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Unwanted Harmonics w/ Staccato Notes @ 12th Fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Icculus, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Icculus

    Icculus

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    Hoping TB can educate me a little here (as they successfully have before). I just got a new bass in the mail and I quickly noticed a really strong harmonic when I play notes at the 12th fret… mainly just noticeable on the A and E strings. I can mute the note right away and it still rings loudly, giving me a harmonic no matter how I play it. The action is set pretty high so I'm wondering if this is something a set up can take care of.

    I tried searching and all of the results were of the type that involved practicing better technique to get rid of them. I'm telling you it's not that kind of issue.
  2. Icculus

    Icculus

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    Meant to post this in "Basses"… sorry!
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    The fact that you lift your finger off the fret and there is still enough energy in the string to ring the harmonic pretty much says it all: you haven't damped the vibration. It is still vibrating.

    An harmonic rings with a light touch. If you press harder it dampens it. IME. So when you are playing staccato just release the string just off the fret, keeping pressure on the string. If you are moving to another fret or string with that finger, your plucking hand needs to take over.

    I don't know what to say. A ringing string is a vibrating string and you just have to kill it. I realize you asked that no one tell you it is technique, but a ringing string is a....you get the idea. You seem to have a bass with that elusive sustain everybody chases.
  4. Icculus

    Icculus

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    I guess you're right. It's strong enough to require muting it with either my right hand or another finger on my left. I can't really shut it up with the fretting finger unless I slide it a bit.
  5. friedtransistor

    friedtransistor

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    I have his same issue, so what I do is use the other fingers on my left hand to mute the string. I also use the harmonics to my advantage. I fret the note I want to play with my left hand, and do a pinch harmonic 12 frets higher with my right hand. It gives a really cool sound that reminds me of the square wave bass synths on some dubstep songs. But yeah, I mostly use my left hand to mute harmonics and my right hand to mute the entire string.

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