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Help! Slap bass?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by CitricGuy, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. When it comes to bass i started about 2 months ago.. sofar i know the basics and have the fretboard notes memorized and know all the basics in tuning etc.. but when it comes to slap bass, no matter how I try or how many guides I follow I can not get anything that even slightly resembles what it should. Is there a way I should have my bass tuned? My amp set differently (low/mid/high tones etc.)? Should i be hitting the strings in a certain place? I would really appriciate any feedback at all im at a complete loss here. I think slap and pop are amazing to listen to which is the reason I started playing but I just cant get those soulds out of my bass.
  2. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    well I understand your actually asking steve and Michael and not me but I give bass lessons in boston and something that has helped a lot of my students it to strum the bass a bit and get a nice strumming motion using their thumb as a pick and picking up the intensity until bam a slap sound is produced. I've seen people do it differently when I slap I pick my thumb up from my hand and rotate it with a snap velocity at the wrist across the strings imitating the strumming pattern. the next thing to do is to work in a pop technique and you can alternate on a good bass line like the main theme to the ohio players love rollercoaster. take it slow keep it even have patience and results will come. and make sure you listen to more things then slap and pop
  3. Exactly what i was looking for, thank you!
  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    work on bouncing the string off the end of the fretboard (slap the bass right at the end of the fretboard with your thumb) and have your "pop" fingers ready and positioned to pop right after you slap the note

    like anything else in music, practice it slow at first and build up to speed...and you really don't need to slap the string hard either

    theres a great Slap Bass video you find on Amazon.com by Alex Sklarevski that has alot of usefull info in it
  5. wannabe_bassist

    wannabe_bassist Guest

    Jan 25, 2002
    I have a MIM Fender Jazz Bass.

    Should I have the treble high or low (high seems to be right)?

    Should I use the front or rear pickup? (rear seems to be right)?

    I have a GK combo amp. What amp settings are best? I have treble, bass, low-mid, and high-mid. Can you recommend the right settings?

    I realize the settings are personal taste, but they do have a play in getting the slap/pop sound.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!
  6. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    Use your best judgement is what i say. I like to use the highs and my bass, a GOdin, has a coil tap on it that really sounds good for slap contour. if you take out the mids a little bit you get some more bite. Also hand placement is a big deal if you slap up near the neck more your gonna get more slack in your bass strings then if you slap over the pickup or near the bridge. Think about these things, the higher the output the better the more open the frequency the better. as far as GK's go is it one of those backline amps? I love their distortion. they should sound good cranked with some of the mids wiped out and the bass and treble boosted...But look man in a pinch I'll slap on a modulus 6 and make it sound good. the tone is in your hands and not in your equipment. Never forget that
  7. It's been about a month sense i started this thread and just for anyone who had the same question i did ill tell you what i learned and how i learned it to kina wrap up this thread.

    1) Where you slap the string will give you unique tones, on the fretboard is standard (from what ive seen, but ive got some very cool beats from slaping just over the pick ups and a lighter slap with more tone from hitting below those.)

    2) Watch videos on it, ask people to show you, just make sure you SEE it done, this will help you far more than anything else.

    3) For those of you with amps with range knobs or whatever turn em all the way up when you first start (cuz it sounds cooler) but once you learn the technique these wont matter and you will beable to break out funky sounds even with extreme low end.

    4) Percussion. You are now the super bassist! because you are drumming on your bass! Try this. Work with octives when you begen, for example slap open E and pop the first E on the D string (good way to start and easy to use octive steps if this makes any sense) get a drummer or a drum machine or somthing and try slaping on bass hits, and poping on snare hits or whatever just have fun.

    5) Im sure there is more than one way to do this but when you pop a string you generally put your middle or index finger under a string and literally pulling it up and having it slap the fretboard to get a tone. When you slap a string use the joint on your thumb, hit it just enough to get a clean, crisp tone. You want the string to slap against the fretboard to get the sound. (Generally Slap the E and A string, and Pop the D and G string but this is not a set thing to do, play around and do what sounds good!)
    6) Hit hard, but don't hurt yourself. When i first started i screwed up my thumb big time because i was beating the hell out of the E string. Dont do this! =)

    7) Pop Hard but dont brake your strings.. Yea.. i snapped a G-String this way... it was hard to explain to people

    8) Practice frequently, practice, practice, practice, practice... cant say this enough. I know ive only been doint this for a month but ive got well over 100 hours of just slap/pop in, just practice! (Yea, i play ALOT)

    9) Have fun, alot of fun, its a blast to whip out a funky bass solo, people are impressed and think its amazing.. for those of you who like to show off (like my self =) this is really a blast to learn to do and i highly suggest you learn this technique and truely master it. I know ill continue to practice for a long time to come because its really a blast to do.

    10) Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Flea. Yes, this is a perfect place to start. Listen to the songs, and get the tabs for all of Flea's Bass Solo's 100% slapped popped and bent (i think) and you have no choice but to learn "Higher Ground" by RHCP.. The ultimate show off beginners funky bass slap/pop line.

    Sorry for the long post but i hope this helps newbies like me. I still have a lot to learn and im sure this isnt all acurate but its just what i do and i seem to have fun! =) I probobly put in 5-8 hours a practice a day (i love the bass) so hopefully in a month or so ill beable to update this again with some more stuff i learned and hopefully it will help somone starting like i was.

    Thanks again to everyone who responded to the thread all the replies have been a huge help and a damn good guide for learning this sick technique!
  8. fatlad1


    Feb 27, 2012
    Seriously dude for slap bass lessons try http://www.itsabass.com/slap_bass.html

    Its shows you exactly where your thumb needs to hit the bass to get that slap bass sound. He calls it the hotspots.

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