Make My Guitar Squeal Like a Pig - Guitar Tip

A question from the 'Ask the Teacher" section at Rock House.

Luis Romero; Miami, FL Q: When listening to guitar solos I hear a sound that is like a whistle or a squeal made while the player is picking certain notes. It's a high pitched sound that I think is real cool and want to add this technique to my solos. Can you tell me what this is and how to play it?

A: It is called a "Pick Harmonic" and it was made popular in the 80's when there was an abundance of guitar solos in the music.

To play this technique you must hold the pick so that there is only a small section of the tip showing, as you pick the note in the same stroke you must touch the side of your thumb on the string but don't hold it there. Continue the stroke so your thumb only touches the string for a second.Where you pick the string has a big effect on the sound that comes out and every guitar has a different "Hot Spot" so you have to experiment a bit to find your guitar's best location.

It will take some time to learn this technique so don't get discouraged in the beginning just have some fun and your guitar will soon be squealing like a pig!

Hope this helps
Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House

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