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Bass Lessons - Slap Bass Technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by anonymous111813, May 19, 2011.


  1. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
  2. im excited to watch it. just at work right now so I cant watch. I will however watch later and slapping is something I've been starting to work on and would love some help on it :D
     
  3. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    I appreciate your time and effort. And I have a question / comment in the spirit of discussion; ....in writing out a lesson - sometimes a near-by string needs to be muted to prevent sympathetic vibration or it may need to be muted if the player had just hit that string and wanted another note to be clear, etc.

    In classical piano music I've seen this written via a peddle strike (on a true piano) in the common muted format. But not in music written for the electric bass (or tab) other than a true muted note. It would be very helpful in some pieces to display the need to mute a near-by string or maintain a finger on a recently hit note to provide a mute during a change. I don't believe this would "crowd" the written potion. I think it would help many folks as I've followed a piece by ear and then seen it written and those tiny mutes were something you either knew or didn't. And if you didn't know to mute a recent string and especially a near-by string your work didn't sound like the example. I once mentioned this to someone else & they said it would just make for a very crowded work; but really don't think so because the guy's going to have to do it anyway.

    I don't know if I'm making myself clear; but I think there's is some need to show muting more than a classical muted struck note to add to the feel & eliminate "ring-on". Does that make sense?
     
  4. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    Hi John,

    this makes sense to me. Muting is much more difficult for slap bass than for fingerstyle bass. If you play fingerstyle with two or three fingers, the thumb can help you muting the strings.

    The key is a good left hand muting technique. If you look close at what Victor Wooten or other great slap bass players do, you will notice that they try to cover the rest of the strings with their index finger while playing. This becomes even more important when you are playing double thumping.

    Another way to mute is to use the palm of your right hand.

    I mostly rely on left hand muting when it comes to slap bass playing, because you have more possibilities when the right hand does not have to move to mute the strings, especially when you play fast stuff.
     
  5. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Nice stuff, please continue: efforts are always remembered & appreciated.....seriously! Written material (for Slap) is much less than other styles & valued.

    I'm glad to hear that you understood my take on muting in written material. Unfortunately I myself, have no easy answers. I attempted to "tab" a short section of a piece with a lot of muting and (honestly) it did look crowded. I thought of a "code" for active mute and dead string mute ( an "x" and a " * ") but the more I separated them the more complex it looked.

    I have watched Wooten often and heard many things. I have heard frequently he uses a light touch (fret-hand) which would make sense. Too many folks (including myself) have difficulty separating the intensity of the hands while playing. To have a delicate left while one's right hand moves with speed and impact is extremely difficult. However it may be one of the keys to increasing speed overall.
    It's unfortunate that many people today are unfamiliar with classical sheet music because many idiosyncratic issues that present themselves today have been worked out long ago (but never in tab).
     
  6. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    Wooten and some other players use a "hair-band" and put it on the fretboard, which mutes the open strings, so you definately have less trouble with muting.

    Another way of dealing with the problem is to use dead-notes or other percussive notes you can produce by slapping the left hand on the fretboard. Mark King uses this "left hand percussion technique" excessively for his triplet-runs (slap, left hand "slap", pluck).
     
  7. Slyonbass

    Slyonbass

    Feb 21, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    I've been asking myself the same question about how to notate string muting.

    In developing my thumb-picking technique, I've been experimenting with 4 different approaches for muting i.e. left hand fingers, left hand thumb, right hand thumb and right hand palm.

    I have yet to find an efficient way to notate the varying muting techniques - but your piano pedal reference will be something I'll look into.

    Thanks.
     
  8. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    I guess palm muting fits great to your style.

    Can you get that Jaco-like staccato-tone with the thumb-picking-technique? Just wondering, because I saw "Come on, come over" on your website.
     
  9. Slyonbass

    Slyonbass

    Feb 21, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    I haven't really thought about trying to get Jaco's tone with thumb picking. The tone of the attack is very different from fingerstyle because on down stokes it's a fleshy part of the thumb hitting the string and on upstrokes part thumbnail and part side of the thumb - so you get a different attack on both. This kindof creates a groove of it's own...

    While teaching myself the technique I was messing around with the 'Come on come over line' just to see if it was technically possible to play the notes.

    As you can see from the recording - I'm trying to do something different with Jaco's line tone-wise while still playing the same notes (with a couple of power chords thrown in for fun! ;-)).

    Does this help?
     
  10. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Speaking of Jaco Pastorious' work....Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the work-book but there was a Jaco P "song-book" that showed a fantastic exercise illustration. It was a Bass Neck with all the harmonic-notes alone illustrated and one w/ the harmonics overlayed with the notes of the neck (I think one was a different color, etc). All possible harmonics were there; so a degree of practice was needed to sound some in a clear, fast technique. The exercises were naturally scales and technique methods which included finger-shifts to align the hand for a fast transition from a harmonic note(s) on a fretted instrument and Glesondos (slides) on a fret-less. Really fun stuff. - (I think it was published in the early 1980's; I'm sure someone will chime in as to it's name.)
     
  11. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
  12. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    For those who want to practice with these exercises: I figured that YT videos are not the way to go for me. Instead, I will supply you with MIDI-Files of the exercises, so you can listen to them. If you got any questions, feel free to ask :)
     
  13. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    That's wonderful! What's more I totally agree that (unfortunately) video (or DVD) teaching elements just aren't the best. I would like to send you my Email or whatever is convenient (I'm a teacher also: but secondary school, not music) and I'm very interested in teaching technique. Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch, ich war gerade wieder dort vor ein paar Jahren. I just may buy that text, while the dollar can still come close to the Euro :-(

    It's a problem that many people face when using YT/DVD teaching methods to carefully move back & forth to the computer to re-run a portion.
    Some popular guys have tried to make it work and I suppose it could if it were more convenient. Hal Leonard did a good set of DVD's & I sure made some good money. But a great many folks understand basic self-correcting elements (neck finger-shifting, various scales, ect) but are always looking for new exciting things to try.
     
  14. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    If you need any transcriptions of these exercises and/or MIDI-Files, send a mail to:

    johannesoehl@gmx.de

    You are welcome :)
     
  15. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Thank YOU for putting the effort into technique modality lessons. This is something that the general public pays for rather than receives for free.
    I wish you success in your endeavors!
     
  16. slaphappychappy

    slaphappychappy

    May 25, 2011
    i found that naturally slapping is easy for me. i can do triplets quite easy with my thumb. i also mute using my left hand. But my popping technique is weird so i have been told. I use my index finger on the g string, my middle finger on the d, and flick out with my thumb if i pop the a string, which is less often. I also can slap a string using my thumb and little finger which gives a really cool drum roll sort of sound. But my standard fingering could use work and i find when not doing slap i jump between my thumb and index, all 3 fingers, index and middle, and just thumb. It works for me, but other bassists always say i look weird when i play.
     
  17. anonymous111813

    anonymous111813 Guest

    Mar 1, 2011
    Hi,

    it´s ok to play in a style that you like.

    I have seen people playing with the thumb and the little finger, that´s nothing to be worried about.

    Using the index finger for the D-string and the middle finger for the G-string is something that most bassplayers do. I think it is the most economic way of playing slap bass. If the other way works for you, you don´t have to change it, though.
     
  18. Warfender

    Warfender

    Oct 25, 2009
    Thx
     
  19. Stealth

    Stealth

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    As someone who still hasn't learned how to slap properly, I salute you, sir.
     
  20. Papa Dangerous

    Papa Dangerous

    Feb 1, 2011
    This is great and I will want to definitely check it out later.. I shall post here to make a reminder to myself xD
     

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