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Anyone here able to slap but choose not to?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by 5intheface, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    I'm a decent slap player, moreso in the style of Marcus Miller, (strangely, I'm not a big fan) I'm not as good at the machine gun Wooten or Mark King type slapping, but can manage to do it if I concentrate.

    But I just don't slap that much. Every now and then as a joke, or on a couple funk tunes I know. But for the most part, I just choose not to slap. Anyone else like this?
  2. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I just kind of stopped doing it a few years ago. I don't know, I just seem to concentrate more on songwriting now.
  3. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I've not felt, or had, a need to slap in 20 years. It's not really called on in the studios that much anymore it seems. :bag:
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Sure, I can. I don't do it too much though. I do like the percussive effect though and use it in my songs from time to time, but it's usually subdued and not really going for any type of flare. It's also fun to noodle around with purely recreationally.
  5. A guitar player in my band always wants me to slap, but I think the less you do it, the more impact it has when you do. When I was first trying to 'get it', I did it constantly(much to evreyone's chagrin). Now I TRY(really I do :rolleyes: )to lay back/out more.
  6. tomfouts


    Jan 4, 2006
    Boston, MA
    For me it is different. I have been slapping sooo much these days. I love thumping, and especially jamming with the drummer in my band to funk (because the rest of the band doesnt like it :scowl: ). It makes me put more feeling into it, I can't explain....
  7. Buck Naked

    Buck Naked

    Jul 24, 2005
    Austin Texas
    I used to slap all of the time and then I went in to my local music store and there was a guy that played nothing but slap and I thought quietly to myself, "Ugh is that what I sound like?" And I kinda stopped from there.
  8. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Slap his its place, but just remember that slap does not equal funk. I can slap moderately well, but I barely ever do. For me, the funk is in the fingers.
  9. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I can slap somewhat well but just choose not to pursue it. It's just not me. I have no funk in me. Plus I've seen too many wanksters in music stores where that's all they do and it get's tiresome. I've only seen a few that do it well. The rest were like a cheesegrater on my ear.

    Short story:

    A year or two ago I was trying out an El Capitan ABG fingerstyle at a music store and this guy comes over, watches me for a second, picks up a bass, sits directly across from me facing me, and begins slapping/popping a repeating pattern that's all speed and show, no soul. I of course can't hear myself now and put up the ABG and move to leave. He has a wry smile on his face. We were obviously in some sort of competition I wasn't aware of.

  10. skewh


    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    I can kind of slap, but to be honest, it's just not the sound I'm going for, which is why I never really devoted any practice time to it. While I definitely have the funk in me, I prefer to portray it through high-tempo, syncopated/muted 1/16th note funk lines, all finger style.
  11. I wouldn't mind slapping better than I do, because it's appropriate for some things, but I've kinda lost some of my interest in pursuing it, because I've done almost nothing in the past few years that I thought called for it. If I got a funk gig I'd probably brush up, it case it was needed, though even then, as has been pointed out, slap isn't synonymous with funk with any means, and some of of the funkiest bassists I've heard don't slap much if at all.

    This thread reminds me of the old joke. Q: What's the definition of a gentleman? A: Someone who knows how to play the banjo ... but chooses not to.
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Like any effect or technique, I use it when appropriate.
  13. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Yea i can slap.. I hate that sound though... I like Miller's and wooten's tunes.. but I don't like the sound of the slap bass.. I think an educated display of 1/16 notes played fingerstyle is much more impressive then somebody beating up their instrument.
  14. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I used to slap a ton, I would learn everything wooten ever did. I got over that, and I don't all out slap at all anymore. I like fingerstyle much more.
  15. This is really funny.....I used to play slap bass, and even had some training manuals and the very entertaining "Flea: adventures in spontaneous jamming and technique" DVD....

    I play with a pick now, but my slap technique, and rhythms are waay better than before, when my friend used to say "that sounds like Seinfeld!"...which is a true sign that you really suck...

    Well.... now I can double slap, and do some left-hand slapping too, but I much prefer to use a pick....I do slap maybe once in a blue moon though.....maybe to release some drummer urges?? :eyebrow:

    BTW, the Flea video got me back into bass playing, because I realized that you don't need to be a Berkley graduate to come up with a really nice bassline(not that it doesn't help though!)
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I never slap if I'm looking for a gig. Most musicians can't stand slap.
    Actually, as a general rule, I don't slap until I'm asked, unless it's a jam thingy or a solo.
  17. Oh yeah. I am one for sure. I used to practice the Victor double thump stuff and now I hate to hear others do it becuase every young bassist in TN seems to want to do it. whhhew!! Now however, it wasn't in vain because most of my students want to know how to do it.

    I honestly don't see much of an app for it in modern music. Most bands want the meat and potatoes tones. FIngerstyle, pick, and plam muting is 99.9% what sounds great to bandmates and producers. The timbre of those 3 tones have lasted a long time and complement most styles better than slap.

    Sometimes a tasty pop or slap line is cool for a song, but few and far between for me.Slap has been said to go out of style, and in this decade it seems to be "out" in most music.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm with this all the way - there's been the odd song I've played in sets - maybe 2 or 3 songs over the last 10 years or so - I can't begin to count how many tunes where it wasn't appropriate! ;)
  19. Start_Me_Up


    Dec 3, 2005
    Yeah I do. I mean my P Bass isnt to suited for it and its not like we are a funk band so I dont see the point. A true bassist can apprectiate a cool bassline even if it has no slapping just like a guitarist can see a guitar lick is worth their time even if it has no tapping.
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    that's a lie! :mad: