Nothing chimes as vibrantly as a chord sounded entirely using natural harmonics. Unfortunately, the number of chords that can be
played this way isn’t terribly high. The workaround? Sneak in a fretted note or two. The chordal possibilities will increase exponentially.
For instance, here’s a harmonic-laden bridge section that suits an otherwise static groove in B minor. It passes through
Gadd9, Dadd4, and Aadd4, tagging several 12th-fret harmonics in the process, before cycling back to the Bm9 home chord. (The
notes in parentheses are optional.) Let all the notes ring over each other, play the fretted pitches delicately, and your listeners may
never suspect they’re hearing anything less than harmonics exclusively. — Jude Gold
PUT A RING ON IT
Because it still hasn’t gotten ringy enough for me, I’m going to throw some more cool, clangy cascades at you. These sound great
on acoustic or electric and will give a part in standard tuning a hip, open-tuning sound. The first half of bar 1 works over A and
involves a slightly challenging stretch between the first and third fingers of your fretting hand. The next two beats are easier since
the frets are closer together. Slide up the neck and do a similar move for Gmaj7 and then a neat E minor pentatonic run. Follow the
fingerings strictly and let freedom ring.
EVIL IN DROPPED-D
This is a twisted, Tool-sounding loop that is all about evil and darkness. The key to it is
revealed in the 1st bar. After hitting the open low D, pluck the C, hammer the octave D
at the 5th fret and let it ring, then hit the open low D again. But now when you go for the
subsequent octave D, hit the open fourth string (and let it sustain) and pull off with your
fourth finger to get the C. You’ll do the exact same moves but with an Eb clashing with
the open D notes. Hear how creepy that sounds? Yeah!