Best settings for Slap?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Moonsoft, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Moonsoft


    Aug 28, 2006
    Hi everyone.
    I would like to know how to get a good slap sound, or a slap sound AT ALL.
    I have a ESP LTD F-104 and when I slap the E string open I get sound, but anywhere else the sound it just too low (except popping), so I figured that this bass wasn't fit for slap or something, and only the warwick pro basses are to get such slap sound.
    Or is there a specific kinda settings to be done for slap? String distance from fretboard? EQ? Compressor? A type of bass wood?
    Or is my problem just skill? I tried to hit the string in a 100 ways possible and there is nothing diferent happening. We are supposed to hit the string with the thumb hard and release it right after to let the string sound, yeah, that works fine with the E string (as I said earlier)...
    Anyone? =(
  2. EQ: boost your mids and a little treble and bass.
    Wood: Maple board for the best slap sound IMO

    Make sure you have the technique down 100% before you start thinking about what could be wrong with your bass though.
  3. Plookie


    Jul 14, 2006
    Endorsing artist: SIRE Marcus Miller v7 Jazz bass, DR Strings HI-BEAM
    Hey Moonsoft,
    First off, what strings are you using? Flat or round? I use round wound. That could mean a lot you know.
    2nd, your strings could be set up too high from your neck, which may have an effect on your output.
    3rd, you can get a nice tone for slappin', pluckin', n thumpin' on where your eq settings are on your wmp and bass guitar.

    You can try setting your low setting flat and your mids push around 1:00, and high about 1:00 or 2:00 on your amp.

    Different settings for different basses, so what I've written, is not in stone.

    I set my Eden amp similar to the above setting. But with my Pavel Jazz Pro 5 Deluxe bass. I normally set my neck pup around 11:00 or flat (some ballads, I go 1:00), my bridge pup around the 5:00. I set my bass volume at 5:00 and the treble volume at 5:00. With these setting, I can get some serious slappin going on.

    Moonsoft, I hope this helped you a little.

    I endorse Pavel jazz basses
    Eden bass n amp
  4. I just recently went through the same thing, trying to get a good slap tone. Just like everybody says, its all in the good technique. I had to practice every day for at least a week before I could even get an audible sound out of the D or G string. A good way to practice is playing 1,2,3,4 on the E string, then same on the A string, and so on, making sure to get a good open note on each one. Make sure to twist your wrist and not hit it like youre knocking on the door. Second of all for amp settings, i go about 5 on the treble, 1 on the mids, and about 7 on the bass. The treble can go a little higher if youre popping too, it just depends on what sound you like. Do this for a couple of days and you'll have it down pretty quick.
  5. I agree with what everyone's said so far but I'm going to add some. Yes, I'd start with looking at your string choices. I personally prefer Sadowsky stainless steel strings but any stainless steel round wound string should be good. It's brighter than nickel so it's easier to get more of a upper mid and high boost from your thumb. Also, close action is important, for tone and also for feel. The closer the action, the easier it is to play IMO and the strings will bounce right off the frets instead of you having to forcefully fight it to bounce.

    As far as EQ goes, I'd start with your amp EQ flat. Start to slap a little and adjust the highs and mids to your preference. Another thing that will help, but is not imperative, is an active preamp. This also gives you more versatility at your fingertips during a gig or live performance. Plus, it also will give you more headroom so you can get louder and still sound clean and even add a little more highs and mids to your tone, making it punchier.

    Pickup placement is another factor. I know I get a better slap tone panning towards the neck pickup rather than the bridge pickup but I don't isolate the neck pickup because I still like a little high end snap to my tone, which is what the bridge pickup brings to me on my bass.

    One last thing, NEVER compare your slap tone to what you hear on cd's or the radio. What you're hearing are songs that have been produced and mastered and every aspect of the song has been altered in some way so it will automatically sound better, even if they use the same exact bass and amp as you do. It's easy to hear a cd and like the tone and then get discouraged with your own tone when you play it. I used to do that until I actually heard my tone recorded and it actually sounded better than what I've heard on some cd's so I learned that lesson early.

    Hope this helps,

  6. +1 on the technique thing,...

    in my opinion using a flat bass with boosted mids and slightly boosted treble worked best for me,...

    and slapping on just of the very edge where the fretboard and open space near pickups works best on my basses...

    that said I bought my K5 cos it has an awesome slap tone compared to the yamaha,... yamaha CAN be slapped on, no doubt,... just it sounds bad and has a hard time getting tone out of the d and g strings,... but try and get technique down properly,... I thought my basses were crap, but now I can slap ok and it was due to technique (I also found that slapping on the d and g strings required a bit more force to get the same level of volume as the e etc... ) even if it sounds horrid or no sound at all just keep at it, im sure it will get there :)
  7. IvanBassist


    Jun 8, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Dingwall & Aguilar Artist
    at least for me, i get that metallic nice slap sound when i hit the string over the fretboard and the pop just on the beginning of the fretboard :)