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How to get a Jazzy Slap sound like Nathan East or Stanley Clarke

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Sep 15, 2000.


  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I havent played anything like Fourplay or Lee Ritenour's music, mostly because I dont know the way to slap so softly to sound good. I slap like Flea mostly, hard and fast.
    I just needed to know how to develop that "Jazz Slap" sound that most Pro bassist have.
    I have not played bass in a while so I need to practice a lot. Can someone gimme some advise? Is there anything special about the bass, to play this kind of music??
    Would a Tobias Toby pro help me develop this kind of sound?
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Most people take some time to realize that you don't need that much strengh/power to slap - in fact almost none! Try to gradually decrease the amount of force of your slaps...IMO an active bass helps to get that particular sound, low string action,too! Also it's better to have the bass strapped in a higher position to get better control of the instrument.

    [Edited by JMX on 09-15-2000 at 07:45 PM]
     
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    That's good info. I realized that , but I havent been able to slap that softly. Specially beacuse I used to slap very fast and hard to strenghten my muscles.
    What about the "Sound" i mean the tone that most slap jazz bassist have.. Is a 2 pickup bass needed?
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I usually get the best slap sound on a bass with two pickups and both PUs on full volume (most modern basses or sth like a Fender Jazz) . Slapping on a P-style bass sux big time IMO... Only good single-pickup bass for slapping is a MM Stingray or a bass with a similar (pickup) design...and it never hurts to have an active tone control.
     
  5. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Can a musicman get a good Jazz tone like Nathan East??
    I just couldnt get that tone out of my Ibanez ATK300, it had so much atack!!!
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    A good compressor and cut your mids.
     
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i would suggest trying lighter gauge strings - alot of those guys use really light gauge strings to get a real twangy, percussive sound outta their axe. it also helps to have active electronics and a pretty hifi pickup config. i really like lane poors - very flat and even, and a very clear high end (not to mention a flat, even, full low end all the way down to low F# and then some, 2 strings lower than a low E)

     
  8. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I suppossed that! Its great that you confirmed it JT. I just bought 3 sets of 40-100 strings for my Six string bass.
    Carvin Strings are very nice for the money.
    Hi-Fi pickups?? I may better start looking for a replacement on my "posible" new Tobias Toby Pro. Maybe Basslines, I have heard that these are now better than EMG and Bartolini
     
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I use 35-95 gauge, which might already to be too thin for some people. Level 42's Mark King even uses 30-90.
    American brands tend to offer heavier string sets than European makes like Rotosound, Elites, Warwick or Pyrasound,
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    While light gauge strings can be more twangy, they're not required to get that sound. IME they require a great fretboard even more than heavier strings. Go too light and the fingerstyle sound may suffer. I get the sound with a .40 or .45 on top, using the EQ on the bass (if it's active) and never cut my mids. YMMV. The top is there on my Ash 78 Jazz, even though it's not active, it sounds like a great active bass.

    You need to work on using less right hand motion (if you're right-handed). It's not easy to do at first...that's why you need to practice. By using a more controlled motion and higher volume, speed and precision are easy to attain and you learn to finesse the bass instead of beating it:D
     
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I agree, everything between .035 and .045 is ok, it's just personal preference. IMO, though, .050 or .055 gauges are a bit too much for true slap heaven...:D
     
  12. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Does the bass really matter??
    I mean, I want to get specifically that type of sound.
    I have slaped in Ernie Balls, and ATK300, and Laklands.
    But all those "traditional shape" basses dont think they can sound the way I want it. (Specially with just 1 pickup)
    I want to get the kind of sound that Alexis Sklarevski has on his video "Slap Bass Program" I noticed he uses a Spector, but I cannot afford a real one.
    Can a Toby Pro 4 gimme that kind of sound?? (Please, Input from owners in this one!!" Can it have a REALLY LOW action?
    Thank
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The bass does of course make a difference - ideally you need a reasonable string spacing for slapping. If the strings are too close together it can make it difficult - this was actually one of the criticisms I have heard levelled at the Toby 5s - that they're not going to be good for slapping because of this.

    I'm not sure what the point is about "traditional" basses though - Marcus Miller gets a similar sound and played (plays) a 70s Fender Jazz Bass! Nathan East obviously has his signature Yamaha bass, but this isn't that different in tone from a Jazz bass. I think the Jazz bass with both pickups on full is the closest to this "sound". The best bass I found for this was the Fender Roscoe Beck 5 string - great Jazzy slap sound. I did a track a bit like this on my band's recent CD - you can have a listen and see if this is the type of sound you mean :
    http://www.roypickett.freeserve.co.uk/comewith.mp3

    I think Stanley Clarke is a bit different, in that his "sound" is very much about the way he plays, but he is always associated with Alembics and customised ones at that! A lot of the recognisable Stanley Clarke stuff is down to playing solos on his piccolo bass, but if we're talking about slap I don't think that's the sound that he's particularly associated with - this to me, is more Marcus Miller being influenced by Stanley Clarke - Marcus does it with slap, whereas Stanley is more about other techniques.

    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 09-18-2000 at 02:54 AM]
     
  14. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    What I have in conclusion is that , to get that sound, you need 2 pickups.
    5 string Toby = Too narrow for good slaping.
    Then... 4 String Toby Im getting...
    Standard Spacing.. 2 Pickups...
    :)
    Seems nice..
     
  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Wow..
    Nice Song Bruce!!
    Is that a Jazz Bass what I heard?
    The sound is pretty close what Im looking for..
    But take a peek on Fourplay's first record..
    the song: 101 Eastbound (I love that Nathan East sound)
    Thats exactly what i pursuit.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, I was trying to say that your best option is a Jazz bass type - I'm not sure that the Toby will get that type of sound or be easy for slap. I have got the track you mention on a CD ("Urban Jazz Grooves"!) - it's playing in the background as I write this - how's that for dedication!

    This sound to me, is quite Marcus Miller - ish..scooped mids, 2 pickups on full - I'm sure you can get this sound on say the Fender RB5 bass I used for the track I linked to. I would suspect that high-quality studio compression plays a large part in the sound as well. The other thing about the sound is the player - very consistent and precise playing, which says to me - years of practice!!
     
  17. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Cool.
    Thanks for your help Bruce, you are the best!
    Well , the toby 4 has a standard string spacing..
    and two humbucker soapbar pickups..
    I think it will do the job...
    Now I have to find a good Dbx compressor...
    hmmm... ebay.. ebay.. where are you?? hehehe.
     
  18. 5156246

    5156246

    Sep 6, 2000
    Germany
    I agree and I don't think that Mark's string set was too thin.
    But I confess, such a set is nearly only suitable for the funk-only guys here...
    but if you have the right EQ preset you still achieve a bass sound with low ends. A bit of the real fat sound will be lost though, most of all this special attack sound.

    On the other hand I think you are more flexible with thinner strings. Or did you ever try to slap a 145 low B? :D

    Then a light chorus and a fast compressor with middle/strong compression sound. And the EQ on my bass (3 band) I set high:full, middle: normal; bass:a bit louder. Finally to achieve a clear sound I set the balance neck pickup/bridge pickup to 25:75.

    Of course this is just my favorite sound but it sounds even slapped stronger very stanley like.. :)
     
  19. bassjones

    bassjones

    Sep 19, 2000
    Hey All,
    IMO the "Nathan tone" was simply created by Nathan playing finger style grooves via his thumb, this adds more of a funk feel to the tune without over bearing everything else.
    I find that I can get the Nathan tone by just cutting the mids out and controling the overall attack of the strings. This is a very subtle and welcomed way of slapping as it tends to propel a tune much better than just a regular finger style groove. One of the cool aspects of Nathan's style is the way he throws in little accents here and there, like a pop or a slide that just fits perfectly. As far as getting a simular tone is concerned, IMO the best basses are the pocket machines, no fancy electronics or piezos needed to sit in the pocket, just a good groover like an active Fender V or any Yamaha five string. Nathan East is IMO the finest bassist because he has the capacity to just smoke, but he serves the music first.
    Regards,
    Paul
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    How does it sound if you don't cut the mids?