View Full Version : What does A.H. mean above tab or standard notation ?

05-06-2013, 04:25 PM
I'm working on a song and at the end is a little run that has an A.H. above several of the notes both on the tab line and the standard notation line.

After looking more carefully they are only above notes that have another an octave below , on the tab it reads 7 (19) with the A.H. above.

Anyone know what it represents ?

05-06-2013, 04:39 PM
A.H. = Artificial Harmonic

I'm not sure how to explain it.. but if you lightly put your finger at the 12th fret (but not actually fretting) and pluck it, you will hear the note played an octave higher. You can change the note by fretting the string and using your index finger of your strumming hand to lightly touch the half-way point and plucking with your thumb.

E.g. You hold down the 2nd fret and your right index finger will touch the 14th fret and you pluck that. That would be 2 (14). Same idea applies for 7 (19). Experiment with this and look up videos on YouTube explaining more. It's definitely a more advanced technique that can really distinguish your song.

05-06-2013, 04:47 PM
Actually I think you explained it well. I found a utube video of it and it's more than my abilities are currently but now I know. Thanks .

Ken Middleton
05-06-2013, 08:44 PM
There are two sorts of harmonics that apply to fretted instruments: natural (NH) and artificial (AH).

First of all natural harmonics. These can be played at varies places up the string e.g. 5th, 7th and 12th frets. Natural harmonics are produced using the full length of the string (open string). You play them by placing your finger lightly over the fret. For instance, place your finger lightly over the string at the 7th fret and you will get the harmonic that is one octave and a 5th above the fundamental (open string note). Most people know about how to get the octave harmonic above the 12th fret.

Artificial harmonics are produced when you artificially create a new fundamental by fretting the note as well e.g. fret the C string at the 2nd fret and the fundamental will in effect (artificially) become D. If you lightly place your right-hand pointer finger over the 14th fret, for instance, and pluck the string with your right-hand thumb, you will produce the artificial harmonic an octave above D.

By using the harmonics produced by the 5th, 7th and 12th frets, and using fretted noted as well, you can play all the notes you require. It is just a matter of working out whether it is easier to use a natural harmonic or an artificial one to obtain a particular note. You will see excellent players, like Jake, using these techniques a great deal.