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Portrait Of Tracy Harmonic

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bazzist, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Bazzist


    Dec 7, 2002
    Nova Scotia
    If this is in the wrong place mods please move it. I've been trying to learn portrait of tracy by jaco lately and theres one harmonic I can't seem to get off fast enough. The harmonic where you fret the second fret on "a" (note b) and pluck a harmonic on the sixth fret. I know practice will help but I was wondering how anyone else has pulled this harmonic off. Personally I fret the second fret with my left hand and "pinch" the harmonic on the sixth fret with my right hand. This probably is slower because I have to move my hand from the bridge and pickups to where I am playing. I went through about 10 pages in a search so I'm sorry if this has been asked before. If there are any other ways to pull off this harmonic your help would be much appreciated.
  2. I have trouble with that stretch also. I fret the B and tap the harmonic at the 6th fret. It's a little faster than pinching it.
    Hope that helps a little.
  3. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
    Try fretting the 1st fret on the D string (the fretted note is Eb) and doing a pinch harmonic at about where the 25th fret would be. It rings out a lot clearer.
  4. Jleonardbc


    Nov 12, 2004
    I have fairly long fingers, but I play it by fretting the 2nd fret with my pointer finger and touching the 6th fret with my pinky (both from the left hand) and plucking it normally with my right hand. I have to take my elbow in a bit and move my wrist around but it's way faster than doing a pinch harmonic..hope this helps.
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    That's how I've learned to do it-I saw Victor Wooten show it on his interview on teh Bass Day dvd-he said he could never really get that stretch. Neither can I. Jaco had pretty big hands.
  6. Brian S

    Brian S

    Nov 11, 2003
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This is the way my bass teacher does it and I've been trying it for a while. It's a good stretch, but I've been getting better at it with practice. I look at it as a hand strecthing exercise. The more I can stretch my fingers, the better.
  7. Bazzist


    Dec 7, 2002
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks to everyone for the replies. I would just work on finger stretching but it's a cold winter here and the webbing between my fingers is "chapped". I can't seem to tap the harmonic as fast as I can pinch it but so far I am able to use funkonthewall's suggestion for it requires minimal movement until I'm able, if ever to do the stretch. Thanks!
  8. Do a false harmonic instead, as people say here.
    Works quite well.
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    On a Jazz Bass, fret the A string at the 6th fret and play the harmonic right over the neck pickup polepieces by lightly resting your index finger over the pickup and plucking with your thumb behind your index finger.
  10. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    You MUST hold down B nat. and stretch to the Eb. Nothing else gets the sound. All you have to do is work on the stretch. I am 5'9", and my hands aren't so big, but I can pull it off. NO EXCUSES!

    Attached Files:

  11. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004

    stretch stretch stretch stretch
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Mmmm...possible hand injuries for the sake of getting a single note that only sounds for half a second to have a slightly different tone than if it was played as a false harmonic. Sounds worth it to me :rolleyes:
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    I think I'll stick with my pinched harmonic.
  14. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    If I can pull this "stretch" off with no problem. What it comes down to is having the perfect technique. I practice my technique constantly, and I like to give my hand a challenge- I suggest you all do the same. As far as hand injuries go, try playing Tocatta Marziale on DB.... PoT is CAKE.
  15. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I would also like to point out that there are two other instances in PoT where you must actually stretch your fingers to where it may be uncomfortable for some- also, you CANNOT pull off those parts with pinch harmonics (to the best of my knowledge).

    Attached Files:

  16. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Which parts are those o_0?
  17. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Other than fretting at the second fret and playing the natural harmonic at the 18th or 30th fret (or where the 30th fret would be... somewhere above the pickups) gets exactly the same sound, much easier.

    You're just looking for a node that will split the string into fifths. With the string fretted at the second fret that's near the 6th, 11th, 18th and 30th frets.

    If you absolutely must do it exactly as Jaco did, with all the associated wrist contortion, the sixth fret node is actually slightly left of the sixth fret.
  18. They are the bits in the middle - to end bit - the first is from the decending C-B-Bb-A bit and then the following one is one the G# - where you fret the Ab on the D string and the Eb on the G - I think :cool:

    In reference to the orginal question Wooten does a pinched harmonic but he still frets the B on the A string - because he finds the 'normal' stretch hard - but I do the it the 'proper' way :smug:
  19. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    Wrist contortion? Come on you guys, Jaco isn't super-human... anyone can pull his **** off, it just takes practice. BTW, what is a node?
  20. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    This may be obvious, but when you try the left-hand fretting the B and then pinching the harmonic closer to the bridge (rather than over the ~6th fret where Jaco played it), the exact way of determining where to pinch the harmonic is measure the distance from the fretted B to the ~6th fret and then use that same distance from the saddle on the bridge to locate the spot.

    I read people referencing approximate fret numbers and PU locations, but I just thought I'd throw this out since it's a little more absolute. In practice, you can find it quickly as it's wherever it rings out the clearest.

    I'm with the guys that pinch it rather than kill your hand for such a brief-sounding note!