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A little help from those slap inclined please.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chaoslord, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Well I have decided to finally put some time into a technique that due to not needing it in my band I have not put any time into learning. However I am wanting to seriously expand myself as a musician so I am devoting alot more time to practicing.

    Alright enough explanation, my problem is I have no clue how to get a good a useable slap tone out of my bass/amp.

    Obviously I realize the final tweaking is very user dependant but in general it should be relativly similar (boost this, cut that, use neck pu or use bridge pu, etc)

    So can you guys offer up an suggestions?

    For referance I am using both a Pedulla Thunderbolt 5 and a Pedulla Rapture PJ5 through an Ampeg SVP-BSP.

    Thanks a ton.
  2. I think it is more about your technique than set-up. But I would say cut the trebel a little, and boost the mid a little.
  3. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    I would boost the lows a bit because the thumb attack in slapping seems to be a bit low end shy. Also I would take out a whole lot around 800Hz-1kHz. That's the clankiness that often needs to be taken out for slapping, IMO.
  4. A good example of the slap tone I'd like to achieve can be heard in the first of the Benevente Namm show videos Avon 2-1.

    I'm sure it has to do with technique as well, just wanted a good starting point.

    Thanks so far guys.
  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Thats the style i use and probably always will. Use the Onboard controls to fine tune aswell.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've only ever played one Pedulla so I'm not prepared to make this a blanket statement - some basses are better for slap than others. the Pedulla I played sounded very nice when played finger style but didn't slap too well. It was too warm and had no bite. Maybe that's part of your problem?
  7. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    My fingerstlye and slap style Eq settings are pretty much one in the same... because I will go from Slap to fingerstyle in an instant, you really can't keep changing things on your amp and your bass... I always leave my pre amp settings the same.. only adjusting the aural enhancer for the room situation...

    On my onboard preamp, I boost the bass and treble and slightly cut the mids... I used to boost the mids but I could never get the Tone I was looking for... until one day i met a bass monster and he played my Elrick and boosted the bass and treble and it just sang to me.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'd concur with that. While there's much more to it than just the tools available, they can make a big difference.

    Is there anyway you can get a local slapmeister to try your setup? That will give you a clue as to how much help or hindrance your basses will give in the development of your technique.

    Also, are there any particular players or songs whose tone you'd like to achieve? 'Slap' is a pretty broad heading and one answer won't cover all the bases.

  9. A good example of the slap tone I'd like to achieve can be heard in the first of the Benevente Namm show videos Avon 2-1. They have been posted on the Miscelaneous page.

    And I have heard my basses slapped by a local guy but it was before I had any intentions of getting into it so I didn't pay attention to his settings (it also wasn't on my rig).
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    It really is dependent on each person's individual tastes, but I agree with those above about the smiley-face EQ curve. Cut the mids, slightly boost the lows and highs. I use an EQ pedal live to kick in and out on the slap songs, and sometimes just use my pinkie finger to roll back the mids on the bass itself.

    Technique can handle much of this for you, just as you can change the tone with your fingers . . . you can also change the tone with your thumb.
  11. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    The marcus Sound. Jazz bass, new strings ( or just broken in)slight bass boost, Favor the neck pick up slightly. Thump lightly just over the end of the fret board.

  12. -use both pickups on your bass (bridge p/u gives clarity, neck p/u gives booty) leave the bass's tone controls relatively neutral at first

    -new roundwounds (dead strings or flatwounds sound bad IMO, you'll never get "the sound")

    -proper technique is essential, getting your thumb to drive the string against the fretboard properly allows two things, 1) the added percussion when the note sounds, and 2) the string vibrates with a richer harmonic structure

    This is what works for me, YMMV.
  13. farboozle


    Apr 18, 2000
    Fairfax VA
    1) new strings
    2) new strings
    3) new strings

    Strings will overcome many lesser-slap-bass tone issues. Of all parts of the slap tone, EQ is the least important to me, either I hear myself well from the get-go or I spend the whole gig/practice trying to eq myself to death.
  14. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I'm sure you get the tone thats to kill (and you may not even consider what im saying but do it anyway)but I find theis quote slightly misleading from one of the basic things alot of guys do wrong.

    You dont want to strike the string directly into the fretboard it sorta chokes the note and tone. Instead you want a slight downward motion when you want a Full of note sound.For more percusive and faster stuff you tend to attack more Directly towards the bass. You'll find that you float in between directions depending on the tone your after. the becomes more obvious when you trying to coax a nice pitch out of the G string with your thumb.

  15. I also have a Pedulla Rapture and slap almost exclusively. This is a great slapping bass. New strings do make a huge difference, as does proper setup (low action).

    There's no right and wrong regarding slapping over the fretboard or towards the bridge ... just get the string vibrating, experiment, and find the sound you like.

    EQ: on my Pedulla, a touch of bass boost sounds good.

    I personally don't like Ampeg amps for funk or slapping. Maybe try a hi-fi amp (SWR etc.)
  16. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Be careful of the smiley face EQ....it will sound great without the band......but will bury you in a live mix!
  17. Well, I see your point, I guess I relate slap to the way a percussionist hits a conga / bongo / djembe ... His fingers ensonify the head without choking the sound because he is striking with a bounce , so to speak, not a hit. You have to set the string or drumhead in motion without following it through....

    Does that make sense?

    If a basketball player's hand traveled with the ball all the way to the deck, how much bounce would he get? I think of hand drums and slapping bass the same way.

    Sorry, my technical writing skills may not be the "light that shines" on the subject.

    Your turn. I tried. i just wish I could teach in person instead of using this POS keyboard and internet...

  18. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    On your Thunderbolt, turn the thunderguts switch off, blend both pickups even, and dial in the tone to taste.

    I agree with Jerry, it is difficult to have a great slap tone and great finger tone at the same time. The only bass I've had that I felt sounds good both ways without fiddling with tone is a Stingray. The Thunderbolt 4 I had was actually pretty good both ways, too. I've had two Thunderbasses that were not great slappers, maybe the difference between bolt-on vs. neck-through.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I get around that with a simple EQ pedal. Turn it off for fingering, turn it on for slap. Easy..........
  20. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I use the Pan slightly bridge for fingers slightly neck for slap.

    sure makes perfect sense;)


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