1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Controling slap at high speeds

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by weeding, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. weeding


    May 17, 2005
    I tend to use slap occasionaly in some pieces that I play, but I'm not really a regular user. I can play slower and medium paced stuff fine, but when it comes to high speed things (for instance, if I try to slap power
    MM) then my wrist goes crazy and I have pretty much no control over what its doing. By this I mean that it starts "slaping" as it normaly would, but at a much faster pace, and I have no control. Is this a technique problem, a physical problem or a "practise more you lazy *******" problem?

  2. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    well paractice more, try keepng you thumb parrallel to the fret board (ala victor wooten or marcus miller), as apposed to purpeducilar(ala Flea). also if you learn to do the old up and down thumbing you will get twice the notes out than your normal, but you won't be moving as fast.
  3. ignignok


    Dec 25, 2005
    I thought Miller DTed in Power? Search the threads around here for info bought DTing if you don't know what it is already.
  4. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I use a lot of slapping in my music (as a substitute for a pick, for real percussive and aggressive sound). I have the same problem if it is around 16th note speed. Practice has helped me, but it is slow going. I get the best control when the strings are pretty new and have a tight bounce to them.
  5. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Wanna play fast? Practice slowly!


    What are you trying to accomplish?
    Go for accuracacy not speed. When you can play it perfectly, move it up a click. NOT BEFORE.

    Simple concept but requires some dicipline. If it were easy everyone could do it.
  6. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    Dbassmon has it right.

    Practicing slowly is the secret to speed, but it's important to understand what you're trying to accomplish when you practice (slowly or otherwise).

    If you play slowly with poor technique, you'll just end up playing fast with poor technique.

    The idea of practicing slowly is to give yourself time to consciously clean up your technique. OK, so what does that mean specifically?

    The most common problem I saw when I was teaching slap was that many players had little preparatory movements built in to their technique. Each time they would hit a string with their thumb, they would first (without realizing it) raise their thumb and in some cases even partially bring it down before raising it again and then hitting the string.

    This meant that for every attack with their thumb they were doing twice the motions necessary, which meant they'd have to move twice as fast to play something as they would if they eliminated these extra movements

    It was only by slowing them down enough so that they could first recognize the problem, that they were able to eliminate it.

    I'm sure with enough good, slow practice you'll be able to play whatever you want.


  7. WovenGraphite

    WovenGraphite Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    +1 here for slow practice.
    As my teacher used to say: speed is not a goal but a mean.

    Also, practicing slow will make your muscle memory work. This is very important. You'll see, after a while at practicing slow, you will be able to naturally speed up without any difference in the way you approach the line (physically and mentally)... this is the beauty of our human bodies.
    16th note with a thumb slap at 120bpm is doable (see Mark King) but you can also improve it by doing the up thumb thing like MM or Victor Wooten.
    Again, keep in mind that speed is only a mean... Grasshoper ;)