Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by i-ate-my-bass, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. i-ate-my-bass


    Oct 17, 2001
    in tabs some notes are in brackets and they say that these are harmonics.

    i need to know what are harmonics, and how do you play them?

  2. hey,
    a harmonic is played when you gently rest your fingers over the fret with out actually pushing down on the string, the higher pitched note you get is called a harmonic. the most common and easiest places to get a harmonic are on the 12th, 7th, and 5th frets. there are other ways of acheiving harmonics, like false harmonics in which you use your plucking hand to "pinch" out the harmonic and tapping harmonics in which you tap the fret 12 frets up from the note you are holding down with your left hand. does any of this make sense? i'm kinda bad at explaining things when it comes to music. to hear some really great examples of someone playing with harmonics listen to jaco pastorius.
  3. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    this is a good description, I don't think you used bad words at all. you just touch the string w/the fretting hand at the point right over the fret - not behind like if you were actually fretting the note. you can get them on the other side of the 12th fret too, the side closer to the bridge. have fun w/it! jaco was something else w/this technique, much respect to him.

    on bass, watt