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Learning to Slap

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sweetnighter, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Sweetnighter


    Sep 4, 2004
    I picked up a learn-it-yourself book for slap technique on the bass, and I have a few questions. First, are there any bad habits that I should be wary of starting in terms of slapping? Second, with the exercises in this book, I've been working on the thumb technique, but no matter how I slap the string I always get muddy sound from the adjacent strings. How do I avoid this?

    If anybody has any good links on intro-bass slapping, that would be great. I'm playing a fretless by the way (and yes, I read that other thread)
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Learning to properly Mute is one of the keys to clean slapping. You might look at picking up Ed Freidlands DVD or Alexis Sklarevski's Slap Bass Program (only available on VHS though). Both are great instructional videos that will help you with that.

    As far as bad habbits, the only thing that really comes to mind, is when you slap and pop, to keep your fingers and thumb as rigid as possible, see Urb_Munki's post about keeping your hand balled up like a fist. The movement should come from a loose wrist. You really dont have to come up too far from the strings to get a good slap sound. The closer you can keep your hand to the strings, and the more rigid your fingers are, the less overall movement will have to be made and you will be able to play faster.
  3. When I first started to slap I tried to alleviate that problem by moving up and down the strings trying to only hit one string. It's slow and monotonous, but it helps a bit.
    However a more useful tidbit I've learned is that it's rather difficult to have good control over the nail end of my thumb, and that if I set my entire thumb flat on a string the joint of my thumb sticks out a bit more than the rest. If I slap the strings with the joint of my thumb I tend to get cleaner notes.
    And as was said, muting the strings that you aren't trying to play is a huge help