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Jakester

Odd harmonics issue - new strings perhaps?

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Thanks to the lockdown, I've had the chance to do a lot more practice of late, and I've noticed over the last couple of days that when LH muting a note after playing it, I'm getting very strong harmonics coming through, to the point that it's almost as strong as the fundamental note. Obviously it's worst on the 5th fret, but it's also noticeable to a lesser extent on the 3rd,  7th etc. It's even when I'm deliberately trying to LH mute, not fret a harmonic. Moving the LH away from the fret helps a little, but not masses. 

Now, it could just be I've got crap technique and I'm only noticing now because I'm practicing more through headphones. However, I've never really noticed it before and I've had crap technique and been playing through phones for a while... Practice setup has changed - now going into a MS60B into headphones, whereas before it was a Flyrig into headphones. Phones themselves haven't changed though. 

The bass has relatively new nickel round strings on it - I have a bit of foam under the bridge but otherwise nothing has changed. The strings have had a couple of rehearsals and some practice sessions but they're really only just breaking in. 

Could the newish strings mean the overtones are more prevalent? Or am I really just that crap at muting strings?

 

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By the sound of things it sounds like you are achieving something that I think is called pinch harmonics...I may be wrong, but it is a technique that some of the best guitarists use and that many lesser guitarists would love to master, I think what is happening is, you hit the string (with a pick usually but possible to achieve finger style) then almost instantly another finger or the edge of your hand also hits the string creating a harmonic note? You may need to be a little bit firmer with your muting or if it is a stray finger causing it then you may just have to re-position your hand slightly.

Try having a listen to Billy Gibbons guitarist of ZZ Top on the track Rough Boy he is brilliant at using pinch harmonics to create what is probably my all time favourite guitar solo and that is because of his use of the pinch harmonics

I hope this helps

Rog

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Thanks Rog - fairly sure it’s not pinch harmonics as it happens generally irrespective of where the plucking hand is. 

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3 minutes ago, Jakester said:

Thanks Rog - fairly sure it’s not pinch harmonics as it happens generally irrespective of where the plucking hand is. 

I am not really sure then, I have just grabbed a bass with pretty fresh strings on and cannot replicate the harmonic overtones you mention and trying to achieve pinch harmonics on a bass doesn't appear to be very easy either!

Hopefully others will be along before too long that can better advise

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@Jakester, it sounds like you are trying to mute with just one finger - by doing this you are creating a node rather than stopping the string from vibrating, and this is what is creating the harmonic. To effectively mute you must use at least two points of contact (for LH muting I generally use the underside of all my fingers, depending on context) to stop the string dead .

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Well, if anyone is interested, I think I have got to the bottom of this. I think it’s sympathetic resonances when other other strings aren’t muted - for example today I was noodling around and I played an E on the G-string and the E-string itself resonated really strongly. I was able to repeat it with the D and A strings, and to a lesser extent with other notes too. 
 

Whilst I’m sure some of it is down to my bad technique, I’ve never noticed this before and it has come straight after new strings - has anyone ever had something like this before?

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Im not sure mate but it does sound like there may be a problem with your technique. If you strike a note, no other note should sound, even harmonically. Personally, I find myself unconsciously muting with my left hand or even some fingers of my left hand on occasion. Try watching Scott's bass lessons for technique videos. He has loads and I'm sure he will cover this. good luck.

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2 hours ago, ubit said:

Im not sure mate but it does sound like there may be a problem with your technique. If you strike a note, no other note should sound, even harmonically. Personally, I find myself unconsciously muting with my left hand or even some fingers of my left hand on occasion. Try watching Scott's bass lessons for technique videos. He has loads and I'm sure he will cover this. good luck.

Oh, I agree it’s probably technique related, but it’s odd I’ve never noticed it til now. I will check out SBL, thanks. 

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Have you tried fretwraps?

 

 

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