Harmonic Squeal Faux Feedback Technique

If you have been alive on this planet, anytime in the last 50 years or so, for sure, somewhere, you have heard an iconic wailing electric guitar hold out a long sustained note that breaks into a high squealing sound as the guitarist masterfully moves closer to the amplifier and applies a bit of vibrato.  Jimi Hendrix was one of the most famous of the early users of this technique..

To make this sound effect happen, the guitarist must, as mentioned, physically move closer to the speaker in the amplifier, often even turning their backs to to audience, and moving suggestively, almost as if they are making love to the guitar and amp!!…

Well… the making love part is just for show, but the getting closer to the speaker part actually allows a phenomenon known as “entrainment” happen, where the (loud!) sound waves leaving the speaker actually re-excite the vibration of the guitar string and it’s harmonics (the squeal part), making it sustain indefinitely… much like the bow does on a violin!!  hmmmm… maybe electric guitarists are just trying to copy us violinists?  Sometimes this is so, I am sure, but in this case we will be copying them.

Any bowed string instrument can make this same effect happen, but without the aid of electricity or ear splitting volume!  Here’s how:

Want to learn how to produce this technique?

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