Though the acoustic guitar is not usually something we run through effects pedals, it is still an instrument you can get many timbres from using the right techniques. One popular tool for achieving a different sound is harmonics. Using harmonics in your playing is a great way to add creative and interesting flare to your sound.

In her course, Take 5: Harmonics, Muriel Anderson shows you several ways to play harmonics, and the techniques used to achieve their best sounds.

Here are 3 free harmonics guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Muriel Anderson’s Take 5: Harmonics on TrueFire!

Harmonics Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Overview

Download the tab & notation for this harmonics guitar lesson

I’m going to really challenge you with this last etude. It’s short but packed with techniques that you can use in many different creative ways. I’m going to use the Lenny Breau technique together with a hammer on. This is the riff from the very end of “Mr. Bojangles” that I learned from Chet Atkins, and I also use my palm harmonics, both natural and fretted ones where you have to swoop your hand in the shape of the chord.

Harmonics Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Performance

Download the tab & notation for this harmonics guitar lesson

Let’s take a look at this performance study now and follow along with the tablature. It’s always a good idea to use the video tools here to slow down or loop any sections of the performance that you’re having trouble with. Play along with this video once you think you have it down.

Harmonics Guitar Lesson – Level 5: Breakdown

Download the tab & notation for this harmonics guitar lesson

Here I’ll go into the details of how to hold your palm and fingers to get the palm harmonics. The important thing is where you place your palm, exactly on the node, to get the harmonics. It doesn’t matter exactly where your index finger is located, strumming down. You might have to change the position of your right arm or of your guitar to grab these. For the fretted chords, you want your palm to approximate the shape of the chord as you swoop across, but don’t stress too much over it – it’s pretty forgiving.

Enjoying these free harmonics guitar lessons? Check out Take 5: Harmonics.