Alright guys I need help hitting the kind of harmonics where you mute the strings with your thumbs but still make a sound. I can hit regular harmonics fairly and i've tried atried the Jaco modern bass videos on youtube can someone who knows how to do this help me!
they way i do them, is to make a "nut" with your fretting hand on the fret you want to get the octave of. then i put my picking hand thumb on the octave of that note - 12 frets up - and play the string with my thumb over the octave. if that made no sense, tell me.
That's pinch harmonics. Practise practise practise, there's not really a way how to explain it. Try to tap the string you're picking with your picking hand at the exact moment you pick it - so hitting it during the pick, so to speak.

You need lots of gainfor them to sound good though. Also, try to find the "soft spots" on each string (the place where it sounds best). I reccomend starting at the 5th or 3rd fret on the low E string and trying to pinch those, they're the easiest because the soft spots for those are exactly at the place I pick.
Last edited by Eryth at Aug 30, 2009,
You dont mute the strings, you just touch them lightly where a harmonic can sound. Its really tricky without a pick though and so far ive only been able to get Jaco's technique to work.

Anyway, go ahead and find the natural harmonic spots on your bass near the pickups and end of the neck. When you try to do this just remember you'll get the best results from areas that either are or are near those natural spots. Its gonna take some time to figure that all out though.

Presence and gain should help with this too.
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Last edited by Thegian at Aug 30, 2009,
you can do pinch harmonics on bass?
i didnt know that. i'm a guitar player. i just saw the head line and checked this out.

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There are certain spots where the sound comes out most clearly (farther or closer to neck)

The way to hit them is to pick the string normally but DIRECTLY AFTER(almost at the same time) you lightly touch the string with the thumb of your picking hand.

1.hold fret
2.pick the note
3.touch with thumb

2 and 3 happen almost at the same time. Hope I've helped.
Quote by RaySolava
you can do pinch harmonics on bass?
i didnt know that. i'm a guitar player. i just saw the head line and checked this out.

Actually "pinch" harmonics are artificial harmonics and can be played on any string instrument.

As to the answer to the question, if you really want to learn artificial harmonics then I recommend learning natural harmonics There's a set series for harmonics (octave, octave and a fifth, two octaves, two octaves and a third, two octaves and a fifth etc.) for natural harmonics and artificial harmonics follow that same pattern, it's just that you're moving you nut up one position and have to move the harmonics that ratio down the string as well.