Harmonics on 6th fret

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tim91, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. tim91


    Nov 14, 2013
    Hey all,

    I was looking through a bass harmonics book with a table listing the harmonics on the 6th fret (as well as 4th, 5th, 7th etc).
    I've also done some transcribing in which it sounds like the bass player is using the harmonics on the 6th.

    But is it common to be able to play the harmonics on the 6th? I can't on my bass. Is it a bass set up matter or a certain technique different to the usual harmonics?

  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    There are Many harmonics available, including many that are In Between frets.

    Technique is critical. A well adjusted compressor can also help to bring them out.

    Also Fresh roundwounds.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Curious what book it is that tells you there's a harmonic at the 6th fret but not what the pitch is or how to play it. Title/author please?
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Just google "harmonics bass" and you'll find quite a bit of information.

    Also, check out 'Portrait Of Tracy' by Jaco Pastorius.
  5. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Harmonics are possible all over the neck, I do them on 3 and 2 as well they just aren't as pronounces as the easy ones (12, 7, 5, 4, 9) if you lookup how the harmonic series works and then string harmonics there's a whole lot you can learn just about science! Then look up artificial harmonics and have some real fun
  6. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    No harmonics are at the sixth fret.Use the bridge pickup and boost the midrange.What harmonic note are you trying to play?

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  7. He_Who_Hops


    Feb 26, 2014
    Agree with the bridge and the midboost, but there is a harmonic right around the 6th fret (5.8) which happens to be the same harmonic you can find just shy of the 3rd fret (2.7)

    I found this wiki article to be fairly helpful in illustrating the natural harmonics, and where you can grab them from. It doesn't tell you the exact note you would reproduce
    but rather the interval from the fundamental, which I find more useful what with my extended range and downtunning tendencies.

  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    OK.In all fairness there ARE harmonics at the sixth fret.From the lowest up D,G,C,and F.(on a four stringer)
    But they don't seem to be as loud as the other harmonics.And my tuner tends to go a bit crazy when I try to strike them.
    I guess that's why they aren't named.
    He_Who_Hops likes this.
  9. He_Who_Hops


    Feb 26, 2014
    Agreed they are a pain in the arse to get ringing, just wanted to point out that they are there.
  10. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Mid, and brdige pickup help a lot ... also an harmonic on the 6th fret is more likely to be the famous 6th fret harmonic Jaco Pastorius did in Portrait Of Tracy where he did a false harmonic by holding the second fret down and playing the 6 fret harmonic ...

    so your finger act like a movable nut and shortened the strings which moves the harmonics and gives you new harmonics that are as loud as all the other "normal" harmonics.

    So try that ... put your finger down on the second fret and then move up 3,4,5,7,12 fret higher and play them using your thumb to slightly touch the strings and pluck with your avalaible finger. You'll see ( hear ) that you can have every notes as an harmonics. Steve Bailey is a master of that stuff