23 Best Songs And Riffs That Use Pinch Harmonics


Pinch harmonics are cool! Once you master this technique, it’s really tempting not to throw that screaming note in everything you play. If you really enjoy playing it (who doesn’t?), then you must wonder what songs and riffs use it.

Here’s the list of famous songs and riffs that use pinch harmonics. I tried to cover broad ranges of genres. In this list you’ll find metal classics, rock, hard rock, and even pop songs that use pinch harmonics!

Let’s go!

Btw., don’t forget to check out some great examples of songs that use whammy bar a lot. Check the article from this page, here.

1. Cemetery Gates By Pantera

This piece is perhaps one of the most known examples of pinch harmonic use. It starts slowly and somehow peacefully with that clean guitar intro with Phil Anselmo singing over it. After that, a distant, distorted solo notes come. That’s the moment you hear pinch harmonics.

But main part is when that famous riff played by Dimebag Darell kicks in. Tough, distorted sound mixed with lot of pinch harmonics creates that ominous feeling.

Anyway, not only this riff sounds great, but it’s also great for practicing your pinch harmonic technique.

If you didn’t hear it yet, check it on Youtube, here.

2. Wheels By Foo Fighters

If you like that old school, high school rock ‘n’ roll sound, then this is the song for you. This nice, catchy pop rock piece has really cool opening riff where you can hear that one note screaming at the end.

It makes you play it over and over. Moreover, it really is not so demanding to learn. Foo Fighters are awesome!

Anyway, check it out on Youtube, here.

3. No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne

You probably know that Zakk Wylde is world’s greatest pinch harmonics (ab)user. You can really point to any Ozzy Osbourne song when it comes to pinch harmonics.

This song has an easy, slow paced rhythm. Each time an Ozzy finishes his line, Zakk Wylde comes with his signature move – screaming pinch harmonics.

Hear it on Youtube, here.

4. Counterfeit God by Black Label Society

Let’s move on in same direction. Black Label Society is the side project of Ozzy’s famous guitar player, Zakk Wylde. Again, you can point an nearly any of Black Label Society song.

Counterfeit God is a heavy piece that has its evil sounding riff with that ending scream made by pinching the guitar string. Downpicking rhythm makes it even more ominous.

Hear it, here.

5. Laid To Rest by Lamb Of God

Lamb Of God is another band that uses a lot of pinch harmonics. If you love that hardcore sound with more intermediate rhythm patterns and growling voice, than this song is just for you to learn it.

I know, it all depends upon the taste you have. Some people don’t like that sound and feeling it creates. That’s perfectly fine.

If you love this, go with it. Hear it on Youtube, here.

6. Fatal Tragedy by Dream Theater

Dream Theater is a great progressive metal band. They use a lot of pinch harmonics throughout many of their songs.

If you like progressive, complex, long melodies and complex rhythm patterns, this is the band for you. Here, in this piece, you can hear a lot of pinch harmonics used.

Hear the whole song, here.

7. Are You Dead Yet by Children Of Bodom

Alexi Laiho has that kind of precise playing style. You can hear that preciseness in Children Of Bodom’s opening riffs. Now, add some pinch of pinch harmonics in there.

If you like the sound this band produce, and is challenging enough for you to learn it, go with it.

Hear this song, here.

8. Juice by Steve Vai

What can be said about this guitar virtuoso? Steve Vai is like a professor of electric guitar. Just by listening to his guitar composition, you’re in some kind of a learning process.

In this composition you can hear his guitar screaming in a way it makes your jaw drop. He uses pinch harmonics on the same note repeatedly. He does this at purpose, because you can hear each time he does pinch harmonics, it sounds differently.

Also, there are those moments where he uses whammy bar along with pinch harmonics, making the guitar sound like it is choking.

Truly remarkable. Hear this masterpiece on Youtube, here.

9. Spiderwebs by No Doubt

Who says you can use pinch harmonics only when you play hard rock or metal music? This is the example of a great easy listening pop song using pinch harmonics effectively.

If you’re up for an easier tone, this is the perfect song for you to play. Easy overdrive guitars, brass section and nice Gwen Stefany voice over it makes a perfect background for some pinch harmonic screams!

Hear this song on Youtube, here.

10. Cold Sweat by Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy, a hard rock, old school Irish band has a lot of fantastic upbeat kick ass songs.

This one uses pinch harmonics on a delay, which gives you that distant feel of rock ‘n’ roll.

Hear it, here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-IMZ7gCAGE

11. La Grange by ZZ Top

This legendary hard rock hit is perhaps more known by its famous opening riff. Nevertheless, Billy Gibbons is equally authentic when he starts to solo. Pinch harmonics are used excessively in this solo.

They give that primordial rock ‘n’ roll rebel vibe to the whole piece.

Hear it on Youtube, here.

12. Money For Nothing by Dire Straits

This list would be incomplete without this anthology classic. Mark Knopfler is one of the most authentic guitar players in modern era.

His fingerstyle on an electric guitar sounds fantastic. Now add a bit of a pinch harmonic to this, and you’ll get something special.

Fingerstyle pinch harmonics has that original sound that differs from regular pinch harmonics done with a guitar pick. Of course, it is much more demanding to master finger pinch harmonics than regular, pick played pinch harmonics.

If you didn’t pay attention to this, hear it on Youtube, here.

13. The Threat by Skid Row

Skid Row rules! Fast paced, hair metal band with legendary Sebastian Bach on vocal is not immune to pinch harmonics.

If you like your fingers to move rapidly, and also loves hard rock and pinch screaming, this song is a perfect mix!

Hear it, here.

14. Psychosocial by Slipknot

If you’re one of those who like Slipknot, than you know about this one. Opening riff with pinch note at the end gives that ominous feeling that fits with the image Slipknot shows to their audience.

Anyway, it’s a nice riff using pinch harmonics.

Hear it on Youtube, here.

15. Zyglrox by Periphery

This is perhaps the toughest song on this list. If you’re up for some really loud, tough and hard playing with occasional use of pinch harmonics, this is the song for you.

Hear it, here.

16. Space Time by Gojira

Just hear that opening screaming riff and you’ll know why this song has its place on this list. Hardcore, slow paced, tough – if you enjoy that sound, you’ll find this song interesting.

That pinch harmonics really screams in this one. Hear it on Youtube, here.

17. Panama by Van Halen

Van Halen rocks! This band really brings that 80s hard rock catchy vibe all over.

Eddie Van Halen is a guitar savage. If you’re up for improving your guitar technique overall, listen to him.

This one also, of course, has its pinch harmonic moments. Hear it, here.

18. Deliver Us by Andy Timmons

Andy Timmons is a guitar virtuoso. He has some really great tracks. The thing with guitar virtuosos is that you can really hear all kinds of different guitar techniques in their tracks.

This one is an interesting piece in which you can hear that guitar screaming made by pinching the string.

Hear the whole composition, here.

19. Keep Your Eye On The Money by Mötley Crüe

Some people don’t like hair metal. But if you’re one of those that do like that 80s commercial hard rock sound, that this piece will caught your attention.

Mick Mars is a great guitar player. In this song he plays a great guitar solo in which he uses a lot of pinch harmonics.

Hear it on Youtube, here.

20. Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots is one of those grunge bands with really authentic, signature sound. Robotic singing, hard rhythm guitars, loud drums etc.

Those are all characteristics of this band.

Here you can hear some really cool pinch harmonic screams in the opening riff.

Hear it, here.

21. It’s Not Funny Anymore by Husker Du

If you heard about this cool proto punk band, than you surely have a good taste in music!

This short and fast song has an interesting use of pinch harmonics. It’s perfect for playing with your garage band.

Hear the whole song, here.

22. A Song For The Dead by Queens Of The Stone Age

Josh Homme really likes to use a fat, bassy distorted sound. In this song he mixes it with some pinch harmonics you can hear in the opening riff of this song.

If you like that stoner rock sound, and also like pinch harmonics, this is a great song to play.

Hear it on Youtube, here.

23. Surfing With The Alien by Joe Satriani

This legendary piece by a great guitar master Joe Satriani uses pinch harmonics. But not only that technique. Legato, whammy bar and much more intermediate guitar stunts are used here.

This tracks gives you that feeling of driving a fast care on the road. It makes you play it over and over again.

In the opening solo guitar melody, you can hear that effective guitar screams that fit perfectly. Joe Satriani certainly knows what he’s doing!

Hear this fantastic song, here.

Conclusion

I hope this article gave you some ideas of what to play on your guitar. Pinch harmonics are cool. Still, you don’t want to overuse them. Don’t become a pinch harmonic abuser. You know how they say – less is more.

Learn To Play Guitar Like A Pro

Wanna learn how to pinch like a boss?

I encourage you to take a look at the JamPlay site for online guitar lessons. It has a ton of teaching videos from world class instructors, including lessons on how to perform pinch harmonics properly.

If you enroll in the course, you’ll be able to access +7000 guitar lessons, which include learning scales, strumming patterns, songs, various guitar techniques and more.

One month of access is 19.95$, but if you follow this link you’ll get 25% discount – here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Make sure you check out what are some cool songs that use whammy bar. Visit that article from this page.

Also, you can take a look at other interesting articles about various guitar issues, questions and so on.

Cheers, and rock on!

Recent Content