Guitar Lick Challenge No.1 – Fretted Notes with Harmonics

Welcome to the first video in a new series at where I will come up with some challenging guitar licks that hopefully will help inspire some new ideas in your playing.

For our first lick I will be demonstrating a way to play a bass line that implies the underlying harmony using fretted notes, while simultaneously playing melodic lines above the bass line using only natural harmonics.

Be sure to let all notes continue to ring for as long as possible. You can grab the TAB below.

Fretted Notes with Harmonics - Guitar Lick Challenge No.1 TAB PDF

After you have tried practicing the lick a bit, feel free to share a link to a video of you playing it in the comments below for me and others to see. This can be a fun way of not only challenging yourself, but getting a little bit of notoriety as well. 🙂

Just please keep your videos on topic and related to the lick I demonstrate in the video lesson. Feel free to share your own lick using this technique, you don't have to play exactly what I do in the video lesson.

I am looking forward to your videos. Let's have some fun with this!


Guitar Lick Challenge No.1 - Fretted Notes with Harmonics


  1. Dory on June 24, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    This is really cool, Carl! Such a fantastic sound! I really like this Guitar Lick Challenge idea and would like to participate when I get good enough to do so. Once I am able to video myself for one of these challenges, how might I best be able to submit a video on this page or on some other page referencing the “Guitar Lick Challenge #1”?

    Also I was wondering are harmonics easier to achieve playing an acoustic guitar rather than on a classical guitar? You’re playing an acoustic guitar in your video above, right? Any tips to improve getting good sounding harmonics on a classical guitar?

    Thanks for your advice, Carl!

    • Carl Brown on June 25, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Hey Dory, whenever you want to submit a video, the best way is to put it up on YT and then post a link to it not only in the comment section below the video on this site, but in the comment section for the video on YouTube as well.

      You can still get nice harmonics from a nylon string guitar, but they may not be as loud since the string tension is a lot less. But if you watch this performance, you can hear that nice harmonics are definitely doable on a nylon string. You just need to perhaps be a bit more accurate with them. 🙂

      • Dory on June 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm

        Hey Carl, thanks for your reply and how to submit a video! I didn’t realize that.

        Also thank you for sharing that link to your performance of a classical piece with harmonics. Such a nice piece you played! I look forward to learning that one! Can’t wait!

        Thank you,
        Dory 😀

    • Benjamin Kimbrough on August 1, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Harmonics are much more clear on an electric guitar. The bridge pickup is the easiest. Also not much distortion is needed to bring out this type of sound.
      However, for acoustic guitar, the more metal that the strings have will result in a muddier or thicker accent.
      Whereas nylon strings are easier to fret. Also, classical guitars do not cost near as much as a high-end acoustic.
      The most important thing is to have an instrument setup well.

      • Carl Brown on August 2, 2019 at 7:13 am

        I will say that a high-end classical guitar is much more expensive than the average high-end steel string acoustic.

        Most classical guitars are considered “student guitars”. Even the better student guitars can cost up to $5,000 to $6,000. The high-end ones are considered “concert guitars”. Typically, concert classical guitars START at around $6,000 to $8,000 and get much higher from there. Many classical guitars you hear played by top classical guitarist are in the $20,000 to $60,000 range. Typically, a high-end acoustic is a few grand. Of course there are some exceptions, but on average, getting a high-end hand built classical guitar is much more expensive.

        Just my two cents. 🙂

  2. Ethan on January 19, 2022 at 5:08 am

    Hello Carl i’ve recently bought myself a fender strat after playing acoustic and i wanted to figure out how to make my guitar scream or aka do an artificial harmonic. i saw your video about the topic on youtube and i understand like you said in the video its not the easiest thing to teach because its more of a feel thing. Anyway, i’ve been working on it for about a week now. i can get it to shout but i can not get it to scream. you also said in the video that if you move your picking hand up and down the guitar a little bit you can get different pitches. i tried that and i still cant get it to scream like slipknot did in duality. is it maybe my technique or am i just being a lil dumb

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