Mon 27 Apr, 2009 11:09 pm
I was just listening to the Beatles 'Nowhere Man' and realised that a single guitar harmonic is used at the end of chorus. Is that the earliest use of that sound in a commercial recording? I'm racking my brain to think of other examples but the only one I can think of right now is The Cure's '10:15'.
If you don't know what I'm talking about maybe Panz can explain it better.
Basically if you lightly touch a guitar string over the 12th fret a bell like tone comes out. You can also get them doing the same thing of the 10th, 7th, 5th (and 4th if you're a decent picker) frets. I used to use them a bit playing bass - Jaco Pastorius was huge on them.
Oh, I just thought of another one: Heart's Barracuda's intro riff - after the chugger chugger guitar bit they hit a couple of harmonics and bend the neck for a tremelo effect.
The poular "classic" piece, Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (1939), has at least one harmonic episode. I suggest you investigate the earliest recording of this.
I love Concierto de Aranjuez (even drove through the town as homage). I will flag it but by commercial I'm thinking more contemporary/popular.
you explained it fine but it goes way back to the 20's as you can hear in this Blind Blake recording of Police Dog Blues. Blind Blake really inspired me to learn finger picking
Thanks Panz - that is a good example, clear as!
Wikipedia gives technical description (even gives EVH's tapped harmonics a mention): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_harmonics
Well if no-one can pre-date Blind Blake I'm going to turn this discussion over to commercially popular tracks you suddenly notice use guitar harmonics.
good idea...and I'll go you one further
let's open it up to harmonics on bass...and for that you have to start with Jaco
get a load of this...
I bought that album relatively early in my playing days - and was inspired to write a small piece that used bass harmonics as chords.
A guitarist I used to play with showed me how to pick and tap harmonic with the same hand - so you could drink a beer with the other
Who was the bass player who used to use both hands above the fret board and play it like a piano?
I think most string musicians have known about the technique for decades, probably back to the days of lutes. Not a guitar, but I think Earl Scruggs was playing harmonics on bluegrass banjo in the 4os or 50s. If I remember right--it's been years--he used it on a tune called I think "Bugle Call Rag" sometime before 1960.
you're absolutely right jack...I couldn't find a video of Earl but found one of JD Crowe playing it