Dabbling in Slap Bass (mp3 attatched)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jodathmorr, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Hey guys. I've been playing around with slap for the 1st time today and i wanna know what you think.

    *Reminder* This is a recording use by my computer mic and my Peavy Guitar amp. There is no direct feed.

    Check it out and post what you think!
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    ok... you only played for about 6 seconds and now there are endless marilyn manson songs playing and now skipping, i might add, as i type...

    i tried to control alt delete this stuff but it just won't go away.. if i get a virus as a result of this i will personally hunt you down and let me tell you, it will be much uglier sight than "a butterknife in your side"
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i didn't get any marilyn manson stuff going on, but this doesn't belong in basses. here, let's move this on to technique.
  4. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    my bad.. there was a marilyn manson cd in my drive which is very strange being that i havent owned one of his disks in oh about 6 or seven years... my apologies... :oops:
  5. Hehe.

    Anyways yea I know its short but I didn't have enough stamina to do the whole song :) (my thumb is aching from so much slapping). I was wondering what you guys thought about the tone and stuff tho :D
  6. Pretty nice. A little bit of distortion... You might want to try moving your mic back from the amp a little or turning it down a bit.

    If your thumb hurts from slapping, don't worry, it'll go away after about a week or two.

    Attached is a slap solo I wrote and recorded a week ago. I hope people can tell me if it's any good... Hehe. :D I've been messing around with the slap for about a year now.
  7. Grygore


    Oct 25, 2002
    Grand Prairie, TX
    LOL Plastique, and you said his was distorted :p
  8. whats the tab to that? it sounds good
  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    *instantly feels like louis johnson*
  10. Guilty as charged, LOL. The popping on my MP3 was distorted; I think I had the mic turned up too loud.
  11. To mine? Hrms, well, I never tabbed it. I wrote it and remembered it but never bothered with tabbing.

    EDIT: Tabbing didn't work. Attached to the next message is a text file as I haven't a clue how to attach through editing.
  12. I never thought my message board n00bishness would come back to haunt me but it did. Here's the .TXT file of the tab...
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yeah. Righteo then...I've been slapping for about 12 years (as long as I've been playing the bass).. but I'm still not all that good at it!
    IMO the hardest things about slap bass are...

    1) Getting a nice consistent tone, that isn't too aggressive, 'twangy' or 'clanky'...etc...

    2) Playing the lines cleanly. It's all too easy to hit muted strings and end up with a load of unwanted noise when you record it.

    In response to those mp3 excerts, my main comment would be that the recordings are overdriving on input... and unwanted distortion sounds crap on slapped bass, so best avoid it if possible!

    Easily done tho... try dropping the input level when you record - if you don't have some sort of input level meter (which you should have on a basic PC soundcard?), just do a few more test recordings before hand :)

    The second line is a nice little 'riff'... you could develop a nice track from that :)

    Keep it up I say... oh and go buy some Graham Central Station - Larry Graham invented slap on electric bass... he rocks!
  14. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Hey guys, thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.
  15. Yeah, Howard, it's pretty tough to get a consistant tone out of a slap. I usually find that by hitting a string with the side of the thumb above the joint, I get a much better, more controlled slap.

    The coolest-sounding yet toughest part of the slap technique is probably popping (for me at least). It's easy to release the string too early and get a weak pop, or to maneuver your finger too far under the string and snap yourself.
  16. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    I agree, its all a matter of practice. I doubt anyone would rate themselves as perfect at slap. you can always improve on anything. Basically, Have fun with what your doing and you will invent your own things on the way. Fun first, then the music will flow!

    Couldnt resist attaching a riff.. This is the first time ive attached an audio clip, go easy (hope this works!!)

    Its a bit poor quality (had to make the file as small as possible) oh, and i mess up the ending!
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I figure I gotta submit an mp3 to the subject. Simple, but I've been playing aprox. 30 years.
  18. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Hey DWbass that was EXCELLENT! sounded like it should be in an action movie.. maybe during a car chase or something.
  19. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Cool, jodathmorr. My drummer and I always jam on Brick House at practice. Except with the pop parts thrown in too!

    Here are some tips: Try and play the song with a little bit more staccato (staccato style is pretty common in slap and helps to keep it clean an rhythmic). One way to do that is to use muting. A good practice is just doing the following on that first note of the riff you recorded... immediately after you slap the note with your right hand and you hear the note played slightly release the pressure on the the string with your left hand so that the note is muted and doesn't ring out any more. You will get a sharp "dum" with a quick release. Now try doing that on all the notes as you play. Or instead of releasing the pressure you can also lay one of your other fingers down on the fretted string to mute it. OR..the last common muting technique is after you strike the string then lay your right hand back down on the string to mute it.

    Any of these techniques will help you have a cleaner slap style. That and a lot of practice. Another thing to do is figure out just how hard you need to slap it to get a good sound and practice slapping that hard. I personally feel that it's easier to go faster and cleaner if you have a lighter touch...sometimes you can mix in harder slaps for dynamics though. Just listen to yourself and practice a lot. Recording is a good idea so you can hear your progress and what you need to work on.

    brad cook
  20. Well, I think all of the comments have been very good. However, I would like to add a few things to the list. Economy of movement is important. A lighter touch and compact movement will even things out and allow you to play faster and with more consistency. You don't need to move far away from the string with your thumb, but there has to be a snap to wrist still. I find the setup of an instrument is quite important. For me, low action, wider string spacing (19mm) and fairly light strings a large factor in slapping well.
    Also, keep it simple at first. I would work a lot with just slapping open strings and then scales etc. until you get more comfortable before working on songs and grooves. As you work towards more advanced grooves, variety is the spice of life. When I find myself being to repedative, I try to vary the rythm and accents and use dead notes and space to add interest.

    Anyway, I guess as long as other people are posting clips, I will too. :D

    I just traded my Roscoe for an F bass and it is a slap machine. I recorded it direct into my computer (though it sounds a lot better through my rig) with some treble and bass dimed on the preamp.

    f bass slap clip