1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How do you create your own slap riff?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by robe, May 6, 2004.

  1. robe


    Oct 19, 2003
    i was just wondering cos i'm getrting sick of playing other peoples stuff and not being able to an individual if you know what I mean?
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    For simple lines, try octaves to start with. The beginning of any melody that I create is just a few notes that strike my interest. After that, I will experiment with the melody for ten to twenty minutes and to decide the best note choices, tempo, feel, fills, etc
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I have two tricks: The tuning trick and the rhythm trick

    Tuning: Detune one or more strings, e.g. a halfstep up. Now slap some, experiment. You'll get different riffs now, if you find some good ones, relearn them on standard tuning.

    Rhythm trick:

    Shift the rhythm of a given slap lick. For example, when it starts on the one, shift it back, start the same lick on the second 8th or 16th instead of the first one. This might be hard to do in the beginning, but it's good practice.
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Those are interesting, never thought about the tuning thing.

    Couldn't you just change position and get the same not though?
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Sure, but the thing is that you usually play your personal standard fingerings/licks when noodling, and by this you get invervals you wouldn't normally play.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I work up new riffs the old fashioned way...make 'em up on stage while jamming.
  7. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    Learn some drum rudiments. Larry Graham taught himself to thump by copying drum parts when he didn't have a drummer. Paradiddles are a good place to start, just in octaves.


    Try that, and work it up fast. It can be played pretty quick. Listen to a few songs with relatively easy drum patterns, and learn the bass/snare riffs. You can usually disregard the hi-hat.

    Also, look for chord progressions that you don't normally play that have no slap in the original recordings. e.g. Take The Beatle's "Paperback Writer" and follow the chords, just G and C, and slap a different line from the written one. Work on to more unfamiliar progressions, playing simple octaves and then making them more complex.

    And just hit the thing! Part of slapping is being a percussionist, so sit back and slap away for a bit.
  8. robe


    Oct 19, 2003
    thanx heaps guys i'll try some of those out.
  9. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    Im not allowed to post in the Techniqe forum untill I learn to act like a grownup.
  10. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    If you can't say something nice...

    I don't care for the RHCP or Flea, but I show respect to those who do.

    Finally there will never be a best, so it really comes down to a conflict of opinions.
  11. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I agree to some extent, most rudiments wont help your bass playing at all though. I say this as a bassist first and a drummer second. Most set drummers (even those inspired by corps style drumming) don't use rudiments unless it's subconscious.

    Here is a link to the 'official' drum rudiments even though they get changed and added too all the time by differant drummers/corps.


    I suggest looking at the Diddles mostly, if your timing is good enough and youre working with the same drummer all the time the Flam rudiments can help also. I find that I use a lot of flams in kick/snare combination and if you are slapping a part you could use that in an interesting way.

    I have to disagree with this statement however. A lot of good drummers don't play a steady rythym on their cymbals all the time but use them to accent the drums instead, the beat is found through a combination of drum and cymbal.

    Even if you aren't only slapping still listen to how the drummer is playing and you can throw some transitions in on top of certain things (especially the bass drum, the sounds of both the bass guitar and bass drum will fatten up.)

    Also I personally dont like sticking to 5ths and Octaves when slapping. You can throw in some 3rds that are an octave up. the easiest fingering for this is simple.


  12. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    hehe, i don't know what he said/did... but it still makes me giggle.
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    How to create your own slap riff
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    1 c AM Rice or Millet Flour
    1/2 c AM Soy Flour
    1/2 c AM Corn Meal
    1 tb Non-alum baking powder
    1/4 ts Sea salt (optional)
    1 Egg -- beaten
    1 1/2 c Water
    2 tb AM Unrefined Vegetable Oil

    Combine all dry ingredients. Stir together all
    liquids; add to dry ingredients. Bake on pre-heated
    griddle (350 F. to 375 F.). Turn only once.

    ...Oh wait, that's the recipe for gluten free pancakes.
  14. 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.
    Yep - I really try to mix it up, throwing in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and the octave. Don't forget about hammer-ons and -offs as well.

    Basically, take it slowly. Start with the octaves and 5ths, but try not to get stuck in a rut. Work on your rhythm and DEFINITELY(!) work on slapping at a variety of tempos. Set that metronome to various BPMs and see what you can do with each.

    A lot of people practice slapping at the same tempo (usually pretty fast) and become stumped when the tempo is slowed. Work on lines for a variety of tempos, time sigs, etc.
  15. Ace123


    Sep 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    A lot of slap lines are derived from the penatonic scale. Just mess around in that scale and you'll be amazed at some lines you come up with. Sometimes, the simplest line is the best line.
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    My advice is to get the technique down, then thrown on some looped drum track and get down. :hyper: Normally one would recommend just using a metronome, but due to the nature of slap, it being a form of percussion in it's own, I'd recommend jamming with a drum machine/programmed beat etc.
  17. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Try putting on a drum groove that you like and following the kick drum with your thumb through a minor pentatonic scale. Embellish to taste.

    I recommed buying a drum loop CD and playing with a real drummer who can groove over a machine, but you can use a machine if that's all you have access to.

    It's amazing what a groovin' drummer can make you think of.

    Try these:

    There are tons of others on the Net.

    Note: I have no association with Beta Monkey. I'm just a satisfied customer.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I got a Mel Bay book called "percussive slap bass" it comes with a CD and it's pretty good. It made my slapping a little more dead note heavy than I'd want it to be, but I'm slowly getting off that. It got me sounding like old school flea really fast. If that's the kind of slap that interests you... this would be the book.
  19. I do it blindly...

    I'll pick a start note and just slap it over and over at a tempo... then slowly add a note and build up
  20. I had a brilliant teacher for about two months who said, "You know all those Metallica and Queensryche and Rush songs you want me to teach you? Try slapping them." So I learned them and slapped them. Then I learned some Simon and Garfunkel, and slapped, then some Live, some reggae, some blues, and slapped the hell out of it. When we did the required theory training (scales, modes and such), we slapped our way through it.

    When I got in a band, I learned the guitar melody, then slapped it. Then I didn't want to completely drown out the guitar, so I tweaked his riff with harmonies (5ths and octaves) and slapped it again.

    Then I wrote my own fingerstyle parts. Then I slapped them, then I started on the 2 instead of the 1, then I omitted the downbeat, knowing that's where the kick drum would go, then I ghost-noted a lot, then I sped it up, then I slowed down, then I moved up and down the neck, then I played right on the beat, then swung back off the beat, then hit a whole note and let it ring, then I played the riff backwards, then I resolved back to the original riff I came up with.

    My teacher's main point: There are no rules.