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Can you slap??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. If you, or anyone of us, learns a slap exercise and executes its perfectly, does that make the person a "slapper". I see exercises on youtube and It seems that all I have to do is learn it and practice it. But Is that what slapping is? Is it just a bunch of us learning exercises and playing them.

    I watched Ed Friedlands reviews and he always slaps among other things to give a full review of a particular products tonal ability. But is he making stuff up on the spot? Id have to ask ed himself right?? But this is what I'm thinking. I'll learn this exercise and then I'll learn another one and soon I might have a few 'exercises' down pat but in the end. Am I a slapper??
  2. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    You are a bassplayer.
    Slap is a technique just as plucking, strumming, picking, tapping, and bowing are different techniques used for deriving specific qualities of sound from the instrument.

    And believe me Ed Friedland is able to improvise with the best of them if he so choses.
  3. OK. Here is another question that might get to my point better.

    Are there different types of slap bass lines?
    Do players always use octaves in everything they do while slapping?
    Are most slap lines in E?
  4. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Medway, MA
    Yes, no and no.

    Youtube yourself some SMV. You'll see there a little more to it than you're describing.
  5. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    Alexis Sklarevski - DVD or YouTube.

    Dan K.
  6. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Yes. You can hear slap in music as diverse as funk, pop, metal, experimental, and jazz.

    No, but octaves (and other wide intervals) are a standard part of the vocabulary because it feels very natural to have the thumb slap the lower note and then pop the higher note with a finger (usually, but not always, the index). But there is certainly no rule that states that all slap lines must be constructed in this fashion.

    No. Open-string keys such as E and A are popular because they facilitate certain technical possibilities (such as the percussive fretting-hand slap), but a slapper who can only slap in such keys is leaving a hole in his/her technique.
  7. Awesome.
  8. It seems that most lessons/exercises that I find on Youtube are based around those two keys. E & A.

    Or I've found lessons that focus on muting extensively.

    It seems that to understand the Slap & Pop method, it might be a good Idea to understand how it works and I think that is my quest. That seems to make sense.
  9. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    Not every bass player slaps. I particularly dislike the sound of it and routinely hit the stop button or change channel when I hear it but it is a personal thing. Just not for me.
  10. LazyGecko


    Nov 19, 2013
    It seems you are under the impression that slap is just a random technique people do while practicing. Like someone else here said slap is a technique just like plucking, bowing etc. If you can use the technique in a musical context, like in a song where it is appropriate, then you can slap. Also a lot of(but not all) slap bass lines are in E because people are lazy haha
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I don't slap. I have never had any interest in it. I guess if I played a genre where it was prevalent, I would do it. To be honest, it has become so cliché that it is to bass players what "Smoke On The Water" has become to guitarists. Basically, something that they do because they either think they have to or think its cool.
  12. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013
    I have my own technique of slap I've kind of created for my comfort Since i play upside down on a righty p bass my strings from bottom to top are E A D G my thumb is turned upside down and back and forth plucked with my pointer finger. So my wrist is constantly moving. I'm limited though
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Same here. It's one of the many things on this planet that I detest.

    But hey, if there are players out there who like it, I encourage them to pursue what they like, regardless of what some insignificant schmuck like myself has to say about it.
  14. younggun


    Jul 19, 2008
    San Antonio
    Yes, this thread has already devolved into a "I hate slap" instead of constructively discussing the OP's topic. :rollno:

    I don't know if you're looking for some accepted definition of the term "slapper"...because I doubt there is one. But I imagine maybe a better way to put it would be more along the lines of "what makes one a good slapper?" Listen to some Alain Caron for a great example of slap and pop used musically...in the end that's what its about. Just learning the technique doesn't make that happen automatically obviously. But, use the technique in a musical and creative way and you can't go wrong...whether its someone else's "cup of tea" or not.
  15. mntngrown

    mntngrown Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Santa Cruz Ca
    In your quiver. I want to play Upright, EUB, slap like Marcus and Larry, pick like a bunch of them 80's rock dudes do, bow like the Wood brothers bass player does, and slap rockabilly style too. Hmmmm have I left anything out? Of course I have... I am to old to get it all, but it all is great. I went to a Marcus Miller concert at my local jazz venue. My jaw was on the floor, when he announced how he loved "Tower of Power", then launched into owning one of their songs, as the lead, bass, whatever he felt like doing. Sh-- I am just happy when people tell me I play good walking blues bass. But I will tell you that other bands and musicians, as well as my own guitar band leader, have complemented me re my playing and I got the gig basically, if I could emulate Tommy Shannon or Johnny B Gayden. They Held auditions for blues/classic rock/ SRV and some Guitar Center slap wankers showed up and started trying to impress whoever with their slap technique.
    NEXT! was all they said within 10 seconds. So it is a question of context as always. IMHO
  16. mntngrown

    mntngrown Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Santa Cruz Ca
    30 years into playing are you a bass player? Of course you are. Can you groove with the drummer and be the magic that sets the foundation for the soloists, and vocalists. That is your traditional job. Obviously I am old school, but I want to hear a great rhythm section with the other talent going off from that anchor. I could care less about going to these bass shows with three bass masters playing together, cause that is two too many. Give me some guitar or keys or sax as lead while the bass and drums hold it all together. I highly recommend the you tube "tribute to stevie ray Vaughn". OOps sorry this was a slap thread. I love slap as something to listen to. I love mandolin and dobro as something to listen to. Jerry Douglas forever! This is why Claptons Crossroads festivals are such awesome dvd's. We are all just holding the music in our hands. Do what you want but be aware of your ability to get a gig.
  17. same here. cant stand it.
  18. younggun


    Jul 19, 2008
    San Antonio
    I hate brussel sprouts.
  19. And of course, its playing off the sixteenths. So it gets a little tricky there until I realized it. Now I'm seeing patterns and rhythms built.
  20. Me too!

    Sorry for the negative vibes. Slap on!