Bending harmonics.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CrawlingEye, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I was fooling around the other day, and decided to try to bend a harmonic. I figured out one way, then my bass teacher showed me another, where you play the harmonic, then reach behind the nut and just push the string down.

    My way consists of playing the harmonic, then gently pressing down, and up, while your finger's still on the fret. It works quite well, and sounds really interesting.

    I'm just curious if anyone else has done anything else like this (it's new to me, at least), or if anyone knows any other "not so known" things like that, that can be done?

    Thanks... :)
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You can bend them downwards in pitch as well - the Billy Sheehan way... not recommended if you care about your (bass's) neck:

    Play harmonic, put your left palm on the back of the headstock, and your right palm on the front of your upper horn. Press, see the relief increase and hear the pitch go down.
  3. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender
    I might be the only one that didn't know this...
    I was trying to figure out how vic wooten and stanley clarke were changing the pitch on their harmonics. I finally found someone who knew last year. If you play the harmonic, but keep the left hand finger on the note, and then gently fret and slide, the harmonic will "follow".
  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Sounds interesting, but I'm not trying to ruin my neck. :D

    I didn't mean by saying "other unknown things" specifically regarding harmonics. I meant to be vague. :)

    That does sound interesting though, if I ever do get a real beater bass, I'll try that. :)
  5. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    That is cool, but I knew about that already.
    You *can* do that on fretted basses, but it's very difficult, and much easier on fretless. :)

    Thanks for responding, though. :)
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    You might want to check out the "Advanced Techniques" thread, if you haven't already.
  7. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll be sure to. :)
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I think Billy may have gotten that from Stanley Clarke... I figured he must be incredibly wealthy to do that with an Alembic back in the mid 70's.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...Gary King was the first cat I saw do the 'bending the neck' thang.
    (Some of those '70s Bob James albums had King doin' this).
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