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Can't slap.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. I listen to other people slap and its so smooth and punchy and stuff but I cant. Is it just my bass because when I try to do it like I know how (just hit the string with the side of your thumb right?) I it hits the fingerboard and makes a nasty metallicy (not the band) sound and rattles and stuff. Is it just my bass or can I do something to correct this?
  2. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Helooo, this is the "basses" forum....
  4. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Head on over to the "General Instruction", or the "Technique" forum. I am starting to get the feel for it. And, if I can do it, any body should be able to.
  5. take the mids out, boost the tops and the bottoms a bit. new strings are more brighter also. depending on the bass, set the pickup to the middle so they are all working, depends on the bass of course.
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    This forum is about basses.

  7. well hi, we should start a club, cuz i see ppl slap, i hear it and it sounds good, but me, like you, cant slap...

    CSA = Crappy Slappers Anonymous
    there is a couple more supporting members other than you freshmeat1989
  8. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    New strings
    lighter touch
    Mute strings (that aren't being played)
  9. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Like Victor Wooten once said, "...Take away Michael Jordan's shoes, he can still play basketball..."

    IT AIN'T THE BASS (I can slap on anything including my 6 string guitar and you will be able to also!!!!)

    Learning to slap well takes a lot of consistant practicing while listening to the right stuff (Korn, etc. ain't gonna do it).

    Forget books (how do you put slapping into words???).

    Go out and buy a "Star licks" video featuring Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson and play/rewind/play/rewind/play/rewind... until slapping is like walking.

    It's 2nd nature for me now but climbing the learning curve WAS NOT EASY, don't let anyone discourage you by saying that learning it is; once you got it, you've got it though.

    Work hard my friend,

  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My advice -

    1. Make sure your bass action is decent

    2. DEFINITELY get a copy of Alex Slarevski's video, "The Slap Bass Program." It's rated as one of the very best instructional videos on slap bass...........or any instrument for that matter.

    But don't expect him to instantly make you a slap monster. You must watch the video and practice with it consistently to pick up on his techniques.
  11. I have the video and I'll second him in saying 'it's damn worth the money.'
  12. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    as long as people keep asking this question, I'm going to offer this viewpoint if nobody minds. And I say this simply because nobody ever says this when people ask about slapping: why slap? Why do you want to do it? It's a very played out technique that is often done in an athletic fashion with little or no regard for musicality. Itwas old hat in the mid 80s and it's way past that now. Very few people actually add anything to music by slapping, and yet it's screaming out of every music store I go into: bad slappers! I hear people doing teh stereotypical root b7 octave slap riff over Maj. 7 chord changes all the time, it's awful. Except in the hands of extremely skilled players, slapping mostly appeals to other beginning bass players and Seinfeld fans.

    My advice is that you learn more about melody or harmony and as you go along,and get more into the physical aspects of playing, you'll probably be ablt to thwack the strings with your thumb at some point. It's just such a red herring to concentrate on slapping before you learn about music- and I hear evidence of that all the time.
  13. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    In my humble opinion, any one who asks the question "Why slap" and uses phrases like "arobic workout" to discribe slapping has no Idea of what being a COMPLETE bass player is all about... period. It's like asking "why study about other countries, I'm never going to go". Sound like the voice of a young player who doesn't quite have it figured out to me, jus an observation.
    Hanging out in Guitar Center is not is exactly the center of the universe when it comes to talent, matter of fact it's quite the opposite; Ton of kiddies turning the amps up to 10 and banging away at what they think is music is enough to turn me off too. If this is your hangout then yea, I understand exactly why you say slapping sucks.
    Mentioning that slapping is/was so 80's (or something to that effect) tells me all I need to know about your knowledge of the history of music let alone bass. As a bass player it's kind of sad to think you have no 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's R&B, Soul or Funk records in your inventory. I look at these recording as being "school". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
    As you mature in the bass and strive to be a COMPLETE bass player your tool box will grow and if you continue to ignore REAL slap, not kiddie Korn slapp, then you will suffer in the long run.

    It is extreamly important that we surround ourselves with quality, smart and deep musicians if we are to break down barriers and be the best most complete bass players we can be. An open mind and positive attitude will get you far in the music world too.
    I work a regular corporate 9 to 5 job by day and my phone rings with paying gigs almost daily, why? I can play walking basslines and slap like a machine and competantly play just about anything in between, yea, I have my weaknesses but because my mind says open and attitude is right, I'm a well rounded bass player and I EXPECT my phone to continue ringing.

    Make YOUR phone ring!!



    I wonder what your feeling is about playing country??
  14. totally agree with kentoby. Give me 16th note finger groove ANYDAY! I've been playing bass for 15 years, and played in the australian red hot chilli pepers show for a year and man, I don't even touch slap, and if so, its no longer than a bar fill or something. I got it way out of my system years ago. Instead of having the sign "no stairway" in music stores, it should be, "No slap......PLEASE" :D
  15. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hey freshmeat, just hang in there man. If you're starting from scratch, figure about 6 months to get it right. And, you'll need to practice every day. For the first three months it'll probably seem like you're getting nowhere and not improving much, but suddenly it'll be like the big proverbial light bulb turning on, and one day it'll just happen. Don't worry, this is a typical learning curve for new slappers. I went through it too. It might help to take a lesson or two, but only from someone who really knows what they're doing. Either way, just hang in there and keep slappin', pretty soon you'll get really good at it. :)
  16. Hey freshmeat, I didn't mean to put you off slapping mate. Definately useful and is handy for every bass player. Listening and compare what you are playing compared to what you are hearing on the c.d's you are listening too. If you want to learn it, you will, but it all takes a bit of time. get some flea tabs and some recordings." Higher ground" is a good start/ goal. There will be heaps of tabs for that tune around. Make shure you dont just concentrate on 1 area of playing, spread it out.
  17. oneoftheway


    Nov 27, 2002
    The first bass i had, had a really bowed neck and you couldnt slap it. Go to a music store and try one of their basses and if you can get a kind of slappy sound youll know it's not you, its your bass.

  18. FR5


    Feb 12, 2004
    Check out www.gazzbass.com which has excellent lessons and instructions for newbie and advanced slappers.

  19. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Kentoby says
    In my humble opinion, any one who asks the question "Why slap" and uses phrases like "arobic workout" to discribe slapping has no Idea of what being a COMPLETE bass player is all about... period

    My name is Anthony Jackson. Nah, I'm just a guy who has been playing bass for almost 25 years and makes a living playing muisc. The sentiment of having all the tools in your toolkit is valid, but again I posit that most poeple are wailing away with a circular saw when a file would work just as well (to mangle your analogy completely beyond recognition).

    I think you rather missed the point of my post. I'm not anti- slap if it's done well, but the poeple who do it well have a serious grounding in music theory, knowlege and practice and most fo the slapping I hear doesn't show evidance of that. Surely you would agree that it's the most over-abused bass technique. I was merely saying to the original poster that, rather than being discouraged by his inability to do a physical activity (slapping is almost an extreme sport at this point), why not concentrate on matters of substance that may yield more important results in the long run.

    then Kentoby said:
    "Mentioning that slapping is/was so 80's (or something to that effect) tells me all I need to know about your knowledge of the history of music let alone bass. As a bass player it's kind of sad to think you have no 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's R&B, Soul or Funk records in your inventory. I look at these recording as being "school". A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

    I wish you'd tell my wife that I don't have enough records. She doesn't agree at all. You couldn't be more wrong. I've got import Larry Graham albums you've never even seen, but that doesn't take away from the fact that slapping as a bass style peaked in the 80s. Ask some session guys from the 80s what all the producers were asking for.
  20. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    Try adjusting your nut. Is it a fret rattling sound. Make sure there is enough tension on the strings. Explain what you mean by the mettalicy sound

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