Accidental harmonics

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by moley, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    On the fretless, I'm finding that since I often use my fretting hand to end notes by releasing my grip to damp the string - I'm getting harmonics ringing on after I've played the note. This is understandable - because it's a fretless I have to stop the string at the point the fret would have been, which is where the harmonic is. Just wondering what you think is the best way round it - to damp with the other hand or what? Did any of you guys who play fretless encounter this when you started playing fretless?
  2. u can get the same problem on fretted bass, usually over the typical harmonic spots (5,7,9 etc)
    like you said you fret a note, and to dampen it you simply lift your finger of the string, and u get the harmonic carrying on. This really depends on your technique and what your playing. When i'm playing normally, 9 times out of 10 i use my index and little finger to fret notes and my middle two fingers to help muting, this obviosly varies a bit depending on the line. If though i'm playing something chordal and i need all my fingers, i'll do what guitarsists do and sorta palm mute the strings when i need to.

    hope this helps

  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Presumably you're pressing down with your fingertips to get a clean sounding note on the fretless. The best solution is probably to work on relaxing your whole hand as you dampen the note - therefore not only is the finger pressed against the fingerboard coming up (in contact with a harmonic node) but the other fingers are also coming lightly down. As soon as you touch the string at another point the harmonic will die.

    If I'm playing a series of repeated stacatto notes, I'll tend not to use my first finger, leaving it always resting on the string behind where I am pressing down and thus automatically damping the string as soon as the note is released.

  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Thanks Wulf, that is good advice. It is exactly what I do. In all honesty, I've never really gotten the hang of palm muting. It tends to put my hand in an ackward playing position. Thanks again

  5. maybe i just have arkward hands :)
    i'v often been told that my normal playing position (3 fingers on my right hand) looks strange, but it feels fine to me

  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Thanks a lot for your help guys :)