How to become a slapper

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass_Boi, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Bass_Boi


    Aug 12, 2003
    show the steps on wat u have to do to be a slapper
  2. 1. Learn the proper technique, which is really just how you are comfortable.

    2. Practice.

    3. Keep practicing.
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO

    I second that. As far as deatails- make sure your getting a clean tone and minimizing overtones. Try to keep your thumb parallel to the string your slapping, and slap with the side of your joint. that's the easiest way I've found, and the most common. Maybe it isn't right for you though...:p
  4. To add:

    1. Listen to Larry Graham, Louis Johnson, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten.

    2. Transcribe their music.

    3. Practice some more from what you've learned from these guys.
  5. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    There used to be a link...
    cool trick I learned on these boards (I think).

    1) Get a drumstick - not a chicken or turkey one but a percussionists type LOL.

    2) Place the stick - under the palm - between your index finger/thumb and ring/pinky fingers.

    3) Hold your arm straight out and tap a rhythm on the table - tap out quarter notes, 8th notes, 16ths, triplets(thumb side)That gets your wrist used to the motion and the stick acts as a fulcrum.

    4) Goes on forever......that is the right hand action anyway. Then there are ghost notes and a lot of other crap...

    As cool as it is and as impressive sounding as it is to the great unwashed, I wish someone would invent another strike to this instrument. I'm getting a but annoyed at going to music stores and hearing "the great wack-off" all the time.
  6. The first step in becoming a slapper is to post in General Instruction or Technique forum.
  7. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I'm not a slapper by ANY strecth of the imagination, but there are a couple of technical aspects to getting a good sound (some already mentioned):

    1) Keep your thumb parallel to the strings
    2) Mute inactive strings with your fretting hand and palm of your slapping hand.
    3) Think of hitting the string like a hammer striking a nail, i.e.) use a clean up-and-down stroke.
    4) Slap/strike the string at the first fret
    5) Boost lows and highs (while cutting mids) on bass/amp to help you get the tone you've probably heard on recordings, etc.

    Good luck and have fun!!! :D :bassist:
  8. Slap and Pop technique

    You can use the knuckle of your thumb to slap (you have more control if you slap with your thumb parallel to the string) and your pointer and/or middle finger to pluck (I use both)
    I use my thumb for the E string mostly (B if you use a 5 string), but if im playing something fast I use my thumb on the same strings that I'm plucking.

    Check out the link I gave you ad think about getting a video for instruction!

    Always keep your wrist loose!
    ;) Trena
  9. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Tony Oppenheim had a great book in the 70s. I think it was called Slap It. It's probably still in print.

    Practice major/minor scales and maj/min Pentatonic over three strings just using your thumb to start. This helps increase your accuracy in hitting the A and D strings. Do this exercise in quarter notes.

    Then try the exercises using eighth notes and pluck a muted G string on the upbeat after every note. This will get the hand rocking back and forth between lower and upper strings. Start slow, go for accuracy and the speed will follow. Remember to stay loose and take a break if hand starts feeling tight or cramped. Good luck.
  10. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    live in Essex (UK) and go "awight luv how about it?" (sorry I couldn't resist!!)
  11. Like Tony Levin?


    ;) Treena
  12. notabob


    Sep 20, 2003
    cincinnati ohio
    treena, what are those things that that guy is using? ive seen someone use them in concert before and i was totally confused.
  13. No. This is no slapping. These are "funk fingers", small drumsticks attached to the fingers. The technique is almost the same as fingerstyle.

    I think what Jimbob said is practicing rhythms (on a table) with the usual slap technique, but using a drumstick to hear what you're doing.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I think Tony Levin deserves a bit more than being "that guy". :)
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL

  16. They are a lot of different way to slap.
    find the most comfortable for you.
    Practice a lot, try to do dofferent drum patterns.
    Snare=Pointer finger or middle or both.
    Fretting hand technique will come naturally.
  17. sambass


    Apr 15, 2003
    just go buy slap it, its how i learned ;)
  18. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I respectfully disagree!

    There is a proper technique for slapping and it is not neccessarily how you feel most comfortable.
    For example, some people slap with their thumbs almost at a right angle to the strings. You can get to a certain standard playing this way, but in the end it will limit you once you get into more advanced techniques.

    I'd advise WATCHING other pople play slap bass, as well as listening.

    A good, traditional slap technique, in my opinion, is very important if you want to actually be any good at it.

    I'm not any good at it, I just try hard! :)
  19. Will M

    Will M

    Oct 2, 2003
    London UK
    Theres an amazing trick by victor wooten where he slaps, but his thumb goes 'past' the string so that he can then pop the string on the rebound to play 2 notes in one go and play faster than speedy gonzales at a cheese convention. Since hearin about it ive tried for days but im no closer to getting there
    :confused: :crying: