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what is this called (chime sound)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by truckin88, Jan 29, 2005.


  1. truckin88

    truckin88

    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    I have pplayed bass for about 8 years, but pretty much finger and pick, no slap (but have been getting into it), anyways when I was chilling with a guy who is a bass player I heard him messing around, it was like he put his finger over the fret without pressing all the way any plucked it to get a chime/bell sorta sound, what is that called, and how do you get it.
     
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    It's called a harmonic. If you do a search in the Technique forum for "harmonic", you will have more material than you probably ever wanted about them.

    edit: You have the gist of it, though. If you place your left hand finger over certain frets (try the fifth or the seventh) but do not press down, you can pluck with your right and get the harmonic. The threads in the Technique forum go into much more detail.
     
  3. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    No offense, but you've played bass for 8 years and haven't heard or used a harmonic?
     
  4. Dynna

    Dynna

    Oct 23, 2004
    Harmonics are an effective tool for tuning your bass to itself.

    Play one on the 7th fret of your A string, and let it ring while you play a 5th fret harmonic on your E string. You basically want to eliminate any 'waves' that you hear.


    Play around on individual strings for harmonics as well. The easiest places to get them are at 12, 9, 7, 5 and 4 1/3. After that you can get them at 2 3/4, 2 1/2, 2 1/3 and 2. In order, the intervals that you get from those harmonics(relative to the open string) are: Root, 3, 5, root, 3, 5, b7, root, 9.

    Then you can combine harmonics from different strings to get cool chordal things. Play a G note on the low E, and get harmonics from the 5 frets of your G & D strings. Instant G chord. Play those harmonics again at the 4th fret instead, and you've got a major 7 chord.

    Check the links these guys gave you and experiment with it. It's not necessarily applicable in every style of music, but every now and again a 'sprinkle of tinkle' adds to the vibe.
     
  5. truckin88

    truckin88

    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    I thought it was called harmonics but when I looked it up in search I got a lot of irrelavent stuff. I have been trying to get the sound out my fender p bass which I just setup, basically have it on 5/7/12 on G and D strings. I will definatly be reading about these.

    As for not hearing about it, I have only taken guitar lessons when I was way younger, dropped the guitar for the bass cause the sound was awesome. I am self taught, but when you only listen to metal, hardcore, and some punk, when are you really gonna hear about or care about a harmonic. I have recently crossed over to jazz and blues, wanted to broden my horizons, and I finally heard it.

    thank you guys for all the information
     
  6. In my experience, metal, hardcore, and punk guitarists are the one group of guys who don't ever shut up about harmonics, so I'd expect you would have heard of them. Weird. Anyway, now you know. :)
     
  7. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Yea, while maybe not played too much on the bass, many metal guitarists use harmonics on a regular basis. There aren't too many Metallica songs without a harmonic in there somewhere. At least, that's the way it looked when my guitarist friend and I used to get together to jam along with metal CDs.
     
  8. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Next time you post a question, I'm going to say, "No offense, but you've been playing for X years and you've never heard of of a blank?"
     
  9. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    i hate to admit it but for the FIRST time since i first read his first post (first to me) whafro is right 8 years is way too long for not knowing about harmonics, i dont mean i know everything but this particular thing is a newbs thing.
     
  10. truckin88

    truckin88

    Oct 18, 2001
    Newburgh, NY
    sorry i don't know anything, as i stated before, I thought they were called harmonics cause of guitar but in doing a search, (yes I sued the search button first) I got a bunch of unrelated stuff that made me think other wise. My main experience with harmonics is the band unwritten law they use it alot but on guitar, in fact I think they made a song about it.


    also to many people rip off someones head for not knowing something, if this is the case what is the point of a forum at all
     
  11. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    nothing at all against you, talk bass is here for us bassist to have a very nice and complete data base abut whatever related with bass, BTW were free to coment things like this the same way youre free to post questions like that one, is just that we felt curious.
     
  12. lowendgod

    lowendgod

    Feb 25, 2004
    Yakima, WA.
    i dont really hear harmonics much on bass in this style of music

    EXCEPT: the only one that comes to mind is Billy Sheehan listen to some of his solo pieces, he puts a little distortion on them and the harmonics just scream out...

    as for guitarists go just about everybody uses this trick, Edward Van Halen pretty much wrote his book on these tricks...






    lowendgod
     
  13. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    How come :p?
     
  14. Kevjmyers

    Kevjmyers

    Dec 10, 2004
    Boulder. CO
    Now ARTIFICIAL harmonics...that's a whole 'nother can o worms.
     

  15. isn't that practicly(sp?) a refret? you fret string on a fret so that the string starts there where you fret it... sorry for the terrible explination... theoreticly that would work wouldn't it???

    sorry if i'm a little unclear on that and if it makes no scence, but it should, shouldnt it?

    thanks

    alexx
     
  16. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I gotta make a video, and figure out how to post'em quick! This might be my only chance to actually impress someone on TB with my designed-to-be-easy, no-brainer harmonic dittys!

    Joe
     
  17. You've got it right. The fret you've fretted the string at acts just like the nut did, but everything is scooted up the neck and up in pitch a little bit.
     
  18. Use your thumb to kind of mute the string while you pluck it. You can then proceed to move your right hand toward and away from the bridge to get ranges in pitch without having to move your fretted hand.