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Harmonics

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Funk Warts, Dec 2, 2001.


  1. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    Hey people.

    I've been working on natural and artifical harmonics on the bass recently (I made an abortive attempt at pinch harmonics. Gave up...VERY HARD!) and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to incorporate them into a song?
     
  2. Thats a good question, but I think the best incorperation of them I've heard is: Portrait of Tracy.. But good luck on it, it boggles my mind.

    :D
     
  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Victor Wooten (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones) does this often. He plays Amazing Grace entirely in harmonics live too!
     
  4. I use the "Steve Bailey" technique (at least that is who I learned it from) for false harmonics - where you paly and mute with the same hand. It works very well for me, and not that hard with a little practice.

    Vic does an unbelievable job with his... but I believe he used true harmonics on Amazing Grace (at least, I was able to figure it out without using false/artificial harmonics).

    I would be curious to know what you settle on... I have tried the pinch technique as well - didn't do that well at it needless to say :D
     
  5. b0nes83

    b0nes83

    Dec 14, 2000
    i have some questions here....what are Pinch Harmonics? natural Harmonics? and artificial harmonics?

    here is how i play my harmonics(just not sure of the name)

    i play with my left hand fretted and i put my right thumb to make a harmonic sound when i play the string. i also do some harmics like the ones where you tune your bass(are those natural harmonics?)

    BTW...vic plays amazing grace with Natural Harmonics(thats if im correct up there) saw it live....needed some paper towels afterwards. peace
    Chad
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I found that the best place to put natural harmonics, especially when using double-stops and chords is when you're just letting notes ring for a measure. Do you know what tones go with the hamonics (i.e. 1/4 on the g is a G, 1/5 on g is a B, 1/6 on g is an D.)
     
  7. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    What do you mean 1/6? Where would that be on the neck?

    Tip for natural harmonics: run down the 12th frets of all 4 (or 5) strings hitting a natural harmonic on each string (not hard) and then do a slide down on the bottom string - makes a great intro...
     
  8. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    This was posted by one of our members in a previous thread:
     
  9. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    Thanks - helps a lot.

    Funk Warts AKA Jon.
     
  10. b0nes83

    b0nes83

    Dec 14, 2000
    what do the colors mean? peace
    Chad
     
  11. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Look at the link I posted and think. ;)
     
  12. b0nes83

    b0nes83

    Dec 14, 2000
    i guess i still dont get it.
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I use artificial harmonics a lot in solos - like Jaco with thumb on the strings 12 frets above where you are fretting the notes - this means that you are just getting everything in a different octave and you can play just what you would normally and add a different colour. If you are very accurate with these, they stand out and make your solos more audible and interesting.

    If you are using natural harmonics it's much more case of working it out in advance and it's more difficult to improvise. I think that if you are basing a song on this, then you need to include some "normal" notes and soem harmonics - so you could play a normal bassline on the lower strings with your thumb - say on the E or B strings - then add arpeggios or chords made up of harmonics with your fingers.

    So you could fret a normal note around the 5-7 frets on the B or E strings and play it with your thumb then experiment, with adding simultaneous harmonics on the higher strings. So you could use your 2nd finger to fret the lower notes and then use the others to play the natural harmonics.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    It is a fraction dividing up the neck. I've always heard harmonics labeled as "1/6th, 1/2, 1/3rd, 1/4th, 1/5th, 1/7th."

    It's a sixth of the scale from the nut or bridge. There are harmonics at half the neck scale, one third the neck distance, one fourth, one fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth..."