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Harmonics not ringing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Gar23, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Gar23


    May 13, 2007
    Recently I started looking into bass pieces that use harmonics with hopes of being able to play Portrait of Tracy, eventually. I decided to start with Victor Wooten's More Love and immediately i noticed that my harmonics don't ring half as loud as the videos on youtube.

    I've really only used my harmonics for tuning up to this point and they have been just audible enough for that. Just in case it's the strings I am going to run out and grab a new set tommarow but it really can't be that simple can it? I've tried adjusting my amp to bring out the highs more, no change. I tried turning up the treble on my bass, no change.

    I play a rickenbacker 4003 through a Crate Bxh-220. Thanks

  2. bridges sometimes can have abit to do with it, i also find higher tension strings help but the main secret, compression. find a compression/sustaner (i have a digitech bass squeeze) makes harmonics effortless, also check the intonation of the bass and play right over the fret once intonation is verified.
  3. Bassguy87564


    Jul 5, 2006
    I can tell you right now the boasting your treble will not bring out harmonics as much try boasting your mids.
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    They take tons of practice. It's basically a whole new skill that doesn't have a lot to do with playing your bass like you usually do.
  5. mmjazzbass


    Jan 24, 2010
    it depends largely on your bass, setup, and strings. Of my 3 basses, I can only get the harmonics to ring in a way that I like on one of them, and that bass has a much brighter tone (both plugged in and unplugged) than my other two. One of my other basses is much older and its strings are fairly dead, and the other one is a fretless with singnificantly darker flats on it. I'm not sure on what specifics in terms of setup affect harmonics the most, but it seems to me like strings are a large part of it.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Active basses get better harmonics ... Put a 4 band Audere preamp in your Ric 4003. Or if that is too extreem then get a bass EQ pedal and boost the frequencies you need to make the harmonics ring. I have preamps in 3 of my 4 Rickenbackers. My loan passive bass is a 4004cii that will soon be getting a 4 band audere preamp.
  7. Gar23


    May 13, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually kind of returning to the instrument. I started on electric but then went to Double Bass in order to go to school for bass playing. (where I had several wrist injuries and had to give up electric for a few years) With a bow it's easy to get a nice bright harmonic. Guess i have alot of relearning to do. :bassist:
  8. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    my mids get all the ladies.
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