"Good Slap?"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fatassbass, Nov 3, 2001.

  1. Ok, I can slap, I'm fine at popping, blah de blah.

    HOWEVER, I still feel I have a bad slap. More smacking the crap out of my bass than doing anything rythmic or musicaly exciting.

    I'm worried I'm one of these kids (15) with 'bad slap' in music stores that many here are very willing to describe.

    I've searched about slap so don't moan, all I found is beginners trying to learn how to hit the string with their thumb.

    I need some help, how do I improve my slap and make it more interesting
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Slow it down and work on just grooving with the rhythm. Throw a little variation into your riffs; don't keep repeating the same thing over and over again. If you're playing root-octave patterns, turn them upside down, add some passing tones, etc.

    If you haven't mastered left-hand slap or fast consecutive slaps, add those to your repertoire. If you're just slapping and popping, you're right: it gets boring quick.
  3. try popping chords with you index and middle finger at the same time. then move on to slapping the bass line and popping the chord part of the melody. this is alot easier on a six string but it can also be done on a four or five.
  4. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    left hand slap? what is this? I can slap normal slap pop repeat get bored. can you explain what left hand slap is please?
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Left hand slap:

    Hitting the strings with two or more fingers to get a percussive (slap) sound.

    Keep your fingers slightly bent, so they match the curve of the fretboard. You hit all (or at least several) strings at once to get a loud slap.

    Using two or more fingers at once prevents unwanted harmonics.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Left Hand(fretting hand)Slap, courtesy of Dave Larue-


    If you're just beginning, try thumbing the OPEN "E" & then follow that with a LEFT HAND Slap...in time. 1-2-3-4 = "E"-Slap-"E"-Slap, etc.
    Then attempt adding a pop on the OPEN "G"(groups of 3's)-
    /123-223-323-423/ =
    "E"-Slap-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"G"
    Then...groups of 4 in a Thumb-SLAP-Thumb-Pop pattern-
    "E"-SLAP-"E"-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"E"-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"E"-"G"; "E"-SLAP-"E"-"G"
    Of course, feel free to mix it up! Invert, permutate, mix/match! ;)

    Once you get goin' with this, you can play cross rhythms(fretting hand & thumbing/popping hand in 'different' time lines). Kinda like what a percussionist/drummer does by using their 4 limbs to play more 'complex' rhythmic figures.

    One thing I like attempting-
    Left hand slap doing the clave...free-stylin' with the thumb/pop.
  7. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    explain. this has me deeply interested.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    For starters, the Clave is an underlying rhythmic 2-bar figure prevalent in Afro-Cuban music.
    In 4/4, may be either 3:2 or 2:3(the first number = bar 1, second number = bar 2).

    So, in 4/4, the 2:3 Clave(in BOLD) =
    Bar 1: /1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a/
    Bar 2:/1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a/

    That's what the LH is slapping

    For simplicity(since that's what I'm about & basically, that's all I can pull off), I'm using only the OPEN "E", OPEN "D", & OPEN "G" as the free-styling notes.
    So, in 4/4, maybe something like this-

    Bar 1:/EeEG2DEa3eGaEeDG/

    Bar 2:/1eEaDe&aEG&E4eGa/

    If you note, in Bar 1, beats 2 & 3 are NOT played by the thumbing/popping hand(those beats are being played by the Left Hand 'slap').
    Similiarly, Beats 1, & of 2, & 4 are NOT played by the thumbing/popping hand(again, they're played by the Left Hand 'slap').

    What works best for me-
    1)Go extremely slowwwwwwww
    2)Take, say TWO beats at a time.
    Example: In Bar 1, the rhythmic figure for the intial TWO beats = 1_&a2e&_
    Physically, that = T_TPXPT_
    (T= 'Thumb'; P= 'Pop'; X= 'LH Slap')

    Take that slow-
    Thumb_Thumb-Pop-LH Slap-Pop-Thumb_ etc

    Hope that helps...;)
  9. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    thank you for taking the time out to write that rather intricate explanation, JimK - i started messing with the concept today, very cool rhythmic possibilities :) i don't s'pose i could hear a demonstration from yourself? i'd like to know if i've got it down or not.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm a work in-progress. I have NOTHING down, believe me.

    Sorry if that explanation was intricate...sometimes, I'm not very terse.

    Maybe think about tapping out some rhythms on your desk...
    Tap the Clave out with one hand, tap the pulse(Beats 1 & 3) out with the other hand.

    So(here we go again)-
    This time, in 1/8th note notation

    Bar 1

    Bar 2

    Maybe use your thumb on your chest as the "RH" part & all your left hand fingers on a desk as the "LH" part(kinda like doin' a left-hand "Slap" on the bass neck).
    The goal is to gain independence between the hands(just as we seek finger independence)...the 'trick' is teach oneself by, basically, counting it out very slowly & deliberately.
    Lemme know when you get it...I'm sure you'll get there before me!
  11. Another way to vary your slap is to take the Victor Wooten approach and pluck with your thumb also. Slap the string, and instead of coming back up, keep goin past the string so that your under it, then you can come back up and pluck with the thumb. If you work with it, it opens up a whole different type of slap.