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i need some help, how can i slap bass like flea?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by big daddy cool, Jul 1, 2001.

  1. Im able to do all the stuff on blood sugar and californication, even around the would, which im told is really hard, but i cant play a single thing on any of the older albums, coz its all slapping, and fast slapping at that.

    Have any of you got any ideas as to how i can become faster at slapping. the thing is, ive taught myself, so im only able to slap quite slow, the fastest thing i can slap is killing in the name of by ratm, so even if you could describe to me some ways of improving my slap that would be good.

  2. Keep on practising!
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I second that.

    Welcome to talkbass. You might want to take a look in the technique forum.
  4. I advice the same as the above. Practice makes perfect...try slapping one string at a time, alternating every slap. It worked for me, and i can slap pretty well.
  5. LowfreqB


    Nov 10, 2000
    United States
    Originally posted by Chris J
    Keep on practicing!

    Yeah that's your 1st priority.

    I would add get the Flea video from starlicks. I just got mine, really helpful, he talks about a few methods he uses. He even slows a couple of licks down so you can learn them.
  6. Where do i get this video?? whats starlicks??
  7. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    star licks it´s not a place, it´s just the manufacturer of the video.

    you can get it on several musical instrument stores or EBAY (i have seen tons of videos of flea on sale)
  8. I don't know if you will like this technique, but I find it quit useful, Instead of "slapping" with my thumb I go under the string with my thumb and pop the string, I then go pop the octave with my index finger, It takes some getting used to but once you have it down you can fly with it, and it sounds almost the exact same as slap/pop,
    I have never seen anyone else do it, but I am sure someone else in here must do it, please let me know if you use this style anyone and tell me what you think of it.
  9. Traveler


    Jun 26, 2001
    Greenwood, AR.
    Yes actually, when I play a really fast slap song I do that. Though for me, it does not sound the same as regular slap. But I find it sounding just as good, so I go with it on the fast songs. Even though I don't play slap all that much.
  10. You're basicly doing "double thumbing". Les Claypool does it, Victor wooten basicly "invented" it... i think. You're basicly doing that harder part though. Most people can slap down, you're doing the hard part of pulling up the string with your thumb. I would recomend you work on going down, then up. You'll get some REALLY cool sounds like that.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Practice with a metronome helps. You can ask Jeff Berlin.

    When I started slapping I thought I was hopeless. Slap......pop............slap.......................pop. I turned it into a meditative sort of thing and just concentrated on the timing. I went real slowly sometimes 10 minutes straight, sometimes a half an hour straight. After a while something just clicks, I heard someone say it's called kinestenic memory. The muscles remember what you're doing then go on automatic pilot. Now I'm a slap happy fool :p ! Still can't find much use for it though.

    Also, although you probably already know this - a little trick. Slap the open string, then fret it (to sound the note) with the left hand (assuming you're a rightie) slap it again with the right, then pop the octave (or whatever note you want to hit). Did that make sense? Quadruplets. I practiced this really slowly and evenly till I got it. Impresses everyone at the music stores.

    And no, I'm not one of those idiots that sits there all day showing off in music stores - it just happens unintentionally sometimes :).
  12. thanx guys, especially to 'Joe Nerve', you were quite inspiring and you gave me some useful info.


    and something else, whats a metronome?
  13. A metranome is a device that keeps the beat with a sound like a clock, you know tick...tock...tick
  14. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    are you sure that song is supposed to be slapped?
  15. yeah, im pretty sure its meant to be slapped, popped and muted.
  16. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    i guess you mean "take the power back".

    but Killing in the name is not played with slap (i have live videos :))

    BUT: you can play it slap... it also sounds good. (i do it some times).
  17. This is a little trick that works for me when I'm doing slap bass.....

    <font size="100"><marquee>BEAT THE HELL OUT OF IT!</marquee></font>

    Oh... and... um.. practice. That seems to work too.
  18. you can't slap like flea... he is a god... :) well just Practice i guess... =)
  19. This sounds a bit crazy but works . Just hit your bass as hard as you can till your hand f#cking hurts like hell and your fingers are covered in blisters . It will sound really sh#t to start with but keep practicing and you will start to develop a rhythm then try to develop other rhythms . Most of fleas slapping is a continuous rhythm with only your hand on the neck changing . The secret to Flea bass is playing your bass really fu#kin hard
  20. yeah it does, theres absolutely no reason why any technique applied to bass guitar should cause you to even have blisters, if you take your time and do not wack the $hit out of your bass, not only will you have a better sound, technique and more control over what your doing , but you'll also have NO blisters.

    even with things like fingerstyle playing, what do you people do that causes you to have blisters, i see posts like "how many blisters do you have", like its a contest!?

    nothing, the majority of the time, is added to the sonic value of a note, when you wack it silly, sure some stylesand songs, for instance, Jacos part on the chicken, require you to modify the posistion and the way in which you strike the string.

    but i've never had a blister, perhaps a bit of hardened skin, i've always played with fingers, never a pick.

    listen to what your playing, if it sounds bad to you, then whats everybody else goning to think when it's increased in volume by 300W

    theres no reason, in my mind why you'd want to sound and play just like flea, the technique isn't exclusivly his, nor is he the best at it,

    once your playings getting good, you want to be looking at how you can make yourself stand out from the crowd, work on modifying techniques, doing things differently, thats why the fleas, jaco's, vic wootens etc, are mentioned , they do things a little different than there predecessors

    sure, lokk for inspiration, but don't get caught up in the "flea is god" stuff, it's not worth it, nor is taking advice , like "wack the strings, it'll sound like $hit and you'll have lots of blisters"

    be objective and sensable with what you listen to, and if your still not sure, ask some of the TBers who are a little more mature.

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