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Could somebody explain Tracy's Harmonics?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by madmartyr17, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. I've been playing bass for about two years, and I've felt I've finally reached the point where I was gonna take on some Jaco songs. So I sat down and learned Okonkole, since it was straightforward and fun, especially since I'm also a French Horn Player.

    Then I took a look at a transcription of Portrait of Tracy, and I was floored. The time signatures weren't the problem, or the positions of the notes themselves, it was the the way they were played. I had no idea how to coax those notes out.

    If anyone with experience wants to help a guy out I'd appreciate. I'm putting it together as a test before I go audition for my college's lab band. Also, any advice working out different types of harmonics besides just the naturals would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    The vast majority of the harmonics in that piece are natural harmonic, easier to make them sound loud with you flavor the bridge pickup and plucking right over it. Their is another harmonic that need to put one fingger on the second fret and mute the same string at the 6th fret and pluck it. It isn't an easy stretch.

    Their is also the last harmonic that is a pain in the ... ! you have to fret the 9th fret of the A,D and G strings all at once and mute them at the 13th on the same strings... then pluck them all at once.
  3. The quick and dirty "How to get the natural harmonic from the first fret to the 24th."
    1. fret any note on the fretboard.
    2. observe where the middle (from the the fret to the bridge saddle) is and lightly place the thunb of your other hand there.
    3. pluck the string behind your thumb on the bridge side.

    Thats it!
  4. Shanannigan

    Shanannigan Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Those would be artificial harmonics, not natural harmonics.

    Here's a video lesson that explains natural harmonics. Learning Harmonics on Bass Guitar - YouTube

    They're really something just takes time to get a feel for once you understand them.
  5. True, what I meant was Artificial harmonic. Thats the differents between Natural (harmonics produced on open strings) and Artificial (produced on fretted strings). Still pretty same IMO. But don't be so tethered to the frets, frets don't have anything in producing harmonics. Remember, fretless basses produces harmonics too.

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