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Are 6-strings ok for slap and pop?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Javy, Oct 12, 2001.


  1. Javy

    Javy

    Sep 15, 2000
    I've been thinking about getting a 6-string bass (I play a 5-string now), but I'm a little concerned that what little slapping and popping I do might be difficult (because of having so many strings to mute, for example). I've played sixes in stores and found that they were a little more difficult to deal with, but I haven't played one long enough to know if I'd ever get used to slapping, popping, and muting 6 strings. (I know pros can do it, but I'm definitely not a pro!) Do you think sixes are suited for slapping, or maybe fives and fours are a better choice for that.
     
  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    4 string abss are easier to slap. String spacing is wider and there is less muting to deal with. But it can be done very well on a 6.

    The question is, do you really need a 6?
    and why??
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey javy. i slap all the time on my 7's, fretted and fretless. works fine.
     
  5. Yeah but John you don't count ( I just listened to you mp3, YOUR A FREAK :p )

    Javvy, Make sure you try out alot of 6 strings you will see a wide range of string spacing, If you want to do alot of slapping I would get one with wider string spacing, with years and years of practice you migh get about half way to JT's level ;)
     
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Slapping is a technique. Technique's aren't exclusive to 1 bass. I've heard people slap on 12 string basses and sound alright. If it works, it works.
     
  7. I've been a slapper since I picked up bass in the early 80s and I've been playing 6-strings for well over a decade now. The most important thing is being comfortable on the instrument you use, whether it's got 2 strings or 18. I'm actually about to move to an 8, so wish me luck!
     
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    thanks, i think :D.
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm not sure about this - some 6 strings I've seen have very narrow string spacing and with my (fairly stubby) fingers there was just no way of getting "between" all the strings to pop notes successfully.

    I had a Yamaha TRB6P with wide string spacing, which alowed this fine, but was a problem with the muting as you mention, when I first got it; but I was able to adapt my technique.

    I do think that slapping/popping does depend on the bass a lot more than any other technique and some basses sound great for slap while others just don't sound right at all, although they work fine for fingerstyle etc.
     
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, some instruments just don't lend themselves to a good slap sound - i've heard rics get slapped, and it was definitely different, to say the least.
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    He asked if you could, not if it would sound good!

    Plenty of basses don't lend themselves to slapping because of their string spacing, but with PROPER TECHNIQUE (see, it is important) you get used to it very quickly. After years of playing on a bass with almost 3/4" spacing (5 string), when I got my current fretted 5 with very tight spacing, I couldn't do almost anything. But, with practice, I got used to it. I've seen plenty of people slap on Dean 6s, which have even tighter spacing. It CAN be done with proper technique and plenty of practice, regardless of the bass.

    Are some better than others? Definitely. But does it work regardless? Definitely.
     
  12. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    Well depends to me what kinda of slap youre doing? If its a kinda duran duran kinda thing were you switch back and forth from finger to slap a 6 does fine to me! But if its that old school funk i prefer my 4! But yeah more than how many strings there are its more the bass itself! Some basses are just not made to funk if you ask me!
     
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Did anyone mention funk!Slap is not necessarily funk!Any bass can funk, if you ask me! It's all in the feel, which is completely in the bass player!However, some have more traditional tone for it!But any bass can funk!Slapping is not funk, though!
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm afraid not! There are basses I have tried where I physically could not get my fingers in between the strings to pop - there is no getting around the fact that to pop a string you have to get your fingers in between and underneath.

    Now I know I have bigger hands and thicker fingers than some people; but no matter how long I tried or how good a technique I used, I can't make my finger magically shrink or something. There are basses where it is just physically impossible for me to pop notes, because the string spacing is too narrow.

    The original poster asked about popping and you have to accept that some 6-strings are going to have too narrow a spacing for this to be physically possible if your fingers are of a certain width!!
     
  15. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    :p Wow i think we might need a chill pill huh! HeHe

    When i slap i funk!
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Have you got any recorded examples we can listen to?
     
  17. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    :p Almost!
    Havent yet gotten the funk band recorded yet! Took us 3 years to find a guitar player to join us! We had 32 guitar players try out for us over the last few years and all sucked! Or played death metal! Me and the drummer have played together for about 7 years! So we are very picky about who joins us now!

    You can go to www.garageband.com and listen to are old rock style band from the early 90s! Just do a searcg for 7-white But yeah we are working on a cd for the funk band! We had 2 cds out with the rock band the one i told you to listen too was recorded in 91!
     
  18. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Why are you always so excited?

    Bruce-

    I know what you mean about having large hands...I only know 2 people who have larger hands than I do! I have massive hands, but like I said, which practice, you can adapt to a bass.

    For example, if one were to buy a bass with tight spacing (though, it's almost moot point considering you wouldn't even touch it, let alone buy it, if you saw it in the store), you could simply not dig in as much when popping. Unusual or uncomfortable as it is...it is possible. With practice. However, you wouldn't buy the bass, so it doesn't matter. However, what DOES matter is that he asked if it could be done, and I say a big YES. Some basses may have horrid tone or setup for it...but it can be done.
     
  19. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    Why are you always so excited?

    Because iam just one very excited happy guy! HeHe!
    But thanks for pointing that out for me!:D