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do you slap on or through the string?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fiebru1119, May 11, 2004.

  1. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    after watching some videos (namely, the John Patitucci "dictionary of grooves", Victor Wooten "live at Bassday 98" and the Fourplay DVD) i've noticed all of them seem to slap at the string from an angle, as if slapping through the string. obviously victor wooten does this for his double thumping but Pattitucci and Nathan East both do it as well. i've been practicing this for a couple days now, and it seems that it really improves the volume and tone of the slap on the D, G, and probably C strings. i really like the tone you can get out of this, and its somewhat easier (for me) to do... i'm having to practice "aiming" again to hit the right string since you have to slap at a different angle.. but other than that i think it's better

    now i'm curious as to how many people do this, because all i've ever heard is that you slap down on top of the string and back off quickly...
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    About two years ago I read an article in Bass Player Magazine where Les Claypool described his slap technique. He said that you don't have to slap very hard and you don't have to move your hand very much (economy of motion is always a good thing in bass playing)...anyway, Les said that he really just tries to lightly graze the string with his thumb and have the thumb come to rest against the next (higher) string. The way he described it was very clear to me even though I'd read more confusing descriptions of similar technique. I went strait home and tried it - It was as if somebody flipped the switch and the light came on. That was the day I learned to slap, even though I'd been trying for awhile.
  3. I do a mixture of both - slapping the string for idle notes and fast runs that require all downstrokes, and slapping through the string when I want to double-thump or strum.
  4. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    A little of both here. I think it's all a matter of taste. I hear a lot of guys just double-thumbing their lives away and it gets pretty old pretty fast. I like to do some basic "bouncing" and then throw in some double thumbs or plucks to spice it up. Beware the wankery...
  5. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    i dont double thump. i'm not interested in it to tell you the truth, i have more important things i need to work on! ;) but for regular slapping i've found this to be very efficient and lets my hand stay more relaxed..
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ive been learning double thump a little lately and im going to attempt slapping through the string for normal slapping now i guess, just for fun..

    so would you have your thumb pointed up...or down?
  7. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I almost always come down on the string and don't slap through it, but on the G and D strings, depending on the bass I'm playing, I'm more likely to slap through it. It helps me get a little bit better sound on those strings, because sometimes thumps on those strings come out pretty weak sounding. Depends on the bass of course.

    My teacher slaps through the string I think, mostly, except for when it makes sense not to. Whatever floats your boat...

  8. I'm probably not qualified to answer this question because IO really don't slap, but I think that slapping through the string is considered the "proper" way to do it. You get more punch that way. It's sort of like the difference between rest stroke and free stroke when playing fingerstyle.
  9. I shouldn't be replying because I can barely slap but I've just bought Ed Friedland's Slap DVD and I was interested to see that he bounces off the strings.

    To be honest (and to my discredit), I always thought that this was *the* way to slap and that Victor Wooten was just in his own world but it looks like there is room for both styles.

    I love the "BOING" of Ed Friedland's slap sound so this is the approach I'm going to adopt but I'm at that nasty stage of developing thumb accuracy. I keep missing the damn strings and it's very frustrating. I feel like a newbie again ... !!

    Sorry for the aimless mail ...

  10. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    There are no rules. I use both techniques. Wootens double thumbing is a cool technique which I am working on. I can do some of the same things he does with a thumb and forefinger. Kind of a double thumb thing. But using the double thumb gives at a different sound. The double thumbing Wooten does on the third time through first part of Classical Thump is a great example. I can do the same triplet thumb down/hammer on/thumb up using thumb down/hammer on/pop with forefinger. What ever works. Double thumb is great. I want to get that as fast as my other slap technique.
  11. I do more of a downstroke slap on a 4 however on a 6, I tend to hit it straight on, maybe a little bit of an angle... just to me sounds cleaner
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I hear a lot of guys just talkin about double-thumbing their lives away and it gets pretty old pretty fast.

    Not aimed at anyone here, just in general.