I learned something today!

I’m sure this is probably a known thing, and I’m probably going to get laughed out of town for being previously unaware (just a joke, I know this isn’t a “laugh someone out of town” kinda place).

Anyway, the main bass I’m playing right now is my Ibanez SR500EPB. I’ve been playing some AC/DC songs lately, specifically “Big Balls” which has a lot of this:


Each of those are quarter notes with rests between them. I’m using my plucking finger to mute the string for the rest. I noticed that once I muted a string, I’d hear this quiet harmonic tone, and I couldn’t figure it out.

Well, I just did.

On that bass, I’ve been anchoring my thumb to the backside of the neck pickup, and plucking between the neck and bridge pickup. I move my thumb up and down the strings as I play different strings, but the plucking always stays right between the pickups. Turns out, that bass has a harmonic point right between the pickups, right where I pluck the strings. So when I’d mute the plucked string with my plucking finger, a little harmonic would ring out!

So now I’m anchoring on the frontside of the bridge pickup, and plucking more towards the bridge pickup then directly between them.

Anyway, just thought I’d share.


At some point you will begin learning to mute with your fretting fingers, which, will eliminate this issue. You can also eliminate this issue the way you are muting by adjusting how much pressure you are muting with. Ideally, a bit of each hand muting will insure any tricky noises go away, but depends on song and available fingers.


I do that sometimes, but with such a simple rhythm and the stretch/shift from E to C it seemed more… I dunno… efficacious (?) to mute with my plucking hand.

I just never considered that there were harmonic points off the fretboard. LOL.


Harmonics have nothing to do with fretboard position.
Have to do with the oscillation wave, which, would be all along the string at various points.
They ain’t listening to no fretboard ruler, haha.

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I can relate to that, I also didn’t give it much thought until I heard about pinch harmonics.
Basically the points where the harmonics are are symmetrical to the 12th fret, as harmonics happen at points where you part the string in for example half/half (at the 12th fret), or 2/3 on one side of the finger and 1/3 on the other.

Pinch harmonics is when you fret a note with your left hand, and hit a harmonic with the plucking hand. Some guitarists like to do that, and I think they do it with plucking the string with their pick while touching it with their thumb at the right place.