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pinch harmonic?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Cliff em'All, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Cliff em'All

    Cliff em'All

    Sep 27, 2004
    I like the sound of pinch harmonics on a guitar and I got me a six string bass here thats been tuned E-E , I was wondering if you guys think it would be possible to pull off a pinch harmonic on this? I dont really know how to do it that well now but i been tryin with little success but ive gotten pretty close
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    You don't need to tune it E-E to get pinch harmonics. You should be able to do them fine on bass. It just takes practice, and a slightly different technique than you do on guitar.
  3. Cliff em'All

    Cliff em'All

    Sep 27, 2004
    oh i gotcha , can you describe this technic to me? cause it really doesnt seem to be workin for me the way im doin it lol
  4. You just brush the string with your thumb after the pick hits it. I assume you're using a pick, anyway. If you're using fingers, put one on the string as you pluck.
  5. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I just put my thumb on the string and pluck with my index finger.
  6. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    That's not really a pinched harmonic though.

    Pinched harmonics involve the use of a pick. It's easier to do than describe. Basically you pull the pick into into your grip by rolling your thumb over the pick so there's less "pick tip" exposed and just dig in. While it's possible to manipulate the pitch of the harmonic by positioning of the picking hand relative to the fretting hand, it's generally a chance thing.

    A good amount of distortion is helpful.
  7. Hatman


    Feb 11, 2004
    Shropshire UK
    Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm seem to manage it with out a pick but I don't know how they do it (great help I am eh?).

    I can usually do a reasonable pinched harmonic. Pop the string (as you would if you were slapping and popping) and immediately twist your wrist so that the edge of your hand touches the string. The way I do it on a guitar (which I don't play with a pick either) is to hit the string with the back of my nail then touch the string with the fip of my finger as it passes (doesn't seem to work on my bass though). both methods seem to be helped along with a string bend as well.

    Hope that helps.
  8. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Try a desending sweeping pinch harmonic over 4 strings, then an ascending natural harmonic sweep back to where you started. Very cool when executed correctly.
  9. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Pinch harmonics...

    Doing this fingerstyle, you would fret a note normally with your fretting hand, but with the plucking finger (not the thumb) you:

    Place the thumb onto the string, between the fretting finger, and the plucking finger.

    If you know about natural harmonics, start by placing the thumb of your plucking hand onto the harmonic, and just pluck with one of the other fingers behind it. When you get a feel for this, start doing it all over the place and develop a feel for it, the harmonics are everywhere, it is a matter of feel on how to get them out of the string. Once the technique is understood, I feel the physical generation of harmonics inthis way comes with a fair amount of ease.

    I hope this explanation is good enough to get you started, especially since you don't really need a pick (plectrum) to do this. You can do it that way, but most bassists don't seem to use picks most of the time.
  10. 100% possible and with practise... easy... just don't sound great if you don't do it right