How to slap the A string?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cousinofmurloc, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. cousinofmurloc


    Feb 24, 2014
    Hey I've been playing for 3 months an I want to switch it up a little and play slap more. I can slap fine on the E string, but when I try to slap the A string I end up hitting the E string also. Do I need to practice my aim? Do I need to mute the other strings? How should I mute them? Thanks!
  2. Mute by using your left hand index, fret the note with the other fingers. Or, you could practice often just striking the A string as cleanly as possible.
  3. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    ^ Both. And yes, it is purely a practice thing.
  4. zeppfan90


    Mar 27, 2013
    Yeah it's purely practice! I had the exact same problem for a while. just keep trying and one day you will magically find that you can do it all of a sudden! What I did was mute the E string with my thumb and just slapped the A string over and over and over. Started out slow with quarter notes then just built up the tempo. After that you can then start slapping the D string! =]
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  6. What angle do you hold your thumb? The only time I've had this problem is slapping the high e. Thumb parallel to the string helps
  7. Steveman


    Jun 25, 2010
    Exactly how do you slap the E-string? Do you "bounce" your thumb off of it (the Flea style) or do you go through it like you would with a pick (traditional slap-funk style).
  8. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Lakland Basses | Hanson Guitars | Augustas Guitars | Mills Custom Amplification
    left hand muting and just trying to keep your thumb as lateral as possible.
  9. cousinofmurloc


    Feb 24, 2014
    I do Flea style because that's how I always saw it done and it sounded good. I'm self taught lol.
  10. cousinofmurloc


    Feb 24, 2014
    It looks like a thumbs up except sideways, you know where the thumb bends backwards a little bit
  11. metalhead398


    Jul 23, 2013
    I'm most likely going to get berated for this, but I slap with my thumb at a 45 degree angle to the strings, with the tip of my thumb towards the neck, and slap with the side of the knuckle. In this position, I can use my forearm to mute the E or even the A if I'm slapping on the D.
  12. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    3 months experience? You're probably not ready to play slap funk style. Rehearse your pic playing and/or fingerstyle chops until they're right on the money, then branch out your right hand technique.
  13. krzym1


    Oct 4, 2012
    I slap Flea style, as plucking the strings feels completely unnatural for me with parallel thumb.

    The way I mute the E string when slapping A or D is simply keeping the part of my slapping hand on E or E and A strings. That part of my hand is like ~1 centimeter down from my pinky - to slap I simply rotate my right hand instead of swinging it all the way down on da bass like I do with E string.

    At first it felt a bit uncomfortable but now I dont feel any discomfort now
  14. RayMan34


    Jan 3, 2014
    I've been playing for about 14 months now and I am just beginning to play around with slap. I would say that you should concentrate on getting your plucking and fretting nailed before moving to slap. If anything slap is a showpiece and most people say it help your overall playing ability, it's cool to do tho.

    What I would do, find a slap bass piece and play it finger style. I recommend Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen. You can play this easily finger style, then once you've nailed that, try and slap it. You'll realise the difference in play style immediately and you can progress more easily because you know what the song sounds like in both styles.