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Thread: Harmonics notation

  1. #1
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    Default Harmonics notation

    I am working through a beautiful version of Silent Night by Daniel Ho that I purchased through his website. Near the end of the song are some harmonics and I am unsure how to read the notation. See the end of the top measure in the image below: I take this to mean pinching the 2nd and 3rd string at the twelfth fret (in harmonic style, if that's a term). But what does the notation mean for the last three measures at the end of the song (harmonics 12, 7 and 5)?

    Attachment 113808

  2. #2
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    Upon further research, I have come to realize that natural harmonics can be produced not only at the 12th fret, but also at the 7th and 5th. Well you learn something new every day. But then what is the harmonic for the last note on the second to last line (2nd and 3rd strings 00)?

  3. #3
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    Reaching way back to piano lessons as a child, I believe the squiggle lines means that you roll quickly through the chord notes from bottom to top rather than playing the chord notes simultaneously.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camsuke View Post
    They are also played at the 12th fret, the notation should have probably listed them that way
    Thanks Campbell

    That’s what it sounded like in the recording. Not sure why it’s written that way but thanks.

    Andy

  5. #5
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    I've never seen that notation used before. Kind of confusing when the standard for harmonics is brackets in the tab: <12>.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    There's a bewildering array of options for notating harmonics, in both standard notation and tablature. But it's particularly confusing when a notator unnecessarily mixes styles within the same piece.

    Why is there no real standardization for indicating harmonics? Among other aspects, one must indicate (or default, or leave to the player's discretion):
    1. which string to play the harmonic on
    2. where to fret (or leave the string open)
    3. where to touch (or which order of harmonic to produce)—note that this is usually indicated relative to the fret point, rather than at the actual fret, at least for artificial harmonics.
    4. which hand to touch and/or pluck with
    5. which main pitch to notate: where you fret, where you touch, or the pitch heard?

    In addition, there are different techniques for producing harmonics (as by "tapping" or by thumb-knuckle touches), and harmonics above the 1st can be produced in at least two touch positions: a "7th fret" (i.e. 2nd) harmonic could be alternatively produced by touching near or over the sound hole.

    Harmonic notation is thus a notational quagmire. For instance, using the convention followed in the second line of the sample score, where the note heads and tablature positions correspond to the touch points (as with "<12>" in tablature also), how does the notator indicate an artificial harmonic?
    Thanks for this information Ubulele!
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

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