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Portait of Tracy Harmonics

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by basegetar, May 4, 2002.

  1. Ok... I'm convinced, Jaco probably was the greatest bass player... ever. I'm working on reading a biography on him, it's called, "The Extraordinary and Tragic life of Jaco Pastorious." Very interesting book, I respect him a lot more. So Yeah I doubt I'm up to portrait of tracy... but uhhh, the last harmonic he hits in the song... how does he do that?!?!? I heard that you fret the D and G strings on the 9th fret, then hit a harmonic on the 13th fret on the D and G... alright I can reach this... but it sounds like garbage. I can hear the note, but when Jaco does it, it's soooo much louder, you can barely hear it when I do it. It's not that I don't hit it hard enough, it's just not a clean enough harmonic... could someone help? Thanks.
  2. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    the cleaner the harmonic, the louder it is.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Artificial or weak harmonics + compression. Evens things out. AFAIK, that's the only song he used any real compression on. It's either compression or overdrive, but its the same effect in the end.

    Don't hit the string REALLY hard, just pluck it cleanly and with some strength quickly. Just takes practice to get the right touch to make it the loudest. The compression/overdrive are pretty much the key to getting the harmonics to even volume.

    For artificial harmonics, do a search. He uses them a couple times in the song.
  4. steve 1

    steve 1 Guest

    Feb 18, 2002
    utica, ny
    and just for the record....he frets the 9th on the G, D, and A string, and hits that 13th fret harmonic on all three.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    no ****ing way!
    thats it!
    I thought it was harder than that

    I thought he was doing something so much different( fretting the 6th and then hitting a harmonic halfway between 11 and 10 at the very tip of the bridge, or hitting all three notes off the fretboard up by the bridge, or hitting them all the way down by the nut, or tapping them)
    oh well I learned a bunch of new types of harmonics in just trying to figure that last one out, and that was the whole point of learning that song for me, to learn as many new types of harmonics I could

    hmmm are you sure thats it? I just hit it but it didn't sound right the E sounds right and the F# sounds pretty good but that B sounds wierd
    maybe I'm not hitting it right....but I tried tapping it and it still sounded off...not in terms of resonance but pitch

    on the recording I am near positive that there is an Ab in that last chord, on my piano I played
    low E Ab -E -Ab and it sounded near Identical to the recording....the 9th fret/13th fret artifical harmonic just doesn't sound right it sounds flat...maybe I'm out of tune and just don't know it....well I was about 20 cents flat, but I just corrected that and It still sounds off

    you sure its not bar the 13th and harmonic the 17....Oh my
    HAHAHAHA I was barring the 9th and hitting the harmonics on the 14th...yea...9th and 13th works for me.... :D
  6. Compression eh, sweet, I'll mess around with that. Something that my roommate/guitarist brought up was pickups. I play one of those $200 Yamaha's, which aren't ****ty for the price. Could the pickups be slowing me down on harmonics? He said something about different pickups picking up different harmonics better. It's strange because besides that kind (Portrait of Tracy one we're discussing) of harmonics, I can hit most of them pretty clean.
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    There's certainly no reason to go out and buy a compression device just to practice the song in your bedroom. I was just explaining why his had pretty equal volume, which might be a problem for most people.
  8. Well then I don't think that's the problem. Jaco's harmonic at the end rang out clear as a bell, mine sounds all muted and garbage-esque. I know there are different spots where it would be cleaner... but I'm not finding it. I've searched all over the 13th and 12th and 14th fret while barring on the 9th fret on A, D, and G... no dice. AAAAAHHHHH.

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