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Closed string slap

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by LimpyBizkit397, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. Is it better to slap on open strings or on a closed note? Like an E is it better just to play open E or E on the B string. In my opinion open E sounds better because the closed E sounds really muddy. Could this be because I have the bass up to high? I also was wondering how the bass player from Faith No More gets the E's he slaps so clean. Usually after I mute the string to stop the note it rings. What do u do? Any advice is helpful. Thanks. Laura.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I usually avoid open strings, unless I go for open-string licks, e.g. country-style stuff. Also, it lures you into playing those generic E minor slap licks that we already heard way too often.

    That said, I guess your B is weaker-sounding than your E, so I'd go for the E.
    You should mute the E with two or more fingers to avoid unwanted harmonics ringing out. It's similar to left-hand slapping, just without the hitting motion.

    Hope that helps.
  3. It could have something to do with the gear you use. Slapping on closed strings doesn't need to be muddy. What is your bass, amp, strings? Especially strings hold the key (on my former Warwick I used 2 brands of strings to get the right sound). But there is also technique. In some positions you slap on the fretboard and in other positions more closer to the bridge.

  4. I play on a Stingray 5 with Ernie Ball Super Slinkies. I play through a sucky Fender Frontman 15B. Could this be the problem? Also would lighter gauge strings help me when slapping?
  5. You have a good bass and strings, maybe there is something wrong with the frets/board?
  6. nathan321


    Jul 2, 2002
    Laura, I think you'll find that an open string will (almost) always sound more...well...open than a fretted note, whether slapping or not, but the main problem is probably that (in my limited slap experience) those fat low B strings just aren't as slap friendly as the E, A, D, and G.

    In a general sense, slapping fretted (closed) notes should sound fine. Reasonably light strings, low action, and a light right hand touch can help the tone. (Although the technique is called 'slapping' I find I get the best tone if I use the minimum amount of force that still produces the characteristic slap sound. Try varying the amount of force you use - try both less and more - and see how it affects your tone.)


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