Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Artificial Harmonics

I'm adding artificial harmonics to my technical repertoire, and am using a modified version of Jaco's technique, mentioned on Modern Electric Bass.

1. I use my right-hand thumb touch the harmonic node.
2. I use my right-hand third and fourth finger to pluck the string.

Bass is much more forgiving of artificial harmonics than guitar, so I find that the thumb just has to be in the vicinity of the node, to achieve the harmonic. The obvious issues are that the right hand can get out of sync with the fretting hand, and, instead of a harmonic, you get a muted note. For some reason, I think of a first trumpet player in a big band, who tries for the high note, but has the second playing an octave lower, just in case...

Tonight, I just worked on playing the harmonic an octave above the fretted note, playing through some arpeggios, and major/minor scales. I was striving for a simple melodic phrasing, (using Michael W. Smith's Agnus Dei), clear harmonic, and synchronicity between hands.

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