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Achieveing Ultimate Slap Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Vacant, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Vacant


    Dec 27, 2004
    What Amps/cabs/rach equipment should be used for an AWESOME slap tone? Say I'm using a EBMM stingray. What would I need to blow the pants off of everyone else's slap tone

    Any $.02 apreciated
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    practice a lot. ;)
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    technique is FAR more important then the amp.

    that said...

    Marcus Miller is my fav slap tone and uses EBS stuff
    Flea had good tone when he played a MM through a GK rig
    Alex Katunich AKA Dirk Lance almost made me buy Eden stuff
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The aguilar GS410 has a great slap sound, so do old SWR Goliath II cabs.
  5. Yup. If you want to avhieve the ultimate slap tone, learn to slap ultimately. ;)
  6. 5{\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0 Hart]technique is FAR more important then the amp.

    that said...

    Marcus Miller is my fav slap tone and uses EBS stuff
    Flea had good tone when he played a MM through a GK rig
    Alex Katunich AKA Dirk Lance almost made me buy Eden stuff[/QUOTE]

    James, are you getting any good slap tone out of your peavy? i know its really difficult to get any good slap out of an all tube rig. the little bit i do slap is driving me away from all tube on my next purchase
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    tube heads and modern cabinets make for pretty OK slap tone IMO/E

    If you listen to my tunes, I'm not a big slapper and when I do, it's generally an older and slower style... the tubes suit me.
  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Just don't scoop the mids.
  9. Practice, listen, transcribe, basslines from the masters. Marcus is definitely at the top of that list. I've heard a lot of bass players that have MEGA slap chops but can't lock in with a drummer and that's a complete waste!!!! The great thing about Marcus is his "feel!!!"
  10. I agree with the consensus about practicing and listening to a LOT of stuff.....I am a bass player but also an engineer and in my engineering gigs I can't tell you how often someone comes through that wants to slap their way through a song that it just doesn't work in!!! BE TASTEFULL!!! It is not about how fast or how many notes you can get in...it is about making it fit and making it vibe with the rest of the players ESPECIALLY THE DRUMMER....if you can't lock with that drummer, you ain't no playa.....and most likely you will not be able to KEEP a gig for long.....people may hire you for your chops if it is a solo audition but as soon as the meter starts and you add other people you will be "judged" on your ability to lock it up and keep it grooving....

    Gets off soapbox.... :D

    As far as gear goes.....you HAVE to be able to make chicken salad from chicken Sh** to keep playing with people....the Great thing about Will Lee is that No matter what gear you give him and what you send him through he will STILL SOUND LIKE WILL!! Short story to prove a point.....He went to what he thought was a vocal studio date one day years ago only to find out it was actually a bass session....potential disaster because he did NOT bring a bass and it was a big session and he was on a tight schedule to get to another session. He did not have time to go home and get one or have one carted over.....

    Anyway the studio had an old banger that needed strings and was not intonated very well and Will picked it up and said "Let's go for it, where are the charts?"....The reply was "No charts just do some of that Will Lee Sh**!" He did not crack a smile looked right at the producer and said roll the tape....he listened to the track one time making notes on the back of somebodys credit card statement envelope and said "OK, I'm ready when you are".....

    What followed is an amazing testament to what a bass player SHOULD be and why Will is Will...he locked into the groove with a line that he just made up on the fly without actually even playing with the tape or working out a part or anything....WHILE he was squeezing the strings to get the intonation right!!!!!!!!!!!! The song ended and everybody was so knocked out that nobody stopped the tape!!! Will had to tell them to stop the tape....He looked up at the producer and asked him if he wanted another take and the producer said "Are you Fuc**** NUTS? That was the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen, thats the take.....

    Will looked around the room and thanked everybody for thier time and left ON SCHEDULE for his next gig......This happened almost 20 years ago and Will is still 1 of the top players in the game BECAUSE of stuff like this....the lesson here for me was be ready for anything - keep your skills sharper than your gear....keep the things that you HAVE TO HAVE with you at all times and people will find you indispensible in what you do....to this day people call me Mr. Prepared for this very reason.....

    I own GREAT gear and I am EXTREMELY blessed that I do...I know this...but I was not born rich, I was born with "the curse"...I HAVE TO DO WHAT I DO....it is not a choice, it is a necessity and if you feel the same way, FIND a way to get the things that you need to do the job....nothing more, nothing less, and don't except anything less than what you will be satisfied with because if you do you will never be happy with the result....

    Does that mean go out and buy a Sadowsky bass and the latest T-Funk, and an El Whappo? HEEEELLLLLL NO, not necessarily, those are the tools I think I need at this stage of my career because of the tour I am going out on...Don't do as I do, do what YOU FEEL....play a lot of gear, trust your own instincts, and follow your heart and your dreams......believe in yourself, practice, and perservere, those are the things that will take you where you want to go, not GEAR......

    Thanks for Reading!! Now go practice!! :bassist: :D :hyper:

    Sorry, you asked for .02 and I gave you about .25 worth but you can keep the change!!! :D


  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  12. LOL! Did sound like a sermon, didn't it? Sorry...I just know this from doing this stuff every day and seeing the things I see...I am sorry if it offends anyone.....

    Here is a little more I should have put in the other post....bear with me..... :D

    I saw Tom Dowd watch a BIG NAME studio player bring in a WHOLE LOT of Road cases and bags on a big session. AFTER the guy finishes getting all the cases in Tom handed him a bottle of water and said "I know you must be tired after moving all this stuff let's take 5 and cool off". (this was in Miami at the time and HOT as he**)

    He sat there for a few minutes and did not say another word just watched the guy sip on his water, after 5 minutes he said "By the way, what are all these cases for, did you get kicked out of the house or something?" The guy looks up and said "Well no I am XXXXX (I can not name names to protect the guy) I'm the Bass player, I'm here for the session, you know?" Tom looks the guy straight in the face and said "Bass Player! With all this sh** I thought you were the producer!! What the he77 are you going to do with all this? Just pick one and let's get to work." Turned around and started to go into the control room.....

    The guy says "Well what do you want me to play?" Tom turned back around looked at the guy and said "I thought you said you were the bass player, so play a bass, let's get to work!" We go into the control room and through the glass we see him taking out stands and cables, Direct Boxes, different preamps, starts taking out basses and putting them on stands........After about 20 minutes, Tom gets up and goes back out into the studio and says "What are you doing? The guy says "Getting everything ready" To which Tom replies "For What? This is a Fu***** recording session not an audition, just pick out a bass and be a fuc**** bass player or we will never make lunch.".....Tommy always had a way with words.....

    The lesson here - never take a LOT of anything to a session unless you are asked to do it....a GOOD 4 and/or a GOOD Extended Range Bass, A good DI (Though most studios will have them, REMEMBER BE PREPARED!!) EXTRA STRINGS AND CABLES, and be ready if asked to play with flats (happens more than you would think because they are not as noisy, even the best technique sometimes is not enough for a picky producer with "Sensitive" ears). Remember this too, good people at the top of their game know good gear from bad, they will feel a LOT more comfortable if you walk in with a professional attitude AND professional gear (though the right attitude will get you out of a LOT of hot water).....

    Personally, I ALWAYS carry a 4 with Flats to EVERY session I do, PLUS my NYC Vintage 4 (with flats or nickels), and was carrying a Warwick Thumb 5 NT but from now on will probably carry my NYC Vintage 4 strung with Sadowsky Flats and my new Sadowsky Ultra Vintage 5, a gig bag with extra strings, GOOD cables, My Demeter Tube DI, an Avalon U5 in a small rack, my Sadowsky outboard preamp, (they may have a bass there that they want you to play, in this case I ALWAYS turn them on to the outboard and it usually adds a lot to whatever it is they have, if they DON'T Dig it Don't push it. After all, they are paying you for this you know, be a pro!!

    That is 2 or 3 basses max, a SMALL rack on rollers, and 1 small Bag, I usually can carry ALL of this in 1 or 2 trips.....if the Studio has an intern and I know it I will call when I get there, let them know I'm on premise and ask if they could send out someone to help me load in.....I usually wind up carrying the Single case over my shoulder and my small gig bag (because it has the costliest stuff in it) and we make it in 1 trip EASY....If I go with the 2 bass scenario (I keep a pair in my Incase Dub Bag, I HIGHLY recommend them) I'll carry my small Bag and roll the rack with the bag sitting on top!!

    When I get inside, I AM THE BASS PLAYER!! NOT THE ENGINEER AND NOT THE PRODUCER!! After introductions all around I ask if they want me in the studio or the control room......once they tell me I set up IMMEDIATELY....TIME IS MONEY....my rule is I should be ready to put something to tape within 15 minutes 20 max from the time I START setting up....If THEY want to talk let them....(don't be the cog in the wheel of progress, be the grease that gets the session started) but be a pro, work while you talk, and don't waste any time.....the better you get at this the more you will work for the same people and the more they will be willing to pay you!!!


    Gets off Soapbox again :D


  13. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Right. So, slap tone.. yes.. :D
  14. Nadav....you are absolutely right....someone PM'd me and said I should put this stuff in a separate thread which I just did. Everyone please forgive my diatride for it is late and I am sleep deprived as I have been playing my new Sadowsky Ultra Vintage 5 for the last 9 hours or so..... :bassist: :D


  15. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.

    My day job is that of electrician--everything, and I mean everything, that Tommixx just said applies when arriving to a new job site. Does this mean that *gasp* having a good work ethic is important no matter WHAT you do ;) ?

    Now, about that slap tone...I'm still waiting for the key, besides technique, of course.
  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Good slap TONE starts with a good bass, requires good technique, and ends with decent strings. Amps help, cabs help, but it's not easy to EQ IN what is not already there. I know whether the potential is present before even plugging a bass into an amplifier, but potential does not alway equal results.
  17. I see my response may have rubbed some the wrong way.....OK direct response to the question....there is NO SECRET....but for me personally, it is about technique, I find that no matter WHAT bass I use or What Amp or what cab I can typically pull off something that will work.....That is the key, make what you have work other wise you will spend ALL your time buying and then learning how to use gear......

    As far as equipment I believe helps, I prefer an Ash bodied maple necked bass (preferably a Sadowsky), a Sadowsky outboard pre (unless I am playing a Sadowsky), an Avalon U5 (or a Demeter Tube DI, or Avalon VT 737) if I am recording or playing live, I was playing a Bergantino HT112/EX112 with a Demeter HBP-1/CA-9 amp rig....I think my results were exceptional....Beginning next week I will be playing a Sadowsky Ultra Vintage 5 into a Thunderfunk TFB-550 with the Tube Switch into an Accugroove El Whappo cabinet.......

    Now before anybody says anything this is the rig I play.....I am not suggesting that you go out and spend the 6 - 7,000.00 or so necessary to put this bass and rig together.....It is just what I choose to play nothing more nothing less....

    BTW- For the money a GOOD (you have to play a few) Fender Marcus Miller 4 with a Sadowsky outboard preamp and a REALLY good setup is as close to a "poor man's Sadowsky" as you are gonna get.....

    Hope that is a little better....


  18. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Hey Tommixx!! Experiences are part of learning, and mighty valuable I might add, that is how we learn. Not everybody has had the luxury of a mentor when learning music. Until a new forum for "tribal elders" is made available keep droppin' the knowledge!!
  19. Thanks lowphat!!


  20. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    to get a good slap tone it helps not to be me..................


    i'm still working on it. the type of gigs i cut my teeth on didnt require it, nor did the subsequent gigs. since then i've been able to fake it on the tunes that needed it, and i've actually got a fingerstyle technique or two that works well with lines that are "supposed" to be slapped. needless to say, i've never had to slap in the studio, otherwise i would have given whoever wanted me to play about 5 names of cats i know.

    what tommix says about the player is very true. one player in particular i know can make any bass/rig sound good. not that there aren't tons of others, i just happen to have heard him play tons of stuff as he owns a music shop.