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chords with harmonics?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JupiterPlanet, Jan 14, 2003.


  1. JupiterPlanet

    JupiterPlanet

    Aug 2, 2002
    Which chods can be form using harmonics?
    Any good page with info about this?
    I found one, but was in german.

    Thx
     
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I know a bunch...but I only know the names of a few.

    if you hit an open E then hit the 9th fret harmonics on the A,D,G strings simaltaneously you get an E,C#,F,B which is a E 6-9 chord.

    hit a G then hit B(4th fret of G) and D(5th of D harmonics for a G major chord
    or use a C to get C9

    likewise if you hit a G and hit F and A harmonics(4th of D 5th of A) you'll get a G9 chord

    then if you use a G with C#(4th of A) and D(5th of D) Harmonics you get a G sus 4
    likewise with the C again use that same shape just take it up a string

    Hit a B then hit B and F for a B power chord harmonic(1-5-8)
    Use the same shape down a string to get an F power chord type harmonic(1-5-8)

    there are many many many more and I'm really tired right now, I'll post more later....oh and I usually confuse things in my head when I translate it from bass to text, this might not be 100% correct, I never spent the time to learn the names of all the natural harmonics, just how to play them :(

    but I hope this helps for now
     
  3. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've only done very little experimentation with chords on harmonics, but here's a couple (going from memory)...

    If you play the harmonics at the 7th fret on the A string, and the 5th fret on the D and G strings - you get Em7 (E D G).

    If you play the harmonics at the 9th fret on the A and D strings, and the 12th fret on the G string, you get C# F# G - which when you add an A to on the E string, you get a nice A13. Which follows Em7 nicely.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    For these sort of reasons I don't tend to use natural harmonics much - you have to do a lot of planning to fit them into anything.

    But it's very easy to use artifcial or false harmonics - like Jaco did into improvised solos.

    You can also use them for chords - so you can just play the chord you wanted normally, but shift it up by using artificial harmonics - - it works best(easiest) as an arpeggio, but they will also ring after you play them.

    So do the same as you would for fretting the chord with your left hand and then pluck the notes with 1st/2nd fingers with your thumb resting on the string 12 frets above where you are fretting the notes.

    Much easier!!
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Lighten up, Frances :)

    My personal favorite is hitting the 5th fret harmonics of the G and D strings, with the fretted Eb on the A string, for an Ebmaj7 chord (thanks, Pino!)
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Here's a list of the notes provided at the various harmonic notes, taken from the CyberFretBass site (watch out for all the pop ads though):
    Given the name of the open string, you can then write out the available harmonics and therefore spell out your chords (you can also use the information in figuring out artificial harmonics - eg. 12 frets above a fretted note will produce an octave, 5 frets will give a double octave).

    So, take a chord played with harmonics over the seventh fret of the D and G strings (A & D). That could be either Asus4 or an inversion of D (no third, so major or minor) - it will depend on what else is being played by other instruments, where you have come from and where you are going. If you add an extra note, you can twist the flavour - for example, D (5th fret, A string) would strongly suggest a D chord, F# could be D/F# or F#m6, B could be read as Bm7 and so on.

    Write out the notes and you will see the range of this new palette that is available to you - the only limits are what your fingers can reach and the fact that everyone else in the band will probably insist that basses aren't for playing chords :D

    Wulf
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    F#m6 would have a D#, not a D. And you can't get a D# with a natural harmonic.
     
  9. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You can if you've got a G# string ;)

    What else could you call F# - A - D, apart from D/F#?

    Wulf
     
  10. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I wouldn't. D/F# is exactly what I'd call it. But you said F#m6 too - which would be F# A C# D#. So F# A D couldn't be F#m6.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I suppose that's another justification for 7/8 string basses - more natural harmonics!! ;)
     
  12. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Or multiple retuning devices, ala Michael Manring's Zon Hyperbass. Harmonic possibilities aplenty there... although it doesn't quite seem fair to classify it as a four string instrument! More like 4 physical strings and 17 or 18 virtual ones :eek:

    Wulf
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - that was amazing and how he got so many chords, I suppose!! :eek:
     
  14. BlacksHole

    BlacksHole

    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I use natural notes and natural harmonics mixed in chords. But like what was stated earlier, you will be quite often leaving out some key notes and be implying certain chords rather than explicitly playing the full chord. There are hundreds of them and BassPlayer ran an article on this many years ago outlining many such chords/chord substitutions.
     
  15. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    a natural harmonic is not just made up of a single note is it?
     
  16. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    A single note is made up of natural harmonics...
     
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Well, yes, but that doesnt answer my question...
    From wulf's earlier post I would understand that certain natural harmonic produce more than one pitch?

    Eitherway, some of these chords are gonna sound odd because you're replacing a note with a harmonic right?
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The more harmonics present, the less distinguishable is the note - so orchestral gongs (or Tam Tams) produce huge numbers of harmonics - which is basically perceived as a low note plus loads of noise! ;)
     
  19. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed.

    What did wulf say that meant that certain natural harmonics produce more than one pitch?

    How d'ya mean sound odd, Howard? They'll be slightly out of tune, but that's not gonna make it sound odd really (except for the really high harmonics, the 7ths and 9ths). Like in Portrait Of Tracy - the harmonic chords don't sound odd in that :)
     
  20. APouncer

    APouncer

    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Isn't this a strain on your wrist? I will try it at home tonight but it seems like it would be awkward, how does it compare with using the 1st finger as the resting finger and pluck with the thumb?