Help with Slapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jsbassist, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Hi all, I just started slapping, an dI can slap the E string, but I can't slap the others strings without hitting the others. Maybe I'm doing ti wrong, so I f you could help me out some. Thanks:D
  2. I'm not the expert on slapping, I practice, but don't enjoy it, but I do believe I understand the concept.

    Slapping is supposed to emulate the percussive sound of the drummer.

    So only slap the E and A strings. They emulate the kickdrum.

    "Pop" the D and G strings. They emulate the *BRAIN FREEZE* clap drum? I don't remember what its called, but it makes the Clap type sound.

    Only PRACTICE will perfect your technique. Keep to the lower frets of the fretboard while slapping, I've found its easier there. Use the SIDE of the thumb, almost knuckle. Try to make your slap quick, and pop it.

    For popping, well, just pop the string.

    Practice doing Quarter Notes of slapping and popping.

    I would however recommend you not slap since it sounds nasty ;)
  3. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    slapping dosent really sound nasty, it sounds nasty when it isnt being done properly i know, i hear myself every night, but it sounds great when you hear someone who can do it!!
    but hey..everyhting in moderation right?
  4. Ok well what is popping? I have heard it before but I dpn't know how you play it.:(
  5. take either your index, middle, or ring finger and sort of wrap it around the string particially, be sure that you don't pull to hard. pull up lightly and release untill the point where the string is hitting the frets and you get a nice metalic sound out of it.
  6. brianmc


    Jun 7, 2001
    roswell, nm
    yeah, its hard to do without a good example. youve heard it if your interested in slap and learning. i have been playing for 4.5 years all slap, i rarely do other stuff, but about 80/20 percent slap to fingerstyle. the best thing that i can tell you about the pop is to hook your finger under the string and pull directly up to get the sound, and i mean pull hard. this is not the way that i recommend you doing it, its just a practice to see how to accomplish your goal. now keep trying to make that same sound that you made by popping hard with more economy of movement, or as easily as possible for you while keeping the same consistency of the sound. slapping was very difficult for me when i first started but i love it now that i have got it. to slap ball your fist up and stick your thumb outto the side, then move your thumb pointing in front of your fist, that s the movement that you want. i usually use the side of the joint on my thumb because its a small area and has less chance of hitting the other strings. keep practicing that. i dont want to sound all autoritative on it cause im not a teacher these just worked well for me. its gonna suck for your thumb since you have to get calluses but i can crack a walnut in one slap now. :)

  7. Wow.

  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    when your first learning slap and pop, you should actually practice them separatly then mesh the two together once you have the hang of each down, so my advice to you is this

    practice slapping 1st by slapping out major/minor scales, this will help you learn not to hit other strings when your slapping.

    to learn popping do the same thing, only pop out major/minor scales.

    when you have them both down fairly well and arent hitting anything your not supposed to, slap and pop major/minor scales in octaves.

    ex:slap E, the pop E, then F#, etc.

    I hope that was of some help to you.
  9. the whole accidentally slapping the wrong string thing...? does it get a lot easier in practice, to just hit the one string? cos when i'm slapping A, i invariably end up hitting the E string, so i think, okay, i'll aim a bit lower, but tend to over-compensate and hit the D string instead... it's driving me mad...

    so i decided to invent a weird muting technique, so that when i slap one string, i mute the two strings around it with my left hand... i dunno if that sounds strange to anyone else, but i've been doing it a while, and i'm sure there must be a better way...

    simon a
  10. that's what you're suposed to do. that technique you're doing now will come in handy when you get to extended range instruments. there's also the idea of puting a scrunchy around the strings close to the nut to offer some muting. victor wooten and ray riendeau do it just as an example.
  11. jsbassist-
    I had the same exact problem(s) when i starte dslapping, but all i can say is keep working on it. It sucks right now im sure, cuz you just want to be able to do it flawlessly, but keep chuggin' away at it and it will come.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It takes practice.

    Muting is a key part. "You" control which strings put out sound... and more importantly which ones don't.

    The scrunchy is used mainly for tapping.

    You can slap on any string on the bass, not just the E and A. Check out Marcus Miller's version of "Teen Town" for a little example of this.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    (sigh) ;)
    If you thumb the on Beats 1 & 3...maybe it'll "emulate the kick".
    If you pop on Beats 2 & 4...maybe it'll "emulate the SNARE".

    Then again, what if a piece of music has the drummer playing the above stock/typical 1&3/2&4 backbeat rhythm & the bass is playing a double-timed rhythmic figure 'against' the aforementioned drum beat-
    Here's what it looks like...played STRAIGHT(in 4/4)

    /1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&-/ Kick drum = 1&3; Snare = 2&4
    /T-&-P-&-T-&-P-&-/ T=Thumb P=Pop

    The Kick/Thumb in synch; the Snare/Pop in synch, right?

    Suppose the bassist plays in a double-timed manner-

    /1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&-/ Kick drum = 1&3; Snare = 2&4

    Now, the bassist's Thumbed notes fall on Beats 1-2-3-4; the Popped notes fall on all the "&'s".
    Meaning the 1/2 of the bass' Thumbed notes are falling on the backbeat snare hits on 2 & 4...not exactly emulating the kick(still being played on Beats 1&3), anymore(IMO).

    Sorry, just taking the 'basics' one step further...Don't lock yourself into one sense of groove or one 'narrow' way of approaching time.
    Too, as Brad sez: Any string may be be plucked, popped, thumbed, muted, etc. Some '70s Funkers are all about the thumb! ;)

    Further, only proper practice helps...take it from someone who practiced & practiced improperly for years!

    (...and my compooter is beginning to act stupid; looks like I'm shop-bound, so you can have the last word!).
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    yes it does get easier with practice, alot easier, my john patitucci video is what told me to practice the slap part in scales. it just made sense to me to do it that way, for reasons ive stated.
  15. when you guys slap, do you put your thumb up or keep it sideways, my bass teacher told me it doesint give you as much range of motion wit ur thumb sideways...
  16. Thirdstar


    Jun 7, 2001
    Houston Tx.
    He would be correct. My teacher, who was fortunate enough to study with Micheal Manring for a time tells me that Micheal recommended using an upright thumb position because it increases the range of motion quite well. Speed is also increased due to this as well.
    Manring and les claypool use this approach.
  17. how to slap for beginners... by bimp

    1)give it time, you won't be a pro right away
    2)it's not about force, it's about technique
    3)watch and listen to others who do it well

    some people talk about bass slapping and popping, like it's a passing fad or sounds bad. there are WAY too many successful and admired bassists who have proven this is wrong.

    have fun with it:D
  18. i would have to suggest that before you dive into the world of super fast slap runs that you work on your groove first as recomended by vic wooten. i've just recently started to get into his double thump technique after watching the dvd of bass day 98 and finally figuring out how the hell it is that he does what he does.