Below is a free sample lesson for “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes.
A beautiful melody arranged as a fingerstyle piece. This arrangement features tapped harmonics which add a unique dynamic to the performance. During the Intro, we will be playing the melody twice (CMaj7 to G7). The first time is fingerpicked while the second time is tapped. So what is tapped harmonics? Tapping (a.k.a. artificial harmonics) is similar to playing natural harmonics. The most commonly played natural harmonic is the 12th fret on the ukulele (click here to see this harmonic being played). When performing natural harmonics, we lightly touch the string directly over the second metal bar of the fret. You pluck the note and lift up your finger to let the harmonic ring out.
With artificial harmonics, the same concepts apply. The only difference is that you can also fret a note to achieve a harmonic. In other words, you will need to tap (with the right hand), 12 frets from where you are fretting. Let’s look at a CMaj7 chord to see how this works. If we add 12 to the 4 notes that comprises this chord, we end up with:
Essentially, you will fret this chord and tap the second metal bar on frets (starting from string 4 to 1) 12, 12, 12, 14. This will cause an artificial harmonic to ring out. This is a very cool technique that adds a tasteful dynamic to a performance. In part 1 of the lesson video, we will be going over this technique in full detail.
Check out Module 3, Unit 2 in our Harmonics Course for a more in-depth lesson on the mechanics behind performing the Tapping Technique.
Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson