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I *Hate Slap Bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TNCreature, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Oh, bahahaha! I'm not alone!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    You're not alone OP. I'm in the same boat and think it's a great tool when utilized the right way at the right time. But as soon as I see a bass "demo" on YT and the dude starts slappin away, I move on in seconds. Can't stand it. I appreciate and respect the technique and the time it took for some of those guys to perfect it. But it just doesn't do anything for me anymore.
    TNCreature likes this.
  3. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
  4. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    You may be right there. I prefer his Level 42 playing as well. It seemed more for the song.
    TinIndian and ELG60 like this.
  5. BigBear77

    BigBear77 Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2017
    Bike Messengers of Bass! Love it. Has to be the quote of the week, month, year!
    TNCreature likes this.
  6. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Hell, I might get one of my buddies and rehearse a kill bass-off duel and then go into GC around Christmas and pretend like we didn’t know each other.
    Something like the Marx Bros piano duel on bass would be awesome!!!
    Wanker_Joe, TinIndian and TNCreature like this.
  7. Slap is played out. I recently heard someone say "slap fell out of style 20 years ago". I paused to think about it and then had to agree. You used to hear pop songs (or even more aggressive styles) that were slapped all the way through, but not so much after the '90s / early '00s. I am a capable player and I am 100% confident that I could become proficient enough with this technique if I studied/practiced it more, but I have no interest to. The band I'm in plays funk, and I have a grand total of 20 seconds of slap (one song intro) out of approximately 3 hours of material. There is honestly nowhere else it would sound good in our sets.

    There are currently only 2 "slapping" bass players that I enjoy listening to.

    1. Marcus Miller: Because he has incredible dynamics. He can "slap softly", and everything he does is incredibly musical. His band's was one of the best shows I've ever seen.
    2. Fernando Lamadrid: A bit flashier than Miller, but still very much musical. His compositions are very interesting, and so are his use of effects and flamenco type licks. Also, he's not a full-time slapper : Some tunes are slapped through, some not at all, some just for a solo, etc. All slap, all the time gets old fast.
    TNCreature likes this.
  8. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    Not a slapper myself unless the song calls for it. It is a good weapon to have in your arsenal.
    ThudThudThud and TinIndian like this.
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Not my thing.

    Some time ago I worked on it and practiced until I could slap and pop pretty well solely to prove to myself I could. Then I put it aside and let it all go. And like everything you don’t regularly practice, I promptly lost the skills to do it. And I’m perfectly good with that.

    As far as slap in general goes, I can listen to it if it’s being done by Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Mark King, or Scott Whitley. More recently I find Ida Neilsen fairly tolerable as well.

    The rest of the time slap bass is just like what shredding is for me - the absolute triumph of technique over content. All sizzle and no steak.

    But that’s me. If slap is your thing then by all means slap on. We each have our own preferences and tastes. That’s what makes the music world go round. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    TNCreature likes this.
  10. Rollin Thunder

    Rollin Thunder

    Mar 20, 2017
    I am not a fan either, what i really hate is if you go to a shop and ask to try a bass you often get the sales guy who insists on playing it before you and goes into some crazy slap and pop, and then i just want to smash him with the said instrument. and all i want to do is hammer some low end root notes to just get the feel and overall sound of the thing.
    928cat and TNCreature like this.
  11. Rollin Thunder

    Rollin Thunder

    Mar 20, 2017
    he is the worst for me could ram the bass over is head as much as look at him. He seems a nice enough bloke apart from that, its not personal just slappers want slapping.
  12. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I like Melvin Lee Davis and Alex Al slapping technique, feel and respect of the tune approach they have.
    2000TA46032 and TNCreature like this.
  13. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Degen from Up-Country Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    Slap mostly annoys me in YouTube demos; I don’t slap in my own playing, and the sound of slap is usually so different from standard fingerstyle or pick sounds that a slap-centric demo isn’t very helpful to me in deciding if I would like to own whatever is being demoed. Aside from that it doesn’t really faze me that much.
  14. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I wish I could slap to do some Primus covers.

    There isn’t a lot of slap in classic prog/prog metal, so I haven’t really found a need to use it, but there are places (in Liquid Tension Experiment’s “Universal Mind” Tony Levin throws a slap section in Bm doubled by Petrucci - so I had to learn a bit there).

    It wasn’t until I came across “Tommy the Cat” that I really wanted to learn how to slap, but I really can’t play anything beyond the basic stuff like the LTE example and wouldn’t even try “Tommy.”

    I may be hiring an instructor if I find myself getting too desirous to play some Primus.

    Generally, slap doesn’t bother me anymore than any other technique bothers me.

    Bad bass playing of any technique is what bothers me - especially mine.
    TNCreature likes this.
  15. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I'm not a huge fan of slap (probably because I suck at it), but there are songs that I can't imagine not having the slap licks in them. Here are a few, and there are many more:

    TNCreature likes this.
  16. turbo2256b


    Jan 4, 2011
    I dont hate slap and pop but think it is often over done these days. Might add a bit of it in here and there a note or two were it seems to fit. find it hard to listen to many songs were the whole thing is slap. Guess I liked the way it was done back in the Motown days the most.
    928cat and TNCreature like this.
  17. Wanker_Joe


    Sep 26, 2017
    Ha! I love that idea! It's a pretty great fit, and also reminds me that I need to rewatch a bunch of Marx Brothers stuff.
    TNCreature likes this.
  18. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    You mean didn't get past the bull **** you tried as a hook. Why not just ask the question straight up instead of being cute? Or was part of you looking for a fight? Keep looking.
  19. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    You can say the sky is blue around here and have someone pick a fight...
  20. roch botham

    roch botham

    Aug 23, 2018
    Tnc creature: I'm a bike messenger. I hate you.
    TNCreature likes this.

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