Need Help With Portrait Of Lucy

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Asyre, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. I've been trying to get the harmonics to Portrait of Lucy by Jaco Pastorius right but its been a bit frustrating any advice on how to play the song properly?
  2. Here ya go mate! :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    That would be Portrait of Tracy

    It would be a hard one to explain.
    You can start here
    go to transcriptions and you should be able to find it.

    Here is a cool clip of the master at work on the tune
    not the best to learn from but you do get a glance at his technique.
    There is an instructional video of him you should be able to pick up, IIRC he uses Portrait of Tracy to explain his harmonic technique.

    If you go over to the "tabs" part of this forum you should be able to do a search and find quite a bit.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Thanks, i feel like a bit of a knob i always get lucy and tracy confuesed oh well lol. Thanks again off to try play it again.
  4. Do you have a transcription to work with, or are you going by ear? Tabs? Just curious as to what you're working with and what exactly you need to know.
    I picked up a book of Jaco songs last February and this was the first song I tackled. I've pretty much mastered it except for the last chord. So if you need help on fingerings and positions, let me know.
  5. Don't worry about it. I have been in certain...Ahhmm, intimate situations where the wrong name was used that had disastrous results. ;)

    MikeyFingers is right, because of the open harmonics and his use of fretted notes with harmonics, position and fingering is important. It would be best if you had a transcription with the fingering. Nothing beats a visual reference of a video though.

    This is probable one of his most popular songs to learn, try searching the web. There must be tons of sites with portrait of Lu.....errr.. Tracy. :D
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Perhaps a bit of a stupid question, but how much compression did Jaco use?

    It always seemed to me that he was able to match the volume of the harmonics with the reg notes quite well. Add to that a fantastic sustain on the harmonics too.

    Nice video. What with his right hand at the end? Too young for carpal tunnel.
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    IIRC, I've heard people say he used a a healthy dose of compression, but a lot of the evenness of the sound is just technique. IMO, there are certain songs that teach you proper technique -- for instance, learning Classical Thump will enable you to double-thumb just about anything. Learning PoT will equip you with a great technical facility when it comes to harmonics and harmonic chords.

    PS: The shaking is probably junkie-shakes. Later in life, he got pretty into...nasty stuff. Do a little search for "Milkowski" in the bassists forum and you'll find it.
  8. I don't think so man. I mean, everything you said is true, I know that. But in this video, Jaco couldn't have been older then 25 or so. He was still pretty sober at that point, he didn't start getting into the drugs and stuff till a little later. I think the hand is just from natural strain. Playing this song is a bit of a workout for both hands, plus he did a lot of extra improv stuff in this version. His hand was probably just tired/sore from playing.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It was all technique and in every interview Jaco was very careful to stress that he used no effects (except the over drive on his amp for his Hendrix tribute and the digital delay that Pat Metheny gave him, for looping on solo performance).

    Harmonics are especially about technique - the more accurate you are with fingering them, the louder and truer they sound - Jaco didn't need no compression!! :spit:

  10. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Am I the only one who doesn't get the transcription on the Lukas Pickford site? :confused:
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This video is from his time with WR and according to the Milkowski book - it was then that he started to get into drink and drugs - so Joe Zawinul was a heavy drinker and many fans gave Jaco drugs etc. :(

    As to "later life" - well Jaco died before he could have this!! :meh:
  12. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    Yeah, those notation transcriptions are almost always the way to go to learn a song because musical literacy is SO important, but I find that Portrait of Tracey is one of the very few exceptions where standard notation is not advantages.

    I learned from a TAB, and I learned wrong also. But I play a decent fake version, the instructional video is the best way to learn the tune I'd imagine, and there's a decent TAB to get you started if you can figure out the rest.

    By the way, that video was great. Is there any more info about it? Any morew where that came from? Where can I buy a DVD with that on it? Bootlegged? Jaco looked great, very young. Clean.
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    It's funny you say that. They had to lock Jaco in a hotel room for two days to get him to that shoot clean. It was near the end of his career when they shot it. In fact, he jokes at one point when asked about how he feels being one of the most important bassists "well, gimme a gig!"
  14. Joe Garage

    Joe Garage

    Mar 13, 2005
    That was for the Modern Electric Bass video not the Weather Report Live at the Montreux.
  15. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    That song became a hell of a lot easier to play when I got my sterling. I think having a good instrument thats set up well actually makes a big difference in a song like this. A bit more highs from your amp bring out the harmonics a bit more and there is more than one way to play some of the trickier harmonics. I think I changed positions of some of the harmonics from the tab to make it easier to play.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That's what I get for not reading.

  17. Definitely. If I play this on my MIM Jazz bass, there's always 2 parts that don't come out clean. When I use my Schecter or my brother's Ibanez they sound perfect. The bass you use makes a big difference, but of course it has a lot to do with the way you play it too.