1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Natural Harmonics and Such...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bass_drum, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    I'm not sure if this is the best place to put it but anyways...

    I'm trying to learn Victor Wootens versoin of Amazing Grace and you have to play a natural harmonic on the 3rd fret. When I try doing this it sounds like crap and isnt nice and clear like on some other frets, Why is that? Any tips ?

    Also can you guys give me some basic informatoin on nautral harmonics and how they are made, and some informatoin on artificial harmonics (how do you do those???)


  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Use the bridge pickup. Experiment with moving your plucking hand, closer to the bridge is probably best but there will be spots where that harmonic is louder when you pluck. I've found that a quick but firm "pluck" works best for harmonics.
  3. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Thanks that does help alot!

    Just a thought, would the Novax Fanned fretboard have better or worse harmonics???
  4. I suppose they'd be about the same on the high strings, but ring out better on the low ones, since they'd be longer.
  5. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Yeah its a toughy to get. ( I am learning that song right now as well ) What I do is I get my compression on pedal all the way up so those harmonics really sing.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There is no harmonic directly over the 3rd fret! The one you are probably talking about, is between 3rd and 4th - the more accurately you play harmonics, the better they ring out!

    The thing is that with harmonics, you are subdividing string lengths - frets don't come into it and in cases like this they are probably more a hinderance than help!
  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    The same, the priciple and mathematics are the same, so is the sound usually. Also, like Bruce said, there is no 3rd fret harmonic. There is a 2.7, a 3.2, and one at the 4th fret, but not right at the 3rd. Try playing it a little further down from the 3rd fret.

    One thing I will say about the fanned frets, is the harmonics are closer to the fret markers than parallel frets in my experience, but not exactly. For example, on my E string, the 4th fret harmonic won't ring out if played directly over the fret, but if I move down just a hair, it comes through like my G string right over the 4th fret. Since the scale lengths are different, its still a little bit of trial and error to find the sweet spot. Also, where you pluck with your plucking hand can determine how well it rings as well, so play around a bit with that also.

    You might also check out this book: http://www.bassplace.com/TT047.html

    Also some good info here: http://www.cyberfretbass.com/techniques/harmonics/natural/page5.php
  8. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Sweet thanks guys. Yeah lastnight I checked out that cyberfretbass.com page on it and it helped a whole lot!

    I can now get most of it, its now a matter of getting all those ghost notes and stuff :D