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Learning bassist

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass legend, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Hi ive only been playing bass now for about five months. I was wondering if anyone could explain what 'Slapping the strings' is and why its done thanks.
  2. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Hi. Slapping the strings refers to a style of playing known as 'slap'.

    Its a style that uses the thumb to stike the lower strings and the index/middle fingers to 'pop' the higher strings. It's done to create percussive sounding tracks that tend to 'lock in' with the drumming as opposed to the chords layed down by keyboard or guitars and was a right hit in the 70's : ie stanley Clarke or Larry Graham.

    Nowadays you'll see a lot of the 'double slap' whereby the player has a method of getting more notes per strike by striking with the thumb on its way down and back up again. Such artists include victor wooten.
    This is obviously an advanced method on the 'normal slap' so don't go trying it until you've got normal slap down.

    For more info, buy a book on slap, the one by Stephen richter in the prgressive series, titled 'Progressive slap technique' is the one I learnt from a few years ago. It's purchasable from here - www.learntoplaymusic.com
  3. AmplifyYourBass


    Dec 7, 2003
    When I was trying to learn slap, I couldn't get it right. However, I figured out the secret I think most beginners learning slap overlooked. First, don't push your thumb into the string. You probably won't get a sound out of the bass doing that. Instead, line the side of your along whatever string you want to slap and then just flick your wrist very quickly and right when you hit the string, quickly take your tumb off the string so the string will vibrate. Remember, you don't have to slap the fourth string that hard to get some sound, but the second and first strings you might have to slap pretty hard.

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