How to play a pinch harmonic on guitar

Man playing pinch harmonic on electric guitar
(Image credit: Future)

I still remember the first time I played a pinch harmonic.

I was 15 years old, rocking out in my basement. I hit the face-melter note at the end of a sloppy pentatonic lick (hey, we all start somewhere) and a pinch harmonic rang out, startling me. It was an accident, of course, and I spent the next hour trying to figure out how to play a pinch harmonic. After trying and failing countless times, I wondered if there had simply been some kind of glitch or electronic anomaly with my amp that had somehow produced a squealing noise where my normal note should have been.

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Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win. His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.