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dis thing what jaco does

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lewibassist, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. ive seen a few vidios of jaco live and ive noticed he does this teqnique where he just lightly touches the string with his picking hand and it makes a high pitched sound i hav tried doin this but i cannot get this sound if anyone knows what i mean could help me learn how to do this
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Its called a harmonic. It only works on certain spots on the neck. Lightly touch the string without pressing it to the fretboard at the 5th, 7th, or 12th fret to get an idea of how it works. Do a search here and you'll get tons of info on harmonics.
  3. i can play harmonics i can play potrait of tracy and continum n slang but i saw dis vidio and ive tried doin harmonics on the frets whice he does it on and it sounds nothin like what he sounds like its a realy hight pitched sound
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    No, what he means is an artificial harmonic.

    You fret a note, and then use the index finger or thumb to lighly touch the string at a harmonic node (e.g. 1/2 or the remaining string length) and pluck with another finger.

    Prime example of that is the beginning of Birdland (Weather Report - Heavy Weather).
  5. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Ah ok, yeah, that is an artificial harmonic. JMX explained it. The original post was a bit vague, and I read it as asking about regular harmonics. My mistake.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The thing about artificial or false hamonics is that you have to be really accurate - the more accurate you are, the louder they will sound - the farther off you are and it will choke or you probably won't get any sound.

    So as we have established that you can already get natural harmonics, then this must be a question of technique and not bass setup , strings etc.

    So, as JMX says you need to make sure your thumb is exactly subdividing the string length - so what we're looking at is thumb, 12 frets (equivalent) above where your left hand is fretting for the octave above, for example - so when you move your left hand to fret notes, you must also move your right hand thumb to match exactly.

    So if you are fretting a note at the 12th fret with your left hand, then your right hand thumb must be just above where the 24th fret would be ...

    So of course the above all assume a right handed played with frets - it just makes it easier to explain - but the same principle applies to any other combination - same technique.

    Also - if you further subdivide the remaining string length you get higher octaves. Birdland intro is a good example - Jaco plays the same thing twice, but second time, he shifts his thumb further towards the bridge therfore pushing everything up an octave.
  7. That is VERY Cool!!! I've seen people do it and didn't know how the heck they were doing it. Thanks for the info guys. I didn't ask the question but I'm glad I read this Thread, Now I'm gonna work until I can do it.

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