The high-pitched, chimey notes heard throughout guitarist Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell’s lead lines and melodies in “Into the Fire” are the result of their frequent use of natural harmonics. Indicated by the abbreviation “N.H.,” a natural harmonic is performed by picking a string while lightly touching it with the tip or side of one of your fret-hand fingers directly over the indicated fretboard location, which represents a node.
For example, to play the natural harmonics heard in beat three of bar 2, lightly place your finger on the G string directly over the metal fret wire of the fifth fret, as opposed to in between the fourth and fifth frets, as you would do when fretting a note conventionally. Decimal numbers, such as the “2.3” in bar 43, indicate that the natural harmonic node is located approximately three 10ths (3/10) the distance from the second fret to the third.
A key element of Asking Alexandria’s heavy sound lies in their usage of drop-G# tuning (low to high, G# D# G# C# F A#) to produce deeply powerful, guttural-sounding riffs and power chords. However, to compensate for the slackened string tension that accompanies such extreme drop tunings, guitarists like Bruce and Liddell typically need to equip their guitars with unusually heavy-gauge strings, minimally ranging from .012 to .056 inches in diameter.
If you plan on playing this song with other musicians, you should set up a guitar accordingly. However, if you just want to jam along with the recording and don’t necessarily want to bother re-fitting and setting up your guitar with much thicker strings, you can certainly get away with using a set of .011s, or maybe even .010s, as long as you play with a light touch with both hands.
For Jeff Perrin's tab of "Into the Fire," check out the May 2018 issue of Guitar World.