First time playing slap bass

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by snowdenwald, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    After watching some videos on youtube, I tried slapping for about 15 min and I already have blood blisters on my pointer and middle finger. Does that mean I definitely did something wrong or is it just normal when you start?
  2. Didja watch this one?

    Seems that Pete would likely suggest that such injuries aren't necessary, and that there's a better way (at least in his experience), to approach the string.
    Starts talking about it at 3:00.
    longfinger likes this.
  3. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    Slayer just used a pick.
  4. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    Yeah I did. I thought I did it like he said but maybe I didn't ^^
  5. It seems that having the right kind of low tension strings are essential for a beginner. (Sure it's possible to slap with Spiro Mitts, but's a lot harder and perhaps to hard for a beginner slapper?)
    DukeCC likes this.
  6. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    Actually I don't even know what kind of strings I use since it's not my own bass. I just borrowed it and don't know anything about double bass ^^
  7. Theo413


    Aug 6, 2012
    I think it's pretty normal to develop blisters when you first start slappin'....until you build up some good callouses. And if you're using steel strings. Switch to nylon if you want to save your fingertips the abuse :D
  8. If you are a beginner trying to slap on a double bass with steel strings set up for jazz pizz playing, yeah you're gonna bust your fingers all up.
    If you want to experiment and find your way into this style get some weedwhacker strings and start there, way easier to learn when the instrument will let you.
    longfinger likes this.
  9. Lazurus


    Nov 17, 2016
    Norfolk, UK
    Innovation Silver slaps work for me.......
    getrhythm and longfinger like this.
  10. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    I know that when I started, I got blisters just because my right hand fingers had almost no calluses at all. I played with a pick on the electric so my right hand was not at all prepared for it.
  11. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    I slap on the electric bass, but on the double bass a different part of the finger is strained. On electric it's the very tip of the finger, but on double bass I got blisters on the side of the fingers
  12. DukeCC


    Nov 4, 2016
    Get a cheap set of weed whackers to try out at first.
    Beginners should forget about slapping steel strings--at least any affordable steels.
    Next step, cost-wise? Superior Bassworks Deluxe--either the blood red strings, or the dirty gut. That's as far as I need to go myself.
  13. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    In time, you develop what I call the rockabilly hook on your middle finger. That's what takes most of the abuse. It's just a big ridge of thick skin that doubles as a hook and protection for the end of your finger. That takes time. Getting blisters is just a step on the way, at least from my experience. Plus, if you don't play enough, the hook goes away and you have to go through the process again.
  14. TvOZ


    Sep 20, 2001
    Melbourne Australia
    I hate blisters. I get them when playing outdoor gigs on a cold day. If I think a blister is coming on, I tape up my pluckers. I have found the best tape is strapping tape, the stuff physiotherapists use. It's the skin coloured tape and it doesn't change the sound of the bass. I cut it to size of my finger, put one piece over the top of the nail and around to the fist joint, then another peice around the finger covering the end of the first bit of tape, so it doesn't come off when plucking. Make sure the sticky stuff on the tape doesn't get on the strings cos it's a bastard to get off.

    Keep practicing. Just tape up when yo need it. Your fingers will become accustomed in no time. Maybe try a lighter touch - just enough to get the string to bounce back and hit the board.

    Hope this makes sense
  15. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    Thanks a lot. By the time I don’t get blisters anymore. Now usually I have to stop practicing because of my left hand strength...
  16. Eddy Blake

    Eddy Blake

    Mar 9, 2018
    If you're new to slapping bass and getting blisters: good news! You're doing it right :)
  17. snowdenwald


    Mar 27, 2017
    Haha thanks man! In the meantime I also figured out that I got the wrong strings (they are for bowing).
  18. HauntedDave


    Mar 7, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I switch between electric and upright through our set. I just tough it through.
  19. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Coaches tape.
    Flexible strings.
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