Incredibly basic slap question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Funkateer, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Slapping still kind of mystifies me. When I slap with the thumb, should I be trying to bounce the string off the frets, or just graze the string?
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Well, I don't think that I have great technique or tone, so there is probably better answers to be had - but I say both. My approach is to slap the string with the inside of the thumb knuckle striking the string near the end of the fret board with a mostly downward angle (as oposed to hitting the string strait down toward the fret board) The idea is that the thumb just grazes the string enough that the string bounces downward toward the board, striking the frets, making the slap sound while the thumb comes to rest (just briefly) against the next higher string -
    You can definately slap soft and have the strings bounce of the frets, it doesn't take too much force to make a bass string contact the frets. I really don't know if what I'm saying is considered right or wrong, only that it works best for me.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Both are viable.

    On a whole-
    I think the old skool-ers "bounced"(e.g. Louis Johnson)
    ...the newer guys "graze"(e.g. Wooten, Claypool)
  4. Theres no right or wrong way to do it really. Another technique u can try is instead of bouncing, slap through the string then bring your thumb back up through the same string.