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A Portrait of Tracy

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Stingisanoldman, Apr 14, 2001.

  1. Stingisanoldman


    Aug 21, 2000
    I've been studying the Jaco album recently and (like everyone) I'm pretty blown away. The thing I'm wondering is that on "A Portrait of Tracy" he's hitting higher end notes which, although I can understand what notes he's playing, I have trouble how he's playing it. It has this like crazy hanging bright sounding ring on it. If anyone can help out, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    those are harmonics, Sting, and you get them by lightly resting your fretting finger (don't press down) on the 5th, 7th, 12th and 9th frets (for now, there are more) and plucking the string.

    It's a little tricky untill you get the feel for it. Make sure you finger is right over the fret, and don't press the string to the fingerboard, just lightly touch it.

    Good luck
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...& some of the harmonics in "Tracy" are NOT played directly over the fret. Like the opening figure, perhaps? ;)
  4. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    my own nomenclature: G(4) denotes 4th fret on G string. G (3 1/3 denotes 1/3 past 3rd fret. #* denotes harmonic.

    Opening Harmonic:

    G(5)*, G(3 1/3)*, D(4)*, A(3)*,
    D(5)*, D(3 1/3)*, A(4)*, E(3)*,
    A(5)*, A(3 1/3)*, E (4)*, E(7)*, E(12)*

    Basically the Jaco video fills in the gaps where the online tabs screw up. (and sadly... vice versa). So there you have it.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The last note is an artificial harmonic.
    Fret the 2nd fret on the A string and touch the string at the 6th fret.
    I can hardly play this stretch with my short fingers :(
    I fret the B with my thumb and do the harmonic with the pinky.
  6. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    That 2, 6 part is alot easier if you fret the 2 with your left hand, and play a pinch harmonic with your right hand, up past the 12th fret. (I don't remember exactly where. 18? maybe??)
  7. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    Yeah, I don't have especially large fingers but manage to barely pull the 2/6 off. THat isn't the hardest bit though. The hardest bit (in my opinion is):

    (see previous nomenclature)

    E(4)------(hold)-------- E(4)------ (hold)-----
    A(6)* D(4)* A(6)* D(4)*
    D(5)* G(2 1/2)* D(5)* G(2 1/2)*

    I'd always inevitably release the G# on E. *sigh*
  8. The 2/6 stretch is the toughie for me. I must check out the possibility of using the pinched harmonic instead.
  9. I do it over the bridge pick-up, on my bass.

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