# victor wootens "amazing grace" problems

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by quantum5, Jul 8, 2003.

1. ### quantum5Guest

May 30, 2003
forest lake minnesota
in the first measure of "amazing grace" there is a harmonic on D that looks like this: <3.2>

if anyone can explain to me waht that is that would be great
thanx!!

2. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
Search around and you'll find a harmonic node just above the 3rd fret, which is two octaves + perfect fifth above the open string (so A when played on the D string).

You'll have to work on it though, so that those harmonics sound clear enough in comparison to the 'easier' ones round the fourth and fifth frets.

Wulf

3. ### quantum5Guest

May 30, 2003
forest lake minnesota
thanx man! any pointers on exactly where and how i should hit it

4. ### Turock

Apr 30, 2000
Melnibone
If it is an A note you want, why don't you try playing it at the 7th fret.

5. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
No... don't play it at the seventh fret. If you've got to play a fretted note, you'll need the 31st fret of the D string to get the right pitch, and it still won't have the correct timbre....

To get the note, practise until you can reliably hit that harmonic with a strong sound... if you're not clued up about harmonics, Victor's arrangement is probably a bit advanced for you to tackle (keep climbing towards it but don't expect it to come too easily). Do a search on Talkbass for harmonics and you should find plenty of information to fuel your studies.

Wulf

6. ### Turock

Apr 30, 2000
Melnibone
I'm not suggesting that he play a fretted note. There is an A note (harmonic) at the seventh fret of the D string which is much easier to get a "strong sound".

7. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
But that's still only an octave + perfect fifth above the open string. The tune requires two octaves + perfect fifth and thus to play it you have to develop your skill with harmonics beyond the easy ones (above 12, 7, 5 and 4 frets).

Wulf

8. ### Turock

Apr 30, 2000
Melnibone
I said he could try it, and he can, and it will work. Who says it's got to be exactly like Victor's anyway?

To the original poster:
Try a fresh set of strings, that should help make them ring clearer and easier to sound, especially the harder ones (like those up towards the headstock). Until develope your skill, the 7th fret harmonic will work just fine.

9. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
quantum5 did ask specifically how to play it according to the available tab notation of Vic's approach.

When I looked at it a few months ago, I picked out the tune by ear, wrote it down and figured out which harmonics I would have to use. The only way I could do it without shifting some notes to a different octave (and thus altering the melody) was around the 3 - 5 frets, making use of some of the trickier harmonics. I haven't attempted to transcribe what Vic does but I'm pretty sure he's using the same basic notes in that intro section.

I concur with the advice about fresh strings - along with not cutting too much of the treble, some amp eq and maybe a bit of compression, that will make the harmonics easier to pull out - but respectfully disagree with the idea of dropping in the note an octave lower... it definitely didn't work when I was experimenting with the piece.

The most important challenge is NOT to play 'Amazing Grace' just like Victor but to build a mastery of harmonics (using the hands as well as the gear based solutions mentioned above) to be able to use them as a tool for making your own music.

Wulf

10. ### Turock

Apr 30, 2000
Melnibone
As I am sure you are aware, that is subjective rather than definite. Years ago when I was experimenting with them, I had figured out how to play Taps using harmonics. A bass playing acquaintance of mine heard me play it and told me he had heard Amazing Grace could be played that way, so I set about to learn how to do it (having never heard Wooten's version). Using the 7th fret harmonic is how I figured it out. It works fine. A year or so ago, this topic came up and I posted how I play my version. There are some notes (mainly open strings) I use that I didn't put in that post, I just put the harmonics.

11. ### quantum5Guest

May 30, 2003
forest lake minnesota
do u guys have any of ure own transciptions of "amazing grace"? the guyn who has it on the talkbass tabs, his version doesnt really put the parts in good order. i can play most of the parts, i just cant put them toghther in a way that sounds half-decent any help would be a blessing. if it would be easier to mail them then email them, i can get one of u the address too.

thanx peace

12. ### wulf

Apr 11, 2002
Oxford, UK
I'd suggest just playing around with it until you find something that works for your fingers and sounds good to your ear. Remember that you're working around a melody, not a technical exercise... make the bass sing that part sweetly.

Wulf