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Fingerstyle to Slap

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by danjl131, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. danjl131


    Jun 10, 2008
    hey i've always played fingerstyle and done some slap but was never able to get the slap sound good so i moved to just fingerstyle... now im considering trying slap again but here are some questions:

    eq: what do i do with this? i thought maybe mid flat bass and treble boosted but treble boosted more... tell me if this is wrong or something else would be better

    action: my action is pretty high do i need to lower it for slap and by how much?

    side effects: i've never done this but i heard u can break a string from popping how likely is this? also u r slapping strings againt the fretboard i heard this ruins the frets and fret board is this true?

    thanks guys for the help
  2. CaseOnBass


    Sep 8, 2008
    Concerning eq, it's personal preference, lately i've taken a liking to mid bass, with boosted mids and treble, up to you. If you already know how to slap & pop just try it on your bass if you don't feel totally comfortable with it, lower your action a bit. Also, no i haven't snapped a string doing it yet, you might on a guitar or a 10 string bass, but on your standard D, G and C strings, i doubt you will. I've looked at my popping a bit too and i don't even think the string hits the fret board, i mean your popping at the pickups, not on the fret board itself. Good luck!!
  3. i use a fender jazz and an ibanez btb 6 string and tone is entirely personal preference, I find I prefer the neck pickup to the bridge, it gives a more growly beefy feel to the pops. my eq is usually a slight treble cut with bass and low mid boost, this creates a nice thick slap tone and a chunky pop, not crisp but authoretive, punches through the mix rather than cut through. all EQ is personal preference and these are just mine. lower action helps alot too, especially the slaps, i strike the string just above the final fret of the fretboard this gets a more metallic slap and low actions helps me slap faster with hammer ons etc just my 2 pence :bassist:
  4. I do a very slight mid scoop with the preamp on the bass for slap. I roll the bass and treble up to about 1:30 and roll the mdrange back to about 11 o'clock. I think this gives your slaps a little thunder and gives you a nice sharp zing from the pops.

    Lowering the action will help, but mostly with left hand technique I think. There are a lot of hammer ons, pull offs, and pressure rolls in funk and these techniques are much much easier to get a good sound from with low action IMHO. You can probably do OK with higher actions if you are JUST worried about right hand slapping and popping and aren't going to incorporate those left hand techniques. You will have to slap a little harder than you would otherwise with higher action.

    I'm sure slapping is slightly more abrasive on your fretwork but I don't think it would mess up the fingerboard on a fretted bass since the frets absorb must of the abuse, and those are replaced fairly painlessly. Make sure you pop with the sides of your fingers rather than the pad. Point your knuckles toward the headstock rather than the floor. This will minimize string stres and still give you ample volume. This takes some getting used to since it's a drastically different hand position than fingerstlye, but it will also help your popping speed.
  5. snap61


    Jul 3, 2007
    This may sound wierd but I've only ever snapped a string from thumping. :S But yeah Make sure when you thumb you draw your thumb back as soon as you hit and the other thing is I find it's like singing, I find it hard to sing in close proximity of people because i find it's awquard to really get into it. So turn the music up and thump yourself into a comatose state.

    It sounds like it wont help but it really does help you pick up the fundamentals.

    All the best xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :hyper:
  6. Traver


    Sep 25, 2007
    Yes, you can snap a string by popping it. I've done it twice, though that was on my last (cheap) bass, I've never snapped any on this one.
  7. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    :confused: The sound that characterizes a slap and/or pop is the string hitting the fretboard.
  8. rswooding


    Sep 12, 2008
    Richmond, Va.
    yea I have snapped a few strings and its always my G string and only light gauge strings, you really just have to get a feel popping a string.
  9. Traver


    Sep 25, 2007
    Both mine were G strings as well :D Never snapped my C string, for some reason.

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