hepular

    hepular Tele-Meister

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    ymmv. f-ing annoying to me. 'course that could be cuz they drove me nuts when i'd hit 'em w/o trying on acoustic, back when i played with a pick
     
  8. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm jealous. LOL. I can't do them.
     
  9. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    A compressor/limiter set just so and no more can help pinchies bloom. Trial and error dialling one in. Just being plain loud helps too.
    Bringing the squealie up without flattening dynamics is a fun exercise in listening. I find mine stand out far more when I have a simple pedal chain with regard to boosting ( compressor, maybe boost or overdrive ) and a wound up amp than when I engage one of my beloved fuzz boxes. I can control them with my wah pedal too. Try finding a particularly satisfying pinchie and repeating it as you alter a wah.
    Try putting a loop pedal -first- in your chain, pull off a few squeals into the looper, then and only then, mess with the pedals/amp controls. The looper will eliminate variables and free you up to twist knobs and slide sliders.

    Note : I don't shred. I'd like to be able to, but, alas, my skill set falls shy of achieving adequacy. In terms of my pinch harmonics, I align with Rory and Billy G ( not overall playing, to be clear ) rather than Steve Vai. I also rarely use a pick, but I can get any damn note to squeal if I want to. Often, even if I don't.
     
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