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Pizzicato multiphonics

Pizzicato multiphonics are easy to produce, and are most effective and clear from the 3rd-8th partial. Place the left hand finger over the harmonic with very light pressure and pluck energetically close to the bridge. As the string is plucked release the left hand finger from the string. This is also possible with right hand finger pizzicato technique. Place the right hand thumb lightly over, or on the side of, the harmonic and pluck energetically with index finger. Release the thumb from the string as the string is plucked. This technique was first shown to me by the Finnish bassist and composer Teppo Hauta-aho, and the first written description is by Mark Dresser in the article Double bass multiphonics (The Strad, October 2009).

Notation of pizzicato multiphonics

I suggest using the symbol M. above or below the harmonic to indicate that it is a multiphonic sound, together with the indication on which string to play the note (in Roman numerals). In example 1, the multiphonics is played with the right hand finger pizzicato technique.

Example 1. Håkon Thelin: Glasperlenspiel