How To Play “Slap Harmonics” On The Guitar

ACADEMY  /  MODULE #9  /  Slap Harmonics


Slap harmonics are a great method to create strong accents and it looks cool when you smack the guitar to get high-pitched tones. Let’s take a look at how to play them, we’ll start by focusing on the 12th fret of the top three strings.
Using the middle finger of your picking hand, aim for the node points and slap your finger downwards against the fret and let it bounce back. In order for this to work, you must hit the strings directly above the fret wire - slap them hard and fast. The movement comes mostly from your wrist and fingers.

As well, you can do slap harmonics above the other node points, but I prefer to use the 12th and 19th fret. It can take some time to develop the right sound, just experiment to find the correct movement. If you don’t hear anything, it might be that you aren’t hitting the fret correctly or that your strings are too old and producing a dull sound.

Ex. 1


In this first exercise, we are going to slap chords. Since we are using our fretting hand, the node points will vary. For example on the A minor chord, the node points are on the 12th, 13th and 14th fret. We’ll have to slap the strings at a different angle in order to hit all the node points. When slapping other chords like G or D Major, you don’t have to worry too much about the exact location of all the harmonics, just aim for the most important ones that are possible to slap with one finger.

In this next exercise we’re using the same chord shape at different locations with more percussion, here we go!

Ex. 2