Bending Harmonics?

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by 4FaTStRInGs, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. Hi there, I was wondering if you could help me with this, I can't figure out how to bend an harmonic, I've heard Arthur Maia do this and it's amazing. I wonder if it's only possible with a fretless bass...
    Thanks, peace
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    I do it often on the fretless where it is easy. play the harmonic and then place the finger down on the fretboard and slide it.

    I have had much more limited success on the fretted, due to those "darned" frets getting in the way.

    Try the technique using a VERY light touch on the fretboard.

    Let me know how it works.

  3. Hey thanks!! It works ; )) I was about to reply telling that I couldn't do it but I did it, it works, I still hear a little "trrr" from the frets but I'll work on it! =) Thanks a bunch!!
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    You are very welcome. have a Happy Holidays

  5. "Pinch" and "tap" harmonics bend easily on fretted bass. Pinch works best for me, while tap usually gives more of the fundamental (plus the click). Both seem to maintain their volume better than sliding over frets. YMMV.

    BTW, Mike, I really enjoy both your posts here and the lesson material on other websites, good stuff!
  6. I've never heard of pinch harmonics...what's it like?
  7. Here's a pretty good explanation at Active Bass. He calls it a "squeeze". If I get a chance tomorrow, I'll dig up my camera for a picture of my plucking hand technique.

    Basically, I find a harmonic node (the strong octave, half string length one is a good place to start) on a fretted note. Then I lay the tip of my thumb on top of it while lightly plucking towards the thumb with index or middle (or alternating in quick lines). Once you get the harmonic ringing, you can bend with the fretting hand.
  8. oh Thanks!! :)
  9. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    hey, i use pinched harmonics cool

    If you want to listen to a good example of them, as well as them being 'bent'. Listen to Birdland by Weather Report, in the Intro and in the middle, Jaco uses this technique!

    not sure i'm familiar with tapped harmonics???

  10. Instead of pinching the string at the harmonic, you tap it against the fret. As I said, you get some of the fundamental and the clink. Has a bit of a "chime" to it.

    4FS, I finally got the camera out and here's the pic of the "pinch":

    Note: attachment is the SAME as the visible pic.
  11. you can also push the string down on the headstock side of the nut to bend a harmonic up....

    Just be careful and don't press too hard :)
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    Stanley Clarke used to do a lot of that except on his Alembics he could push the string between the bridge and the tailpiece

  13. ahh yes, also a good idea. In fact, definitely superior as it doesn't take you as far out of position as pressing down past the nut. I've actually seen Les Claypool use the method I described in a video of him playing "The Awakening." I definitely look forward to moving to fretless bass so I can do all of that funky stuff. I'll have to get all of that cliche fretless stuff out of my system before I can actually make some nice, solid music on it!