A little advice on slapping please

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by noblit007, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. noblit007


    Feb 29, 2008
    I recently was suprised by my older brother who for my birthday bought me an upright from ebay. I have been playing it now for about a month practising for an hour a night. The bass has pretty good sound and I put nylon weedwackers on it to help with my slapping. I have learned most of what I can by myself but I am having a little trouble with the triple slap. If any one out there could throw me some advice I would be greatful.

  2. Is that what you mean???
  3. Connor


    Jun 21, 2007
    haha... that just flat out aint slappin'
  4. Hello,

    I might be able to help a bit. The terms single,double,and triple slap sometimes are confusing to me. This is what I understand them to be.

    Single slap- I hook my finger kinda of under the string,pull up and let the string hit the fingerboard. The string note,and the sound of the string hitting the fingerboard happen at the same time. That's it.No hitting the string with the open palm after the note yet. That comes next.

    Double slap- Same as single slap but after the first note sounds,I hit the string with my open hand.

    Triple slap- Same as the double slap,but I hit the string twice after the first note sounds.

    Sounds simple enough huh? Well I find the trick is what type of rhythm you use with the single,double,or triple slap. Describing rhythm,in words,if you don't read music,can be very hard and confusing. On rockabilly bass website,there are some good links to a bassist in TX I think. His name is Dan E, his handle is Memphis Evil,and he used to play with various roots acts. Look for his videos on youtube also. Good stuff. Here is my lame ideas about different types of grooves with each type of slap.

    Single slap- great for straight blues patterns,or boogie lines. Do you know what I mean if I say 4 quarter notes to a measure? Just play scales or rock lines or anything in the single slap way and it will build up your endurance for the harder stuff to follow.

    Double slap- Good for old time country grooves. Do you know what I mean if I say root five? Play a root five pattern in double slap with a metronome,and your time and groove will really improve. I do that with a classic country "walk up" or "walk down" in single slap a lot. Does that make sense to you? Walk ups are usually just the major scale notes leading to the next chord (1,4,5,etc) Do you know what I mean by 1 4 5 ? Another double slap rhythm I like is what I call the hic-up groove. Good for walking old style country grooves. Quarter notes plucking with the hand slap on the "up beats". Do you know what I mean by the upbeat? 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and,the up beats are on the "and" of the beat.

    Triple slap- Lots of stuff with this. I like the old Johnny Cash type grooves,like in Folsum Prison Blues. Those grooves are also just the "root five" thing with 2 hand slaps first,then 1 hand slap after the next note. Practise slowly and steady with a metronome. Then increase your speed with out screwing up the pattern or your intonation. Get fast enough and your almost into pysco billy range. The other type of rhythm that often gets lumped into the triple slap is what is called on rockabillybass.com as the drag triplet. A triplet is getting three notes into the space of one quarter note. Does that make sense to you? In 4/4 time (4 quarter notes in each measure) play 3 quarter notes in single slap style,then in the space of the last quarter note of the measure,pluck and hit twice. That's a drag triplet,and doing it fast,clean,good sounding,in pitch,and whenever,and where ever on a string bass is very hard.

    Hope this helped and wasn't too long winded. I live in Nashville and there are several really good slappers that are loads of fun to watch,listen,and of course STEAL LICKS FROM!!!! Good luck!

    Triple slap- There are several
  5. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    It's a DVD (read title) with slap masters Kevin Smith and Mark Rubin. You can get it on the violins etc. website. It's a great dvd, and both those guys helped me out a lot.
  6. +1,

    also the scott hinds, and memphisevil videos on youtube.
  7. noblit007


    Feb 29, 2008
    I appreciate the advice it was very helpful, I have been playing bass for 6 yrs. on and off, and finally made the switch to upright, I love the sound feel and challenge. Thanks for the feedback.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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