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Bending harmonics

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Kevin Gordon, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. On "Piccolo" Ron Carter pitch bends some harmonics, does anyone have any idea how he does this? It sounds like he's bending the octave harmonic on the G string but I'm not sure. It's not real important but it's an interesting flavor. And if you don't know/have this album you need to. That is all.
  2. On electric you can play a harmonic on say the G string and place your finger on the opposite side of the nut and press the G down causing the pitch to raise and fall. I`ve never tried this on DB. Be carefull not to break a string. :eyebrow:
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    You can "slide" an artificial harmonic on DB. For example:

    1) Hold a Bb on the G string

    2) Put your right thumb EXACTLY where you would finger a Bb an octave higher

    3) Pluck the string using one of your right hand fingers -- I use my pinky

    4) Slide up to a "C" with your left hand

    5) Repeat ad nauseum
  4. The only thing to do then on a DB is push down on the afterlength of a string (between the bridge and the tailpeice). This would be gymastically interesting. Is it worth it? - I'll tell you tomorrow!
  5. To bend an open harmonic:

    1. Play the harmonic, allowing it to ring
    2. Brace your bass by placing your left hand on the upper bout.
    3. Reaching up with your right hand, firmly grasp the scroll and give it a good yank forward.

    Depending on how strong you are and how resilient your bass's neck is, you could probably bend the harmonic a good half step or more. :D

    Hey, maybe Pecanic could invent a whammy bar for double bass. Could be cool!
  6. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    ;) ;) ;) .......I want one in Gaboon Ebony.......
  7. I saw Rufus Reid slide a double stop harmonic at the IAJE confrence in January. It was during a beautiful solo bass feature at his clinic.

    He played the d and a harmonics on the g and d strings (in third position; the ones you can use to tune up) and quickly, but elegantly, pressed down on the strings at the nut before he slid up the d and g strings. It blew me away, because it fit the piece not because it was a new trick to learn. I was totally trying to do it until I hit the wall and asked my teacher about it ;) .
  8. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    The down side of bending on a DB is - it detunes your bass.
  9. Well it worked to a degree but I didn't think it worth it. I see guitarists bend the necks of their axes - no way I'm gonna do it. I tried Sams method and couldn't get it to work. I mustn't have been acurate enough. If at first ... I like Miles description of Rufus - another one to try. Now a bass with a tremelo arm - now you're talkin'.
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I actually depress the string after hitting the harmonic and then glissando up or down depening on which way I want to go - kinda like a mordent as opposed to a trill.
  11. Everyone knows I was being facetious on this, right?

    Just checking.
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002

    Sure you are, JImi Hendrix
  13. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Is there supposed to be a "wood cracking" sound when you do the bend like that? :D

  14. klepto

    klepto Guest

    Nov 10, 2004
    you can do this by touching the string on the side and pulling it...
    left hand, thumb against the side of the finger board, sound the harmonic with a bow or your right hand and pull on the string a bit
  15. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    coudn't you just finger the harmonic on the side of the string and then push the string over to tighten the string and consequently make the harmonic raise in pitch?

    i got this idea watching my teacher play, he said he didn't know if he was gonna bend a D harmonic or finger a false E harmonic.
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If the bend doesn't work out for you, at least you end up with a decent sounding percussion instrument. Just lay the spent carcass on its back and beat on the top with the neck.

    FWIW, you can always bend them the Earl Scruggs way. It works great for Victor Wooten on slab.
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Hitting the harmonic, putting your finger on the string ON the nut, and then sliding up the string (while depressing it) does the trick. Takes some practice, and works better with a compressed signal (a la Underwood). Fresh strings help out as well.
  18. strike the harmonic.then with your right hand,grab the tailpiece and twist..............................gently.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I got a DVD recently of the Freddie Hubbard Quartet and Ron Carter does some very interesting stuff in his solos on DB - I'm determined to go back and have another look at this - he does some kind of rapid vibrato which sounds like string bending - moving his left hand up and down very rapidly - this may be what you are hearing?

    As I say - when I get the chance I'm going to look at this again - you can see him pretty closely on the DVD during his solos.
  20. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    just put your finger on the node and pull to the side after plucking