Teach Me Bass Guitar Review Best Bass Lesson Downloads Best Free Bass Video Lessons & DVD's Learn Bass Guitar Harmonics
Harmonics Give Bass Players 'Hidden'
Simply put, harmonics are the hidden notes on your bass' fretboard.
Another term for harmonic is "overtone." So what is an overtone?
Wikipedia defines a musical overtone as "any frequency higher than the
fundamental frequency of a sound. The fundamental and the overtones
together are called partials. Harmonics are partials whose frequencies
are integer multiples of the fundamental (including the fundamental
which is 1 times itself)."
So what does this mean to a bass player? It means that if you can learn
to press the frets with a certain finesse, at just the right spot along
the string, you'll hear a gentle ringing sound above the actual note you
are playing! It's not easy to do, and you're going to have to practice,
but if you can master the art of creating harmonics on your bass, it's
going to open up a whole new world of tonal possibilities and make your
music much more aurally diverse.
To create harmonics, you have to know the best places to hear them.
Though they occur all over the strings, the best, clearest places to
start with are on the 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets (especially the
12th). Instead of pressing down firmly to close the fret completely, you
just touch the string lightly, right overtop the fret, and then pluck
with your other hand. The soft, almost bell-like chime of the harmonic
should be heard. If you can't hear it very well, try lifting your
fretting finger off the string immediately after plucking.
You can also improve the sound of your harmonics by changing the place
at which you actually pluck the string. You're going to be amazed at the
range of new sounds that are available to the bass player - those
You can even use harmonics to tune your bass!
Watch bass teacher Roy Vogt - the instructor behind the Teach Me Bass
Guitar program - show you the fundamentals of learning to find and play
harmonics on your bass. Wow!
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