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question for elite pro bass players only.


cruzbass

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How do you study harmonic overtones? is there a method out there i dont know about?

 

and no I am NOT asking about how to play harmonics.

 

I am talking about the various sub-frequencies contained within each note. any input is definently apreciated.

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provided you've been thru the math, physics, and psychology of hearing tones, then no, you haven't missed anything.

 

i need to know why you're interested in harmonics in order to connect you with the information you want. do you want to know why some pickups sound a certain way? do you want to know why they are placed where they are? do you want to know why certain strings sound a certain way? what is your objective?

 

knowing that will facilitate me being able to help you.

 

robb.

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I'm gonna sneak in an answer, although I'm not an "elite pro bass player."

 

I've just bumped a thread from last June, called "harmonics." Does THAT answer your question?

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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I'm neither an elite player nor a pro player. I guess I'll keep my harmonics knowledge to myself, and refer you to the thread that DBB bumped back into circulation. ;)

 

The moral of the story, cruzbass, is that you should be thoughtful when you give a thread a title. I tend to think of this board as inclusionary rather than exclusionary. I guess I shouldn't have even read the thread given what it's called -- I don't qualify (or else I'm ridiculously modest). I realize that you're new to posting, so you'll get the hang of it. (Although you may have lurked for a while.)

 

:rolleyes:

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I just had to read the topic even though i don't qualify!!! Hope that doesn't say anything about me.

 

....Hey Dave youre pretty elite in my book. If teaching music doesn't make you elite I don't know what will !!!

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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So is everyone who answers an elite pro bass player?

 

I'm going to answer even though I don't consider myself an elite bass player:

I'm just a soul who's intentions are good

Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Actually you need an acoustician, or a physicist specializing in music, or someone experienced in music synthesis.

 

The harmonic overtone series which can be found in many reference books is contained in every note played by every instrument.

 

The percentage of each overtone present in a particular note is part of what gives an instrument its own particular character or timbre and is why middle C sounds different on a bassoon than on an electric bass.

 

A flute produces nearly all fundamental. A electric bass has almost as much of the first overtone as it has of the fundamental. A bassoon has very little fundamental and lots of amounts of odd numbered overtones.

 

People who use oscillators to create sounds on synths use multiple oscillators to try to imitate the sounds of instruments.

 

A Hammond B-3 uses drawbars: as you pull out and push in drawbars you are emphasizing different overtones of the fundamental pitch.

 

There are other factors that give instruments their own sound such as the unpitched noises created by instruments, the envelope characteristics of the attack and decay, and the formant (which is difficult to explain).

 

Your question is really out of the realm of what bass players, including elite pro bass players, normally think about.

 

Check out a keyboard players forum (if they're not too off-topic over there),

 

Check out CNMAT

or check out

IRCAM in Paris

(this web site is in French--but this is the top research center on acoustics in the world)

 

or try the electronic music department of any top University.

 

Good luck in your search and we all would like to know why you asked the question. And why you asked in such an aggressive way (although you probably knew that everyone gets flamed on their first post here ;) )

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:rolleyes:

 

I know I'm not in that group. Welcome to the forums!

 

:thu:

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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Cannot answer

 

I do not qualify.

 

I do know this much -- There is a book on the market that clearly points out all harmonics which is very helpful to me and should be to all those interested in this topic.

 

I think its titled

" BASS HARMONICS FOR THE ELITE - RICH AND FAMOUS "

 

:wave:

www.danielprine.com

 

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Cruzbass, Willie said what I would have. While you were looking for technical info that some players may not have been able to answer, we like to keep things open. Sort of in the "Mr Rodgers" spirit.

 

DBB is the man, giving the official music answer and proving to be a first class archivist.

 

Jeremyc is the man by applying the answer(s) in a very practical way (especially meaningful to me, since my daughter played bassoon).

 

Thanks to all!!

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks for the info guys, it have more info now.

Sorry that my post was so cold and heartless. I just wanted to make sure somone didn't missunderstand me and think i was asking on how to study making harmonics.

 

The reason im asking is because of the b-string. It has much greater mass than the other strings, and therfore vibrates at a much slower rate. If you dont hit a note dead on-on this string you can easily create unwanted upper partials that you can hear in the mudled waveform.

 

But lets say you want to make an overtone stand out with greater intensity?(am i imagining things?) for example the 5th partial in the overtone series of a low c note on the b-string

 

That would be a major 3d. and if a keyboard player played a c major chord with 2 e notes an octave apart, well..

 

Is there any way to bring out more or less of an overtone just by the way the string is physicly set into motion? and then how would that relate to "sypathetic resonance", the new set of overtones created by my low c note and the keyboard players e notes vibrating off of eachother?

 

Maybee I just need a waveform analysis program in my recording setup? hmm interesting stuff. but i just cant grasp at what it all means yet.

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Well, now you've gone and opened another can of worms!

 

You can, to a certain extent, influence the balance of partials that Jeremy talks about. Generally speaking, the closer to the bridge you pluck, and the less flesh you use tends to bring out more upper partials.

 

As far as hitting a note "dead-on" I'm not sure what you mean. If I play a note anywhere not exactly behind the fret, I make a less than satisfactory sound, but that's a fret buzz issue.

 

But you talk about the resonance of upper partials on a low C, and a keyboard player playing octave E's, and you have a problem with your E? Let me guess....it's out of tune.

 

You have just entered the classical discussion of tempered and natural intonation.

 

And guess what! There's an old discussion on this one too. We discussed temperament in this fretless bass thread...eventually getting pretty technical. Also, we started talking about it in a more technical way in this thread. This was a situation where I was caught "thinking out loud," and has nice contributions from several people...including one who remains anonymous, but is called greenboy!

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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It really says something about the quality of the members of this forum, and the forum in general, that everyone has had the humility not to claim "elite" status, even though we all know that some serious chop-meisters reside here. Kudos to us!
...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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I am cracking up at peoples responses to the phrase "pro elite bass player". Man, i swear, I will use that phrase now any time i need a quick response.(joking)

 

Anyways what I meant by hitting a note "dead on" was this: the finger adds tension to the string(straight down into the body of the bass) and releases the string as it rolls of the center of the finger tip. If sucsessfull, the string will vibrate more or less straight up and down, with no litle sub-riples bouncing up and down the string to mudle the waveform.

 

oh yea and did i say?: elite pro bass players only please. man that should be my new sig. ROFL!

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Originally posted by cruzbass:

Anyways what I meant by hitting a note "dead on" was this: the finger adds tension to the string(straight down into the body of the bass) and releases the string as it rolls of the center of the finger tip. If sucsessfull, the string will vibrate more or less straight up and down, with no litle sub-riples bouncing up and down the string to mudle the waveform.

Perhaps I'd question this on two points ...

 

1. If (as I assume you do) you "displace" the string by pulling it at a point near your pickups, and then releasing it, there MUST be "sub-ripples" in the vibration of the string, since even the ideal string (i.e. no imperfections, perfect elasticity, constant tension, etc.) will migrate the "displacement" along the length of the string, since it isn't at center. The point is that you're plucking off-center (unlike an archer!), and this introduces "overtones" into the vibration. Of course, obviously you can affect this by varying the placement of your right hand (sorry Idnarb, I mean the pick/pluck hand) ... and if this is what you meant in your original question, directed at others far more pro than me, I would experiment with whether plucking at one of the fractional nodes increases the overtones you like ... as DBB has often noted in these physical/phenomelogical discussions, it's all in your ears.

 

2. Entering the micro-world of string vibration, I don't buy that the vibration of even an "ideal" string is necessarily straight up and down ... there will be a good deal of chaotic "noise" introduced (i.e. - you end up "rolling" the string by pulling and releasing) - and as is apparent if you watch the string vibrations carefully, it vibrates on numerous axes, that change ... [incidentally, FWIW I actually attempt to pull a string on an axis perpendicular to the body (not, as you say, by adding tension into the body of the bass) so that I don't get nasty rattles and fret-clattering on the attack of the note]. Also, it's tough to play quickly and efficiently if you're "plucking" up and down. But back to the point, once you release a string, it will vibrate on numerous axes, and I would be AMAZED to hear that a player could develop a playing technique (with human fingers) that would constrain string vibration to one single axis.

 

Whew.

 

(and thanks for having good humor and being classy about the ribbing we gave ya on the subject line ...) :thu:

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Originally posted by music-man:

(and thanks for having good humor and being classy about the ribbing we gave ya on the subject line ...) :thu:

Ditto.

 

Plus, Cruzbass, your further clarifications about the musical physics in particular that you're interested in really made a difference. Unfortunately I don't quite have the expertise to help here.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Well im not going to give away my secrets to just anyone.

 

But i will tell how i discovered some of it: Check out bruce lee's theories on "economy of motion"

 

No, bruce lee is not a bass player. but he is really smart when it comes to using the least amount of force for the greatest amount of action.

 

And hey did anyone know that Elvis was an avid martial artist? strange but true.

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I've actually been studying Jeet Kun Do for some time now. It really helps with flexibility and really strengthes the hands and forearms. In it, Bruce Lee teaches to use only as much force as necessary but, to make your target about 2-3 inches beyond your actual target. That works better for fighting than playing bass. It would be bad if you hit the E string when you need to hit the G.
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Strings will vibrate in various planes, but your goal is to get them to vibrate parallel to the body. That is where good technique and economy of motion comes into play.

 

If you want to bring out a certain harmonic, try picking at the proper harmonic node of the note that you are playing. In order to do this you will have to be moving both hands together and you will have to know the location of the nodes very well. It's not as hard as it sounds.

 

This will be similar to the way you play artificial harmonics. I use my right thumb to touch the harmonic node and my right hand first finger finger to pluck the note. Depending on the amount of pressure you use with your thumb, you can control the amount of the fundamental and the harmonic that pops out.

 

This will require incredible right hand control.

 

Good luck.

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Well jermy I apreciate the input but this picking style i describe is more tone oreiented and will not work for fast combinations of notes..true

 

And by "pushing down", well...its not exactly that now that I take a closer look at it. its more like starting the action plucking parralel to the string and transfering that motion downward. Its more like rolling the string downward, rather than pushing on it.

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Hmm. I'm wondering whether the materials in the bass and in the string itself don't have more influence on the overtones than technique does. That's why a Rick sounds so bright.

 

Also, the difference between a pick an fingers makes a whopping difference.

 

Lastly, here's an interesting exercise in the study of harmonics. Find a friendly trumpet player - yeah, I know, most of them are egomaniacs :D - and ask him to play all of the notes on his instrument that he can play without pressing any valves. These notes represent all of the partials (but not the fundamental. Experienced trumpeters can force out the fundamental, but it does not occur naturally on the instrument.)

 

Some of the notes may sound a little sharp or flat to your ears, because they're real overtones from a piece or real tubing. No adjustment has been made to justify their pitch to the equal tempered scale.

 

Oh, heck, I can't resist this one...It's not necessary for the trumpeter to be an "elite pro," but it will help the experiment if he has good range, i.e. he can play high notes. ;)

 

Good luck!!!!

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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