Getting away from octave slapping?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Figjam, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    When i slap i tend to mainly do octave slapping and im looking to expand what i do, what do you suggest?
  2. quatre03


    Aug 20, 2004
    pop something else
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    When you slap on the A string (assuming you play a 4 or 5-string bass), that's the most likely approach. But if you slap on the E string, a cool variant of the octave is the tenth of the chord implied in the bassline at that moment (the tenth is the third of the chord plus an octave). For example, if you slap a G on the E string, 3rd fret and the implied harmony in that measure is G minor, you can pop a Bb on the G string, 3rd fret. Pop a B natural on the 4th fret if harmony is G major. If you play a 6-stringer, you can use that concept when slapping the A string as well.

    Of course, there are many options. This is just one of them. I highly suggest you to get Tony Oppenheim's Slap It! book + CD, in which you'll find lots of cool slap lines which will help you to expand your creativity.
  4. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Try using ghost notes. Slap the low strings and mute the high strings. The muted note gives a sonic "impression" of the note and in context with the slaps makes it driving and gives you more variety when you combine it with the typical flat 7th, flat 10th, major 10th and of course the octave.

    Try doing this with major and minor scales as a warmup. With metronome around 70 slap a G major scale in normal 2-4,124,134 position across E A D string. After the downbeat pluck a muted G string so the downbeat is a slapped note of scale and upbeat is muted G string. Do this in all 12 keys. Then start making it feel good. Same with minor scales.

    After you get good at that try same exercise but slap two sixteenths on downbeat followed by an eighth note muted G string pluck for each note of scale.

    You can mix up rhythms and mix up ghosted notes and pops on G and D string. Just make sure you go slow and make it feel good. If it doesn't swing, what's the point. ;)
  5. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    watch louis johnsons bass lesson video volume 1, if thats the style of slap u wonna do
  6. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    an easy way to make your slap lines more interesting is to take licks and lines from when you use your figner style playing and apply them to slap bass. You might need to tweak the way you play some of them to get em to work with slap, but regardless you'll find yourself with tons of new slap material.

    You'll also eventually want to get to a point in your playing where your slapping and finger playing is on the same level and this a good way to do that also.

    You mgiht also want to consider thinking of slapping as a type of drumming. This mgiht help make your lines more rhythmically interesting which should always be the main focus in bass playing, but is especially true with slap.
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yea, slapping octaves too much can get pretty beat because your not really adding richness harmonically and it's pretty easy to sound Disco(not that there's anything wrong with that!!). What Willy mentioned was a good idea, try slapping out your normal basslines instead of fingering them. When you do this leave your finger(s) out of it and let your thumb do all the work, it'll get you more comfortable slapping higher ranges(as opposed to popping them) and also help get you out of the "slap-pop" mode which can be a hard habit to break out of. If the slap-pop pattern is appropriate for the situation and you just want some different notes Alvaro's advise was great, thirds up and octave are always tasty, I also like to pop min7ths and 9ths, too. Pretty much any chord tone will work(even some non-chord tones!) so just experiment.
    To help you break out of the "box" incoorperate your slapping into your regular practice, slap(no popping here)your scales and arpeggios, and anything else you normally practice. Simple, boring things like a Michael Anthony-ish 8th note bassline can become quite challenging if you've got to slap it, make yourself do this kind of crap, it sounds lame but it will turn you into an animal.
    The most important this here is time. Slapping is very percussive, your pushing alot of air and hitting alot of notes. Always practice slapping with a metronome or drum maching. Because of slapping's technical nature it's easy to drop time without knowing it and slapping with bad time is just the wrongest thing.