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Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by powermans, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. Greetings All,

    Just like to kick around the subject of Harmonics on Upright. I am rather interested in the technique of playing (LEFT HAND) maybe TWO or THREE strings at different areas on the neck but PLUCKING the same strings in the (RIGHT HAND) AT or NEAR the NUT!
    ( This has a name musically....but I can't think of the term) I note that when this is done correctly, the sound almost rings like chimes! Being a fan of NHOP I see that he pulls this techinque off with great speed and clarity.

    Questions :- Is there a correct position ( regarding right hand ) to the distance of the nut when plucking with the Right Hand?

    What are some great sounding combinations of notes to try out that YOU'VE used ?

    What are some other tricks of the trade when it comes to using Harmonics on Double Bass?


    Mick Power
  2. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    If you have a sharp endpin and a strong arm you should be able to get a few twirls out of your bass. That's my favorite trick.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Wow I just tried this on my EUB and it makes a big difference! So, I have used all sorts of harmonics on BG - artificial, natural, chords etc to great effect. But I did find that harmonics didn't ring out as much on the EUB when I got it - but I thought that was just to be expected. (Only had it since March)

    But I just tried something like you suggest and they really ring out - maybe even more than BG! So I just tried going across where 3rd and 5th frets would be on BG and plucking between the nut and l/h fingers and it sounds like Jaco on recordings.

    I don't know if this is useful, but I think it will suprise a few people when I do it in the middle of something else!! ;)
  4. pcreelbass


    Feb 5, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    McBride does it here at about 19 seconds in. I'm gonna try and figure it out. Cool little trick.

  5. emilio g

    emilio g

    Jul 16, 2008
    Jersey City, NJ
    This works because the higher harmonics are only accessible when plucking near the ends of the string and reaching down near the bridge usually isn't convenient.

    I attended a masterclass with Mark Dresser over the summer where he explained and demonstrated that technique (and others!) much better than I can.

    You can buy a video of the class here:
  6. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    hey pcreel,
    that's a cool clip. not sure if you noticed, but pat hit a harmonic at the same time, so that isn't all christian right there.
  7. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I had a lesson with Mark a few years back, and we touched on the harmonics a good bit. "Don't fish!", I remember him saying as I did just that.
  8. pcreelbass


    Feb 5, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Cool, thanks. I might end up getting that. I just don't the $30 right now though.
  9. pcreelbass


    Feb 5, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah I know, but he definitely had it going on right there.

  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Wow - I last posted in this thread 7-8 years ago!! :eek:
  11. barend


    Feb 4, 2006
    the Netherlands
    are there any good youtube clips of people playing artificial harmonics on double bass in a musical context?
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You could try searching for clips of Brian Bromberg - I know he has done a tribute to Jaco which you think would have to have artificial harmonics...? Although I don't tend to use YouTube as it is banned in all the workplaces where I post from!

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