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High notes

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by HunsBassist, May 3, 2005.

  1. HunsBassist


    Oct 3, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    I am having trouble with my slapping technique. Now I'm no Claypool but I can get by (through much help from other TBers) with a decent homemade slapping technique. But now I am posed with the problem of getting a clear tone when slapping high notes (anything above the the 7th fret on the bottom three string). I know this is possible since I've seen so many people do it, such as Les Claypool (in an interlude in Tommy the Cat, he slaps a sliding rundown starting on the 17th fret of the E string) And I would like to be able to do this, even if it's just to open a song with a slapped slide. It may just be the bass, since I don't have the best bass for slapping (Squier Affinity P-Bass) I know that might be one of the reasons for my hindrance, but I do know that it may be harder, but anything that can be done on one bass, can be done on another. If anyone has any suggestions to help me overcome these problems. It's not anything urgent or anything vital, but I would appreciate any advice.
  2. not knowing if this may help at all but I'll try...

    you have to remember that when you fret the say 14th fret, the vibrations in the string don't travel as far, try slapping closer to the bridge and see if that helps.

    this might help a bit, but I know others will be able to help you more
  3. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    IMO you should never slap at the bridge ever!! I think that is the worst possible thing you could do. You should be slaping right where the fingerboard begins . I have 24 frets I slap on about the 22-23 fret
  4. curious why that is. I find slapping at different places gives you a different tone. Bad for the strings?
  5. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    well I guess you can do what ever you want but I have never seen a single experienced person who slaps ,slap anywhere but on the start of the neck actually I havnt seen anyone do that. Flea , Claypool , Marcus all slap at the neck
  6. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I saw the Neville's last weekend, and their bassist was slapping right at around the 14th fret. It looked pretty weird but sounded cool. He was playing a Ken Smith bass, but I dunno who he was.
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Before you drive yourself crazy try this on some other basses, due to set-up reasons it is very difficult to slap in this range on some basses(some basses are barely playable up there!)
    Ass-uming your bass is cool:
    Contacting the string on or around the first(last) fret is the correct place to slap unless you are going for a "special" effect.
    One of the most important things to remember is the speed and force with which your thumb strikes the string is less important than how quickly you "get-off" the string. Imagine your thumb hitting, and then quickly "pulling" the note out of the string(from above, I am not talking about double strokes here!!) This is done by keeping a loose wrist joint and still elbow, it's that "hang-loose" sign action you are looking for.
    Getting off of the string quickly is more critical on shorter string lengths(higher notes) because the physics involved in making the note sound have a shorter distance to travel and things happen more quickly.
    Hope this helps!!
  8. HunsBassist


    Oct 3, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks for the suggestions. They've all improved my high slapping technique. But what I found is the best way to slap high notes is play on a fretless. IF you don't have frets to hinder the distance and resinance of the note, the high slap will come in clean, clear and more slappy.

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