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Portrait of Tracy - Final harmonic chord

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by genesis6891, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. genesis6891


    May 29, 2003
    Hm I'm having trouble with this. I can play the rest of Portrait of Tracy but I just can't get the harmonics out for the final chord. I think I'm right in that you get them by fretting the 9th fret with your first finger and stretching to lightly fret the 13th fret for the harmonics, but I just cant get them out, I just get frustrating dead notes :p

    Any tips, suggestions?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    It's really just practice, there is another way to play that harmonic.

    If you bar fret the 6th frets(A-D-G) and then do the light harmonic fretting over the 9th

    you will get the same harmonics, try that one out, it might be easier for you.
  3. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    that ive got portrait of tracy fine, cept for that bloody final harmonic chord, how does it get it so perfect, and ringing??
  4. Take Wrong Robot's advice!

    new-ish strings with a medium gauge tension (lower guages = more harmonics, apparently, at least..) will help!

    it also sounds REALLY good with some distortion and a flanger! :)
    also remember to fretting the 6th frets. it takes a lotta practise to be able to get it first time and make it sounds clean...

    gluck :cool:
  5. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    its hard to beleive it sounds better with flanger and distortion?!!

    i tried distortion sounded crap and muddy... and i dont have flanger ;)

    but yeah, jaco ruled!!! he was the best!!!, if only he was around to compose a Portrait Of Tracy : Part 2..

  6. distortion always helps with harmonics. i suppose you could maybe try boosting the treble on the pedal/amp when using the distortion!

    i have a "studio" version of PoT by myself, i used a flanger on the last chord which sounded really good, and i used a distortion for a seperate music exam and it worked REALLY well, the exmainer even commented on how good the use of distortion worked out! :hyper:
  7. well it took me a while to get that chord down, i found that to really get it out play closer to the bridge, over the bridge pup on a jazz area, and lift your pinky up off 13th fret as you play it, also depends, if you use a 2/3 pup bass which pup you solo or use louder, i found that on my kubicki the neck pup barely brings out harmonics and i tend to solo the bridge pup for jaco stuff anyway, on a passive setting, and i swear it gives an almost identical tone to jaco's
  8. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    yeah using the jazz pickup, or... your pickup closest the bridge, gives a better ring to the harmonic, and a cleaner crisper harmonic sound...

    :) :bassist:
  9. I usually just tap it. That'll make it ring :)
  10. indeeed. playing any harmonic close to the bridge will give a clear, crisp sound, but sometimes you can lose some of that bass-meat.

    haromonics are just something you gotta practise with on your bass(es) and find where they work for you and how to play em gives the best sound..
  11. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I don't know -- I've never found a bass, fretted or fretless, w/ or w/o FX, on which it was not a chore to pull off that chord! It will definitely ring more if picked down near the bridge, but you have to get it to ring PERIOD first -- that's the trick! And not one that I've been able to consistently master!
  12. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    to microbass: true u can loose the punch of the bass tone, but still who cares, if ur getting a decent ringing harmonic, then it doesent really matter, harmonics arent about beefy bassness, its just bout the harmonic... :smug:

    :D :bassist:
  13. 440Hz


    Nov 17, 2003
    Can anyone post the tab or a link to this? I would love to learn how to play it. thx.
  14. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    The whole piece, or just the nasty harmonic?

    Well, assuming I can recall how to notate harmonics in tab...
    End chord (canonical) would be:
    or, the sage Wrong Robot's suggested substitute:
    I can't help you with the tab for the whole piece. Threw out that issue of Bass Player LONG ago..... I'm sure it's online somewhere.
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've been beginning to learn this song recently, and so far, the tab in the TB archive is pretty accurate.
  16. tab has a bunch of mistakes...

    can be a bit difficult to make out, stick the key at the top of the lines to determine where they are saying to play the harmonics...

    gluck, enjoy. my grabbers can sustain that last chord fairly well, but its only at a normal volume for about 3 secs...
    its all about practising it. a little bit of compression appaerently helps to get the chord louder, if you wanta natural sound...
  17. Alun


    Jun 6, 2004
    Endorsing Artist - Elixir strings,Markbass amplification
    Hello. Here's another, slightly unconventional, way of playing it which might be easier if you've got small hands:

    Fret the 9th fret as usual then rest your picking hand thumb across the strings where the 25th fret would be and pick with your first, second and third fingers. You may have to angle your hand a bit to get your thumb straight across the three strings but it can be done.