22 frets and slapping

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dincrest, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    First off, I apologize if something like this has been asked already or if it's not in the right place, but I couldn't really find much with a search, although I probably used crummy terms.

    Anyway, I've heard a lot of stuff here and there that a 22 fret neck lends itself better to slapping/popping than a 24 fret neck does. If so, why? I honestly have trouble fathoming how slapping can be different on a 22 fret neck versus a 24 fret neck? Or maybe it's because I've only played basses with 22 fret necks, that I don't know the subtle differences of a 24 fretter. Or does it not matter at all?

    Thanks for humoring me.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Because 22 frets leave more room for your fingers between the fretboard and PU but that's bull.
    I've never had an issue slapping on 24+ fret basses.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think that the difference is way over-rated. I have owned more than a few two octave basses that were great slappers.
    My Ken Smith six slapped like crazy. I have had a few two octave Yamahas that slapped fine. That said, some of the all time greatest slapping basses like the Jazz, Stingray, L-2000/2500 and 55-94 have between 20-22 frets. I think it's more the Fender influence than the fret number that makes a great slapper.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Slapping can sound different on a 24 fret, due to the difference in where you are slapping the strings, and the placement of the neck pickup.
  5. That and due to some of the pickup placement, there are some node locations that could occur causing some deadish notes, but this is only if the size of the fretboard forces the pickup to be directly over the 24th fret area or 36th area ect.

    But that's just physics.
  6. My Jazz combo is playing "Chamelion" and I have to slap the Bass line, Ive done the whole song (20 minutes) on a 20 fret, 22 fret(both Mine) and a 24 fret at Samash, all sounded great and were easy to slap on. I see no difference.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    A lot of people don't like slapping over the fretboard itself, and if your neck pickup is placed close to the fretboard, a 24-fret board doesn't allow you much extra room to move your hand. I actually have very little room to move my hand if I don't want to slap over the board on my Elrick, because it not only has 24 frets, but it has an additional bit of fingerboard wood at the end, and the soapbar pickup is placed pretty high up (click on the link for a pic). I've had to tighten up my style a little, but I'm fine with it now.

    I think that those who prefer 22 frets for slapping tend to have a looser slap style where their hand moves back and forth quite a bit.
  8. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    i think my dream bas would be like Mike Pope's Fodera 6er. with the magnetically attached diamondwood fretboard which comes off at the 20/21st fret. the only problem i have with slapping my 26 fret warwick is pickups placement and that the strings are tighter then they would be at the 20th fret. and thats why i only slap my ric (no pun intended). the only problem on that is the neck pickup... :rollno: why o why do they have to be so close to the Fingerboard. i think fender had it right the first time with their J pickups and placement.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Depends on the bass. I did a gig tonight with a 24 fret Elrick New Jazz Standard 5 and it's extremely easy for me to slap on. So are some 20, 21, 22 and 25 fret basses I've encountered. OTOH there are some other basses that don't lend themselves towards this.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings

    I hadn't noticed that.
  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    In my experience it depends on a couple variables.

    Variable 1: Is there sufficient space between the end of the fretboard and the neck pickup? If yes, who cares how many frets? If no,......

    Variable 2: Are you comfortable with your thumb contacting the string directly over the frets? If yes, who cares how many frets? If no..... Try another bass.


  12. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all the responses, folks. Yeah, I kinda figured it as most of you have said, that there are other factors outside of fret count such as pickup placement. It's just that I see ads or descriptions on some manufacturers websites that tout the 22 fret= better for slap style and it had me scratching my head and thinking I was missing something in terms of logic or whatnot. That's really why I asked.
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Well, as always, I could be wrong. :)
  14. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    The area where you slap is different depending on the number of frets of the bass. The more frets you have, the tighter the strings will feel... And the sound will be a bit different too, but there are way more variables for this.

    Comparing a 24F Sadowsky and a 21F Vintage 5, I feel that the 21F model is definitely easier too slap on, I believe it's because the strings feel less tight there.

    My 21-fret 535 is the most slappable bass I have ever played.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    While I prefer less than 24 frets (I don't feel hampered not having them), my Elrick NJS 5 is incredibly easy to slap on. It's a complete non-issue.

    OTOH my Bone Avatar 6 has an extended (28?) fretboard and it does hamper me though I can slap on it. There's not much space between the end of the board and the neck pickup, which is where I like to pop.

    OTOOH I have a friend who can slap and pop COMPLETELY OVER THE FRETBOARD, which is pretty amazing considering how low the action is on that bass.
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I slap right over the 22nd/23rd fretlines on my Yamaha fretless. When I pop the G with my index finger, the side of my finger actually brushes the edge of the fretboard. The only reason I don't slap at the 19th fret and pop right on the board is because my action is criminally low and I'm not crazy-cool.

    When I play fingerstyle sitting down, I play with my thumb over the 19th fretline at the E string and (this is when I'm not actually plucking anything) my index at the 19th fretline over the D and my index over the 19th fretline on the G -- my forearm at about a 30° angle to the fretboard. If I need a bit more speed, I'll put my forearm perpendicular to the board and pluck more traditionally.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Ever try muting with your forearm when you slap?
  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The last two basses I've picked up have been 24 fret, and I haven't had the least bit of trouble slapping them. I pop right past the end of the fretboard, which puts my thumb over the frets when I slap - which feels comfortable and sounds perfectly good to my ears, though I understand others may not feel that way.

    Funny Brad should mention forearm muting. I am making the leap from four strings to five right now, and have really gotten a lot of help from my new slap bass friend, the right forearm. :D
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings

    It can make for a very tight sounding E and B, among other things.
  20. My 26 fret Thumb is a slap machine - obviously naming the thing a 'Thumb' is some kind of clue - but there's one major design feature that makes all the double-thumping stuff so much easier on warwicks, which is the slope from the last fret (the 26th) down to the body; part of the through-neck design. Not only does look nicer (IMO) but because there's a surface for your thumb to stop at, then bounce back from, getting the whole up and down thing becomes incredibly easy. When I go and try this on say a Fender jazz, it's like I am a frikkin' beginner bassist as my thumb starts flying all over the place - I just can't get the same amount of control. The string tension you get with longer necks is also a very definite factor in other playing techniques - on a Fender J I always feel a lot more old-school - my slap goes on 1970s style! That's why I'd love a Sadowsky as I think they are the perfect hybrid of the best qualities of old and new designs.

    <img src=http://www.munkio.com/music/warwick%20pics/bass_portrait.jpg>