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developing my slap technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lewibassist, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Hiya i have been playing bass for about 5 years now and i can slap pretty well. And i can make slap riffs up pretty easily. The question i have is how do you get a real deep groove when you slap. I cant get the type of groove i have with fingers. Is it just practice or is there any specific exercises that would develop my slap technique further.

  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    You can't hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket :D
  3. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    .....a real deep groove . I cant get the type of groove i have with fingers.


    what do you mean? Is it a question of sound, swing, number of notes, a feeling of tightness or looseness?
    For me, the thing that makes a good bass line is silence (rest, breathing) and dynamics; and I find that many bass players tend to overplay when they start to slap. If you think you have a good groove with your fingers, try to incorporate within your lines some slapped notes (as accents), and switch from slap to fingers along with a good drummer or clicktrack.
    good luck
  4. No way! Hey Lewis, I'm Mark - I just noticed your location - I live in Llandrindod Wells, in Powys. Whereabouts are you? Could have some kinda "Powys TBers Meet Up" or something...

    Anyway, I've found that it's best to remember too many notes spoil the broth.

    That quotes not exactly write, but y'know...

    The tendency with slap is to play fast and cram muted and played notes in there, but often the best ones are when there are few notes actually played. Just look at "Me and My Bass Guitar". It's a simple progression, it's just the muted notes dominate. But yeah, try and think more melodically instead of just going for speed or anything?

    Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

  5. Start out with simple grooves. It's all about rhythmic accuracy. Once you've got a basic slap groove going, you can start adding mute pops in between to get something a bit more complicated and possibly groovier.

    A good way to practice is to get a drummer friend to jam with you. If this is not possible, get some drum tracks (or drum machine) to jam with.
  6. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Why not? If you have the groove with fingers, just learn how to do it with slap. With any type of technique, practice is always a factor.

    Try with just using your thumb as you would with a finger tip. Keep your patterns easy at first. Once you got those down, throw a few pops in there. Start off slow and work up your speed. Ghost notes (if placed right) will add to the overall sound adding fullness to your groove.

    Bottom line is to experiment with different ways of slapping and find what works best for your style.

    Another good thing to do is watch other bass players slap and see what they do. Not to steal their technique, but to help you in developing your slap style.