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 Tapping/Harp Harmonics 
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Dr. X
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:20 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Ireland
Post Tapping/Harp Harmonics
Hi guys,

Quick question!
In many of Paul's songs, especially live, he taps the neck at various points and makes cool harmonic sounds. My question is: Whats he actually doing? Is it Harp Harmonics done on the octave note or is it actually tapping? Either way i cant get it to sound that good yet. Also is this the same technique used in viking kong?

Cheers for any replies.


Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:22 pm
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Superhero

Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:41 am
Posts: 1051
Location: Poland
Post Re: Tapping/Harp Harmonics
You tap the >fret< an octave above the note you're playing to get that sound in Viking Kong. It works the same as natural harmonics however. So you can tap 3/5/7/whatever interval above the note you're playing and you'll get the corresponding harmonic.

You can also get the harmonic by gently touching the string in the place of the harmonic and pulling your finger away as soon as you get the sound.

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Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:27 pm
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Dr. X
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:20 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Ireland
Post Re: Tapping/Harp Harmonics
Cool. Thats what i've been doing.... Guess i'll just have to keep practising.
Thanks.


Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:33 pm
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Motorman

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:16 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Tapping/Harp Harmonics
Ianasauras wrote:
Hi guys,

Quick question!
In many of Paul's songs, especially live, he taps the neck at various points and makes cool harmonic sounds. My question is: Whats he actually doing? Is it Harp Harmonics done on the octave note or is it actually tapping? Either way i cant get it to sound that good yet. Also is this the same technique used in viking kong?

Cheers for any replies.


From the videos it just looks like pretty straight forward taps, Van Halen or Brian May style.

4 frets up = 1 octave + 3rd
5 frets up = 2 octaves
7 frets up = 1 octave + 5th
9 frets up = 1 octave + 3rd
12 frets up = 1 octave

There are lots of factors that can influence the sound of a tapped harmonic.
Here are a few:

-new strings
-frets that are not worn flat
-using the very tip of your finger in a quick and hard motion
-your pickups
-the amount of gain in your signal
-effects

I realize most people here already know this stuff but in case anyone doesn't, that's about all I know when it comes to tapped harmonics.


Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:12 pm
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Motorman
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:50 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Canada
Post Re: Tapping/Harp Harmonics
Nowak already said it but you really have to focus on hitting exactly on the fret to get this to sound good, not even slightly ahead or behind it.


Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:15 am
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