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5 string slapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Aug 8, 2001.


  1. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    oke, i can do the slapping basics pretty good on my four, nothing fancie just ure average slap, pop thing to a few RHCP and RATM.
    But I tried it on my 5 but because the strings r so close together I'm back at square 1, any quick fix help or just start out like i did on my 4?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, this is why people say they wouldn't buy such and such a bass because of the narrow string spacing - it does make any techniques where you need to get your fingers under the strings more difficult.
    So for example, I find the Fender RB5 to be very good for slapping as it has a wide flat neck with good string spacing, but there are bass I've tried in shops, that I just know I would never be able to slap/pop because of their narrow neck.

    I think this is the sort of thing you need to take account of when buying a bass and trying them out - if slap/pop is important to you, then you need to get a bass with a neck that is suited to this style. If you're only going to be using a pick, then the narrow spacing is irrelevant.
     
  3. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
  4. I got my 5 because it suited Heavy Metal better what with the junky B. I agree its not a "slapping" bass. Its too hard IMO. and because i rarely slap and none at all in the band, there's no point in really trying to nut it out at this stage of my playing.

    Merls
     
  5. anything CAN be done, you've just got to practice,

    i went from a 4 string jazz to a 5 with smaller string spacing, and i can slap better now, perhaps it's got nothing to do with having narrower string spacing, but i can.

    all i had to do was practice, start from the beginning if thats what it requires, don't give up or say, well i'll never slap well on my five

    i'm playing a load of marcus miller's stuff now, which i thought i'd never do

    don't give up, anything is possible, perhaps play around with your technique, make yourself stand out from the crowd

    and if you have a 4 and you find it easier to slap on that, then use the 4 for slapping, i really don't know why you'd want to slap the B, but it's possible

    again with PRACTICE

    stu
     
  6. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    The musicman 5 spacing is IMHO very narrow I can live with it but I rarely slap.

    If you must do slap on the 5 then practice. I suggest that instead of the thumb being over the hand (like Mark King) that you have the thumb dropped under the hand (like Flea) This will enable you to damp the low strings when not using them. Eg if you hit the D string with your thumb you can damp the B and E with your palm. Also in this position IMHO you have more control cos your hand is in a claw and the fingers are closer together.Please note this is IMHO.

    When (if) you upgrade then do as Bruce said and consider all the playing styles when choosing a bass.

    EDIT

    Tyburn your post was not there when I wote this but re the practice, great minds think alike.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I know it can be done, but I was thinking about the transition I've made from the RB5 which just cried out to be slapped - it really did get that Marcus Miller/Larry Graham sound - to my Tobias Classic 5 which has narrower string spacing and is neck-through. My main consideration wasn't slapping and there are only one or two songs that I ever play with slap.

    But overall the Tobias is a much better bass and actually helps me play the sort of fingerstyle stuff I mostly do. But slapping is harder and it never sounds exactly right to my ears - nobody else has noticed this - but to me when I slap the A string on the Tobias it just doesn't sound "right", in the way the RB5 did.

    But what I do a lot of is the "popping" element - getting under the strings to pull them harder and I wouldn't buy a bass where you can't get under the strings to do this. Now the Tobias still has a reasonable spacing, but on some of the Ibanez basses with really narrow necks, that I have tried - this is just flat impossible!! You cannot get inbetween the strings quickly enough and I don't believe any amount of practice will enable this - there just isn't enough room, to play cleanly without pulling the adjoining strings as well.
     
  8. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I agree but his profile says that he has a Musicman 5 type bass and my advice is for what he has. If he upgrades then, fine get a bass that wants to be slapped.
     
  9. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    At the risk of sounding totally retarded, you may have helped yourself out. If you continue to practice practice practice slapping the bass with the narrow spacing, you will have to improve your technique. When you transport your technique to a bass with wider spacing, the precision will stay with you. Even though you will have more room for error, you won't need it and it will all seem easier.

    Once you nail the technique of slapping a narrowly spaced 5, your only issue will be B-String muting, which would probably be an issue on any 5 string. One thing you may want to focus on is being able to thump any of the 5 strings. Sounds obvious, but I've run into too many people who seem to think D & G HAVE TO be popped.

    I ordered my 5 string with narrow spacing to get the neck that I wanted, given my small hands. I've been working with a 6 string with wide spacing for the past few weeks. The technique that I had to tighten up to play the narrow 5 has made the wide 6 a breeze to slap.

    Peace,

    James
     
  10. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    thanx for all the help apart from the one who said I nearly sounded retarded, grrrr:mad:
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    There's no quick fix. It takes time. Get used to it.
     
  12. TRWOTEB

    TRWOTEB

    Jul 20, 2001

    Man, you've said it
    "slapping basics" "average slap, pop"

    you're still LEARNING how to slap.. any change will make a huge difference.

    practice.
     
  13. TRWOTEB

    TRWOTEB

    Jul 20, 2001
    Another thing, somewhere i read this : "..techniques where you need to get your fingers under the strings.."

    if you put a big portion ( 1cm is already big) of your finger under the string to make it pop, it's obvious that narrow spaced strings will be a pain in the ass

    there is a guy with a 9 string bass.. the guy can fly slapping and the strings are very close together.. when he pops, he does it putting just a little amount of flesh from his finger tips under the string..

    that way, having enough precission, even the thinest neck won't be a problem
     
  14. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    :confused:

    Fishbrain,

    I did not say that YOU sounded retarded. I said "At the risk of sounding retarded.." meaning that based on everything I said after that , some might think that I am retarded.

    Obviously I wasn't very clear in my wording and you took it the wrong way. Go back and read the post again and you'll find that there is some decent information in there. I'm not one for trading cyber-insults. That's part of the reason I try to end all my posts with "Peace". It's not just a throw away comment.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Peace,

    James
     
  15. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    its oke feller im cool :cool: