jacos portrait of tracy

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by funkymonkey, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. funkymonkey


    Mar 21, 2002
    i recently learned PoT by Jaco and want to improve it now. so here are my questions.
    1. what does jaco do that he plays the very last harmonic so loud? it should be (9)<13> on the A, D and G string and i know how to play them but i never can strike the strings so hard that the harmonics are louder than the open E string. anyone knows a trick.
    2. some other harmonics like the ones right on the 2nd fret are just too quiet either. well, i can hear them clearly when i play them and it sounds good overall but i just wanna have them a bit louder. the only problem is that i already have blisters on my right hand fingers, so does anyone know how to adjust the equalizer of my amp so that the harmonics are emphasized a bit. i already tried and found out that when i increase the higher mid frequencies, the normal notes get a bit more quiet and the harmonics get a bit louder. any other suggestions?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The more accurately you play harmonics - the louder they sound. The thing is not to relate the positions to frets, but rather as subdivisions of working string length.
  3. funkymonkey


    Mar 21, 2002
    yeah thats right but i think that wont be enough, especially for the very last harmonic. anyway, thx for the reply. anyone else ideas?
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    no, of all things the last harmonic is the most dependent on your accuracy.

    I remember when I was in your shoes, I had recently learned the song, but that last harmonic was driving me bonkers. But I just worked it out, worked on my fretting accuracy, and now I can hit it spot on pretty much every time.

    it DOES take accuracy more than anything.

    the other ways to get a little bit of a clearer sound with harmonics, pluck near the bridge, raise the mids a little, solo your bridge pickup, and if you have, use a touch of compression...etc.

    but overall, its your touch and accuracy to the harmonic node that really determine how well it will sound.

    then soften your touch on the E string ! :p
  5. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Yup as mentioned, accuracy is how you'll get it nice and loud.

    And as robot said, you could try playing a little closer to the bridge. Whenever im playing it, and that last chord comes up, i pluck it basically right next to the bridge. That way you can get some decent attack on the chord without getting any frett buzz.

    Some other things you could try:

    Right before you play it, roll up your treble control.


    If you're playing a jazz, ive found that some of those harmonics dont ring aswell when using the neck pup(or a humbucker), so if you like using it, try not to overpower the bridge pup in volume. Or better still, dont use it all

    And also, take your time setting up that last chord. I treat the ending as rubato/free-time, so make sure you've barred the notes nice and solidly, and make sure your fingers are in the perfect position before you strike the notes.
  6. funkymonkey


    Mar 21, 2002
    yeah ur right, its getting better now, thx for ur replies! :)