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! :)

Portrait of Tracey? Please help

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by alx564, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    You might get better responses if you posted this in techinque, but I may be able to help.

    The first thing you need to focus on is the left hand. The way I play and seems to me is the best way is to keep your pinky finger held down on the E string at all times when playing the harmonics, because you will need to jump back to it all the time. The harmonic above the 5th fret should be played with the index finger and the harmonic over the 7th fret should be played with the ring finger. This seems to me to be the best left hand technique.

    In terms of the right hand technique there is nothing that should be two difficult after practicing for awhile. To play the two harmonics together all you have to do is use both your index and middle fingers at the same time. The index playing the string lower in pitch (The D for the first harmonic) and the middle playing the string higher in pitch (the G). No special technique is required. Then for the C on the E string just play that with your index finger.

    I find it helps when fingering this with your right hand to keep your fingers in the proper position to pluck two strings at once at all times. After you play the first harmonic set and are going back to the E string to play the 8th fret with your index finger, keep your middle finger in relative position to your index finger so you can easily go back to playing two strings at once. I'm not too good with words so I'll attach a picture to explain better.
  2. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Here is a picture just showing how the middle finger remains in relative position with the index finger throughout this section of the song. I hope that helps at all. I know Portrait of Tracy is a great song to really improve your technique. Just practice and it should come smoothly.
  3. I have been trying to learn to play portrait of tracey. I cannot read music, so I have been using a tab, the tab seems pretty Accurate But at the bridge, This part...

    (sorry the tab keeps getting messed up
    hopefuly it still distinguishes what
    im talking about)

    ...I don't get how to make it sound like jaco(like there is two basses playing at once almost). I can get the harmonics to ring out just fine. But I don't get if im supposed to be raking them or using my thumb. As you can tell I am a bit confused and I hope that I have not confused you with this. But could someone please help me out. Thank you.:bassist:
  4. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    I'm going to split this thread between here and technique. alx564 is right you might get better luck there.

  5. Ok, thank you that really helped a lot, but I am still confused on how the harmonics are played, like are they(eg. the one over the fith fret and the one over the seventh fret)played simultaneously or seperate? Man, this is so hard to describe in text.
  6. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    I use my thumb to stroke the bass notes (I guess you could call them that). It's kind of a finger picking meathod, similar to what Matt Garrison uses. It's a lot quicker and easier. POT just takes a lot of practice. Just take a deep breath and let it take you away...haha

Share This Page