Harmonic tapping

Aim of the exercise: Learn a different kind of tapping where you produce harmonics.
Exercise type: Tapping
Starting tempo: 40 beats per minute
Duration: 5 minutes

Producing harmonics by hammering on the frets

In this exercise you won't be tapping normally, where you actually fret the strings. Now you'll be hammering on the frets themselves, and you'll do it hard and fast, which will cause the guitar to produce loud harmonic sounds!

It doesn't work just anywhere though. Where you should hammer depends on where the string is fretted. You have several different harmonic possibilities for tapping. In the next table you can see the harmonics for the G string if it isn't fretted at all (you get the same harmonics if you slightly mute the strings right above the frets with you left hand and play them):

Distance Interval Note Scale step
12 frets 1 octave G 1
9 frets 2 octaves + maj 3rd B 3
7 frets 1 octave + 5th D 5
5 frets 2 octaves G 1
4 frets 2 octaves + maj 3rd B 3
3 ⅓ frets 2 octaves + 5th D 5
2 ⅔ frets 2 octaves + minor 7th F ♭7
2 ⅓ frets 3 octaves G 1

If you fret a note with the left hand you have to add the distance to the fret number. Let's say you fret the 3rd fret, the 1 octave harmonics is produced at the 15th fret (3 plus 12).


In this exercise you'll only be playing octaves. You'll be playing them on different strings and on different frets so you'll be moving your right hand up and about.

Only play each note once - fret it and then produce the sound by hammering on the fret! Remember - fast and hard!

First fret this chord with your left hand:


Now tap the same shape an octave higher by hammering on the frets themselves!

harmonic tapping sequence

Here's another chord:


And here's the tapping sequence, just like the previous one!

harmonic tapping sequence 2

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Start practicing! How much time do you have? In minutes.