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Is Slap Essential?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Steph Dawe, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. I mean, do I have to know it? I have a great deal of trouble slapping, and I was thinking if I never got around to perfecting it, would I be any less of a bassist?

    Not intending to create flamebait, just want opinions. :confused:
  2. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    I can slap "like crazy man" (words of my guitarist at a jam).

    Have I ever used it in a live situation? Once. Out of hundreds of gigs I only used it on one song (Canned Heat by Jamiroquai). IMO the song would have worked just as well with fingerstyle but I did what the band leader wanted.

    In answer to your question, no one will care except other bassists. Non bassists will actually like you more for not slapping 9 times out of 10.
  3. Coolio. :D

    Ah. Cool. I guess it's a good technique to be able to have, but not essential. I agree with the Jamiroquai thing, on some pieces I do just as good a finger-funk thing as I could do slapping.

    Thanks for posting :bassist:
  4. Not essential at all. Think of the bassists before slap was around. Jamerson kicked ass!
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Not essential, but worth learning if only to become a more rounded player. You can choose not to slap if you know how, but when you want/need/are forced/ to slap and don't know how; it can be hard to "fake" on the spot.

    The same could be said for chords, picking, tapping, etc. All are techniques worth knowing, but aren't very essential in the typical band situation.
  6. Not essential, but neither is fingerstyle or picking. It's all if you want to learn the technique or not. Most of the time, slapping is not needed. However it's a nice skill to have, and it's just another way to express yourself. It's good to know how to slap if you intend on being a well-rounded player, as abark000 said, but definitely not essential.
  7. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    aslong as you can play notes and sounds on your bass, your making music. you dont need to know every technique. but slapping is REALLY fun, keep trying to get better at it. soon, u'll enjoy it.
  8. Thanks guys; me and my impatience :D

    I have another 100 years to go before I'm too old to play - tons of practice time.
  9. Not essential...................but damn fun :D
  10. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Fun to know so you can go to Guitar Center and make the pop corn popping noises with everyone else in the bass room, but between the three bands I'm currently in, I have not had the need for it. That would probably not be the case if I was in some kind of funk/disco band though.
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Ive only used it in one song for one band in my 7 years of playing and I could have gotten by with playing it fingerstyle if I wanted.

    You dont need it, but why not learn it anyways.
  12. IMHO, slapping is pretty essential for bassists. Maybe you won't slap in all of the songs, but it helps you in other areas. Same goes for tapping. I find you can mix in slapping and tapping in a "normal" fingerstyle bassline here and there to spice it up. Probably the most useful technique for me is the muted pop in combination with a fingerstyle bassline. I think they had a lesson on that at the Warwick website or something.
  13. EmmSee


    May 23, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Hmmm... I don't think I'd ever say that tapping was essential.
  14. bluntman_bass


    Jul 13, 2004
    Wilcox, NE
    no but its very fun, and awesome
  15. Maybe essential wasn't the greatest word to pick, but from the look of things everyone's got my drift. :smug:
  16. seequeue


    Feb 13, 2004
    it'll only make you a better player; there's no real reason not to learn slap. However, It's secondary to more basic skills (like fingerstyle/picking)
  17. Personally, after the onslaught, over the past decade of Flea wannabes completely playing out the whole notion of slapping, and doing it so poorly, without any semblance of feel or nuance, I could do well never to hear any slapping again.

    When done soulfully, where you don't hear a barrage of bippitty bippitty boing boing for 5 minutes, yeah, I can relate, but beyond that, I'll pass entirely.

    What's sad is alot of novice players start slapping WAAAAAAY before they have any right to.

    Learn your fingerboard. Learn how to play a pocket with feeling. Develop a modicum of technique. Spend a few years playing with good drummers and get inside their heads.

    THEN work in the thumb.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with that 100% !!

    If I were you Stephanie and anybody asked for some slap/pop - I would say :

    "I refuse on grounds of musical taste!!" :D

    Or if you like : "Hey man, slap is so passé! " ;)
  19. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    If you're pursuing your own artistic vision, it's only essential if you want it to be.
  20. Definitely not essential. Its certainly a fun technique that can sound great when played tastefully and well. As already said, no biggie if you can't - how many times do you ever really need to use slap? I dare say that the majority of players spend more time practising slap compared to finger or pick style than they do performing comparatively. IMHO, thats a waste.