EVH Harmonics


Well-known member
Hate to state the obvious, but practice. Eddie was trying to be different, so it wasn’t as much practice as it was exploration and discovery. Learn how to pop the strings. I have little doubt you can’t do it. 👍


Well-known member
Funny my band was going to pick up Dance the night away and i was very concerned about the middle tapping. I got better at it with a pop approach,.. tapping the string just off the fret And tap E,B and G strings together diagonally for the inverted chord part of the riff.

A part of my struggle was not getting string or feedback noise while tapping. We ended up not doing the song because my singer was not digging the vocal parts.


Well, using a Detuner upfront of the effects chain
is a huge asset. (detuner set to -9 cents)
And Should Be The Loudest Effect.
Detuning Your Guitar A Half Step Is Next.

As Well As Turning to A-432 and not A-440.
This Is Huge For So Many Things Its Not Funny.

He Uses A Pretty Crispy Cleaner Upper Ended Driven Sound Too.
His Sound Is Based On Wet Dry Wet As Well.
I Have Used A 400 Watt Normal Home Stereo For This
Setup At Times Too. With 600 Watt PA Two Way Speakers.
So I Would Have The Tube Amp Feeding A Few Rack Units.
And Then The Amp Pretty Loud, And The Wet Sound Giving The
Normal Home Stereo A Really Tuned Sound.
Or Just A Fender Princeton Chorus For The Wet Sound
And The Tube Amp With No Effects.
Two Very Simple Wet Dry Wet Set Ups For Cheap.

Eddie Always Tested His Recordings
Like This Too, He Knew To Use This Sound As A Means
Of Making His Sound Heard On A Home Stereo.

I Would Use Stereo Parallel Reverb / Effects Rack Gear Mainly.
If Only Two Rack Units And A Floor Pedal Deturner?
Reverb (small hall, Or Chamber and or a slapback echo)
And Chorus And Some Flange Panned Left And Right.
We All Know His Usage Of Flanging, But Having
This Switchable On One Patch Is Magical.
The Detuner Up Front Is More Magic Of This Setup And Really
Brings Eddies Sound Out. He Used Most Effects As Notch Filtering.
This Is The Most Basic Of Understanding His Sound.

Using The Effects After The Detuner Would Be Set In
Such A Way That Your Amp Is Not Compressing The Harmonics.
Sometimes Not Very Easy To Dial In Due To The Amps Settings.
I Use A Boosted Signal Before The Detuner Most of The Time.
Rather Tricky, But Better To Start Over If One Gets Lost Tweaking.
You Will Know Your In The Right Area, Then The Reverb Brings
Out The "RINGING" Of This

If No Stereo Multi Rack Gear Is Used?
The Digitech 2101 Style of Effects Routing Is A Huge
Means Of Getting His Style Of Harmonics Big Time.

Here Is A Good Over Look Of Effects Routing And Settings.

Detuner set at - 9 cents, AND + 9 cents Left And Right, Maybe Some Slight 16, 32, or 54 MS delay?
This Signal Then Gets Sent To Reverb, Delay (54 MS Or About), Chorus, Flange, in Parallel
I Liked The Delay Sent To The Flange, And The Chorus Sent To The Reverb.
At Least My Amp Really Liked This A Lot For Harmonics.
I Always Use A Floor Booster Pedal Before Anything To Control The
"Clean" Upper Ended BreakUp On The Tubes Front End.
Sometimes I Only Use The Booster On A Clean Channel.

I Can Dive Deeper In This, But This Would Be The Best Starting Point.
This Will Train Your Ears In Ways You Will Learn A Lot From, A Lot Too

A Step Up From This Would Be A Tube Amp Fed By A Palmer
Cab Simulator Or A Different Palmer 100% Dry.
Just Push The Front Of The Amp With A Signal Booster.

Need Two, Three Or More Line Outs From The Palmer
To Feed The Rack Effects In Stereo To A Beefy MOSFET
Or Similar Power Amp Feeding Some Normal Guitar Speakers.
Just Cant Nail This Style of Guitar Effects With Two Signals..
Need Three To Really Get The Rounder Controllable Sound.

You Will Hear The Harmonics And The Feed Back When
You Get The Right Balance Of The Three Signals.

Hearing This In A Lexicon Based Rack Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes
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Active member
From what Ive read Eddie always played super loud and I assume his guitar was just on the verge of feeding back all the time. So harmonics in the studio were no problem for him. Play loud and tap hard with your right index finger...
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One Of The Best Ways I Have Found Is
Using Three Signals Right From The
Amp, One Dry, Two Feeding The Effects.

Splitting The Signal Is Not Easy Sometimes
Due To Misunderstandings Of Line Level Signals
Being Split Uneffected And Strong And Clear.

I Used Three Rack Units Once,
And Maxed Out The Effects Chain
To Have Everything Set Near Where
I Could Get Near The Sound I Wanted
Due To Only Harmonics Ringing

And Turned Off Anything I Didnt Need.
One Patch On Three Racks, Never
Needing To Send Any Program Changes.
I Only Used Two MIDI Continuous Controller
Foot Pedals And Tow Up Was A "Cleaner"
And Tow Down Was Lead Sound.
Backing Off Some Reverbs And Delays
By Setting The MIDI Continuous Controller Settings
Between Tow Up And Down To Clean Up Any Delays
Or Roll Back The Reverbs. Took Some Work.

Why No Program Changing?
Because The Rack Units Had
Been Pushed To The Max And
I Had Zero Delays On Tow Up
And Tow Down Changes..

Also This Left 8 Or So Foot Switches
To Use For Really Making Changes To
Get Other Sounds I Wanted Besides
The Harmonics Ringing Clear(er).

MIDI Program Changes Had Been A
Tough Effort On Effects CPU Usage,
And Not Changing Patches Let The
Continuous Controller Really Push
The Effects Units With No Delays.

And Some Rack Units Really Like
Using The Same Patches Across
A Few Very Different Real Time
Continuous Controller Settings.

And Some Rack Units Are Buffered
On Programs Changes So We Hear
The Reverbs Trail Off On Complex
Programs Changes, This Eats Up CPU
On The Rack Units, Not So With Just
Using Continuous Controllers.

CPU On Racks Had Been Maxed
Out For Some Mid Grade Effects,
I Just Found A Way To Have A Lot
Of Switches Sending Continuous Controller
Messages IF I wanted To Really Change Sound.

No Patch Change Needed, Freeing Up The CPU Buffer.

Adding To This Was The Fact That When I Called A
Patch On A Rack Unit? It Was Stored With Settings
That The Continuous Controllers Didnt Change Anything
Till I Used One Of The Continuous Controller Pedals.
So I had Three Full Programed Settings On One Patch
That Had Two Full Continuous Controller Pedals Controlling.

If I Had More The One Patch Edited With The Same Effects
But With Different Settings? Changing Patches Let The CPU
Buffer The Same Effects, But Different Settings Only.

This Really Changed My Rack Usage In Many Ways.

These Units Could Help?
But I Have Never Used Them, Not Yet.
I Found Them If I Need Backup.

The Real Magic Of Guitar Tube Audio And Effects.
This Unit Keeps The Amp Sound 100% And Even
Has Tone Shaping With Normal, And Processed
Tube Amp Sounds, Eddie, And Many, Many Others
Used Palmer Audio With Great Success.
Notice The Four Line Outs For Rack Gear
And Just All Around Sonic Control Outboard From Amp.
Palmer Makes Other Trimmed Down Non Rack Gear To Get
Something Near The PDI-03 Too.

But, Most Importantly.
Knowing How To Use A Palmer PDI-03 Is The
Power Play 99.99999% People Miss.
Palmer PDI-03 Is The Magic Of Eddies Sound I Think.
So So many Great Sounds Came From The PDI-03.

A PDI-03 Is Not A Speaker Simulator.
The Main Thing The PDI-03 Is For Is
Taking A Tube Amp Speaker Out,
And Splitting The Signal To 4 Line level Outs
For Feeding Effects Racks And Power Amps.

There Are Two Circuits On The PDI-03.
One Is Line Level And The Other Is The
Speaker Level Out For The Speaker Cabs.

At This Point? The Tube Amp Can Be Set At 10
Using The PDI-03, With No Sound From The Amp
Or Speakers, YOU Can Then If You Like Use The
Speaker Out To Feed The Cabs. And Still Have 4
Line level Signals Feeding Effects OR, OR
Feed This To One More Tube Amp Input
Thus Having A Cranked Up Marshall On 10
At Normal Line level Feeding Tube Amp Number 2.
This Can Hurt Your Amp If You Mess The Cabling Up.

Just Have To Know What Cables Are Feeding What.
The Magic Of This Is Just Jaw Dropping When You Hear It.
I Use The PDI-03 And A PGA-05 But Not At The Same Time.
The PGA Is My Work Horse Over All Because I Have Only
One Tube Amp, With Stereo Effects And Powered Monitors.

Your Basic Wet/Dry/Wet Bradshaw Style Guitar Rack.
The PGA-05 Lets Me Use The Same Circuits As The
PDI-03, And Have Two Cab Sims, With Unaffected
Speaker Through, AND A Really Nice EQ Circuit.

Palmer Designed The PDI-03 Just To Tame A
Pexi Style Amp On 10. This Is What Started
The Crazy Slue Of Rack Guitar Sounds.

No One Else Came Near What Palmer Did
Due To The Fact Bradshaw Made All This
Crazy Engineering Work With Some Simple
Rack Gear, Amp Simulators At The Time
Only Used Your Basic EQ Circuits To Sim A Amp.
Bobby Bradshaw Has A Interview Where He
Tells How All This Unfolded.

Three Way Buffered Splitter.

Axess electronics OTS1 Patch-Box​

Turns My TSL 602 In To 6 Something Channel Amp. Really Really Fun.
Maybe 9 Channel Amp Once I Learn How To Get The Tube Man Mk II Set Up.
I Have The Tubeman Mk II And A TC Spark In The Tri Mixer, Only.
Really Easy And Fun To Mess With

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Tuning to A=432 (Not A=440)
So Set Your Turner To Tune At A=432.

Then Tune To Eb With great accuracy.
I Use SmartChord For Turning and can
see the detail of the cent accuracy.
Setting The SmartChord Turner To Advanced
As To See More Cent Bars On The Turning Screen.

This is How To Tune Over All.
So Then Tune To Normal Eb As Per A=432,
Then tune down -9 cents.

This Is The Full List of Tunings Per String.

Eb = -9 cent (Small E String)
Bb = -9 cent
Gb = -3 cent
Db = -1 cent
Ab = normal for Ab at A=432
Eb = normal for Eb at A=432 (Fat E String)

A Few Songs Ed Tunes D,G,B Perfectly
As To Remove The Dissonance With Inversions.
Some Inversions On Guitar Sound Really Crappy
Especially If Really Loud And Can Cancel Sounds We Want.
A Touch Of Reverb Or Chorus Can Help The Dissidents As Well

The SmartChord App Works On Android
But Has A Small Little Screen To View
Cents As We Tune

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Just to clarify: The 12th fret harmonic will always be in tune with the open string. That's just physics. But the fretted note at the 12th is the one that we use to set the intonation. Other than that I totally agree.


Well-known member
From what Ive read Eddie always played super loud and I assume his guitar was just on the verge of feeding back all the time. So harmonics in the studio were no problem for him. Play loud and tap hard with your right index finger...

Eddie did play extremely loud and used very very minimal effects compared to most of his peers . Joe Satriani talked about it recently when discussing his views on modeling .


Well-known member
Eddie did play extremely loud and used very very minimal effects compared to most of his peers . Joe Satriani talked about it recently when discussing his views on modeling .
Whats he modeling now bras or panties?


Yeah, Eddie Played Screaming Loud, Small Clubs He Was In
Didn't Like The Massive Volume He Had. Smoking Loud.
But He Did End Up Using A Palmer PDI-03 Too.
And He Also Turned Down The Voltage On His Amp Too.

But The Palmer Unit Would Let Him Turn His Amp Up
With Everything On 10, But Not That Loud Volume Wise
Because The Palmer Soaked Up The Massive Power
Of His Amp, Then He Could Use The Line Out Of
The Palmer To Get Sound To Alex, And Mixers,
Monitors Too. He Used Four Signals That I Know Of.

Three For His Wet/Dry/Wet Setup?
One For Alex's Monitors That Ran Dry.
Four Main Signals Over All.

But The Palmer Unit Was Wired
To Feed The Power Amps That
Drove His Speaker Cabs Too.
Not Just The Speaker Cabs He Used.
The Power Amps Where 400 Or 800 Watts.
If You Look At The Photos Of The Huge Mid 80's
Bradshaw He Used? The Main Signal From The
Amp Was On Zero From The Palmer.
That Is The Main Amp Signal Being Soaked Up.

So My Point?
The Palmer Unit Was His Main Guitar Signal
That Feeds The Effects And Speaker Cabs
Being Fed From The Palmer Line Out.

This Is Very Normal Setup Back Then.
No One Wanted To Ruin The Massive
Sound Coming Out Of The Tube Amp.
I Tried This On My Marshall TSL 602.
But The Amp Was Smoking Hot Really Fast.
Smelled The Room Up Too. It Was Bad.

No Way Would I Run My Tubes At Full Volume
In To The Palmer. Amp Was Just Too Too Hot.

But Now I Just Push The Front Of The Amp
With A Few Goodies That Sound Amazing
And Get That Crisper Clean Snap That
Over Drives Very Very Nicely.

No Other Way To Do It With Out
Frying My Amp So So Very Fast.


Basic Harmonics On The Guitar.
Not An Easy Understanding.
But This Guy Nails Them Good.

And He Names The Intervals And
Even Names The Compound Intervals.

Compound Intervals With Harmonics
(Or Compound Intervalic Harmonics)
Is The Power Magic Most Of Us Want.
And I Use Pinch Harmonics A Lot Too.

I Used A Bunch Of Guitars At
A Local Music Store To Find
My Way Around All The Information.
Just Not Easy Sometimes Till The
Fingers (Ears) Learn The Sounds.
Finger Ears If You Will.

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Diary of a Axeman

Well-known member
How on earth was Eddie able to make all of those tapped harmonics pop out loud and clear? I been trying off and on for decades and I can't figure it out. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. I wan't to be able to do it every single time with no effort like Ed did.

My band is learning Dance the Night Away and even though I know the breakdown solo part, It's really hard to get the harmonics to pop out, especially when I turn the volume down for that part.

Learning the intro to Meanstreet, I discovered that the more distortion I have, the easier it is but Ed didn't use that much distortion, especially by today's standard.
He never seemed to NOT be able to it and when he did, it was just as easy for him as playing a note with a pick! It boggles my mind.
So who here knows the (his) secret! haha I'm guessing the answer is to keep trying.
Those tapped harmonics are easy, just hit the top of the fret wire, very fast, like your tapping a hot oven top and repeat all over on the same string .

Diary of a Axeman

Well-known member
Another fun trick to do , if you don't have a Floyd Rose, is bending the string between the tailpiece and bridge or between the nut and the tuning keys .

But I like doing power chords and bending between the tailpiece and bridge .... totally wicked .... can't do that with a Floyd !!!!


I Found A More In Depth Tuning.
But I Have To See If I Can Do It First.
Its Not Easy But ....................
I Got To Try And See If I Can Do it.

I Just Put A New 12AU7 Tube In My
Compressor Pedal. This Thing Works
Way, Way To Good, Confused Really.

I Had A 12AX7 In It?
And It Was Compressing Less?
More Controllable With The Dials.

The 12AU7 Might Be To Hot
Or What Ever, Maybe Burn It In?
Maybe Use It In Parallel.