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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
    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 :)