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Help! I can't escape the slap octave trap!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MMiller28, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    i always seem to be coming back to slapping in octaves, like G - G and then C-hammer on-D...if that makes any sense. any suggestions for getting out of this mindset? how did you get past this problem if you had it yourself?
  2. im not a slapper, but i do do the same thing, really.

    try picking out a scale and making a riff out of it, without using the "standard" slap pattern.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Change the tuning for one or more strings, e.g. tune one string a halfstep up, another a wholestep down.

    Slap your heart out.

    Surprise, your standard fingerings sound totally different. When you find some nice ones, memorize or record them and then try to adapt them to standard tuning.

    A great way to get out of ruts.

    Also, try to slap anything you'd normally pick or pluck. Slap is a technique, not a style.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I agree with this 100%. Practice slapping things that you normally play fingerstyle. Unless you normally play a lot of octaves fingerstyle, this should help you break out a little bit.

    It is perfectly all right to use the octave occasionally, but not all the time. Some other intervals that work great for slap are 5ths, 7ths, 10ths, and 14ths. The 14th won't work all the time, and obviously the 7th and 10th will need to be major or minor, depending on the tonality of chord you are playing over.

    Another thing you can do to spice up your slap part is to add some occasional dead notes.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Took the words righta my mouth, Em-ster.
    ...& the 6th, too!

    Check out some Latin-ish figures that employ the ROOT & the 10th(some examples are in the Goines/Ammeen book Funkifying The Clave).

    Couple other things to ponder-
    1)Limit yourself to 2 strings...e.g. no matter what, stick to the "E" & "A" strings only. Popping on the "E" & "A" are 'different'.
    2)As Embellisher said...'dead notes'. Incorporate your fretting hand as a counter rhythm.
    3)Mix things up...rhythmically. Too many times, the THUMB component is played only on the downbeats with the POP component on the upbeats.
    See if you can reverse this...try displacement.
    Too, there are rhythmic 'tricks' to CROSS THE BAR LINE(slapping in groups of 3 or 5, etc). Doing this can spice up the most typical ROOT/octave line, IMO.

    Check these out-


  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Also, try things like hammer-ons from 1 to 2, then pop the 4 or 5. I fall into this rut as well and i try to consciously pop the 4 or 5 instead of the octave if I find myself getting too repetitive.

    I think slapping is the area in which I tend to get most repetitive, especially when it comes to slapping with open-to-root hammer-ons (thumbing). I also forget to perform repetitive thumbing, opting for slap-pop, slap-pop sort of thing. I have to again consciously try to force my thumb to hit the string more than once, if that makes any sense at all.

    Here's a strange one - I find that my slapping is actually better when I'm NOT looking at my fretting hand and am instead looking away. Can't really explain that one.
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

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