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losing volume when slapping?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by skaismyhero, Mar 16, 2008.


  1. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    It seems when I slap I lose a ton of volume vs. finger picking. Could this have to do w/ pickup height or is that common for most basses.

    Edit: I looked at my technique and I slap the top of the string. Not on the side of it
     
  2. hmm.. that seems odd? usually its the otherway around, is there some sort of limiter, or compression on your amp?
     
  3. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    nope. Svt 3 pro through a 2x10. Bass is highway 1 jazz. I get so much louder when playing fingerstyle. The amp isn't clipping either.
     
  4. crazyguy832

    crazyguy832

    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Are you sure you're slapping properly? That's honestly the only thing I can think of.
     
  5. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    lol yea
     
  6. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Technique. You need to work harder at getting your volume up. Make sure your thumb bangs squarely into the string right on the bone, and while you want to use some force, using too much will cause your thumbed slaps to not be so loud. If the notes aren't as loud as your fingerstyle, you're doing something wrong.
     
  7. Wootsticks

    Wootsticks

    Jul 26, 2007
    Houston, TX
    You're either slapping too hard or too soft.
     
  8. 3506string

    3506string

    Nov 18, 2004
    Lawton, OK
    How you are slapping could be the culprit. If you are slapping perpendicular to the string it could cause a volume loss because not all pup's track well vertically. When fingering you are vibration the string parrallel to the pup's increasing the volume. You could try slapping through the string like vic does but that technique is kind of uncomfortable at least to me.
     
  9. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    I dont think its my technique. My pops are quieter too. Ill see if i can get a vid up. It may not be quieter, but it doesnt cut through the band as much?
     
  10. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    That sounds right. I slap perpendicular to the string, but I've never thought that to be bad technique
     
  11. Wootsticks

    Wootsticks

    Jul 26, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Wow, like + perpendicular? How is that possible? o_O
     
  12. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    Its not + perpendicular more like in between the top line and the right line in the +
    ok so did a little experiment. I picked the finger with my string and watched it then I slapped it. It is vibrating a lot more when I finger it. So How do I get it to do that slapping without doing the wooten thing?
     
  13. crazyguy832

    crazyguy832

    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Are you using your wrist or just your thumb to slap it?

    How high is your action?

    If your action's too high in addition to your (seemingly) weak strike, the string may not be hitting the fretboard (or at least not with enough force)
     
  14. skaismyhero

    skaismyhero

    May 21, 2006
    Dayton Ohio
    wrist and fairly low
     
  15. crazyguy832

    crazyguy832

    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    http://www.michaeldimin.com/5minslap.htm

    Check out that site. If you have a drum stick lying around (or some similarly shaped and weighted object), you should definetely try what he has to say. It's possible your forearm muscles may be underdeveloped.
     
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I had that issue with a Lakland 55-01 w/maple neck. The minute I switched to slap, I totally got lost in the mix! No other bass had that issue. There were other things I hated about that bass and eventually got rid of it.
     
  17. Well, I guess I'm one of the few who thinks that's a pretty normal thing with most basses. I'm a pretty heavy slapper and have always had that issue when switching from fingerstyle to slap within a song. I've found my Sadowsky jazz to be the most balanced. Slapping strikes the string perpendicular to the pickup and fingerstyle strokes it horizontal so that's completely normal in my opinion.
     
  18. Something that helps is playing fingerstyle close to the bridge with a light touch on songs where you switch between fingerstyle and slap.
     
  19. low-endz

    low-endz

    Dec 18, 2007
    Miami, FL.
    Your Fingerstyle technique seems to be more agressive than your Slap techinque.

    Maybe you fingerpluck very hard. ( I use a mod light touch so I get a louder slap)

    Do you have long finger nails for cut-through fingerPICKING?
     
  20. +1 to the comments above. One of the things that IMO is most difficult about 'slap style' is to be able to effortlessly go back and forth between fingerstyle and slap with no volume gain or loss and no EQ adjustments (except possibly adding a small touch of low end when slapping).

    So, my guess is that it is primarily a technique issue, and is the primary reason that so many amps have those goofy 'footswitchable slap scoop controls', etc... which should be avoided like the plague:D

    That being said, the strong percussive nature of slap style will immediately identify issues with amplification (which is at least part of the reason you see players in music stores 'testing' equipment using slap style playing). Using too small of a speaker cab or too low powered amp for your playing context really becomes apparent when you are wacking that E string. If you are pushing your rig right to to the limit with your finger style technique, then the more percussive peaks and wider tone (primarily due to hitting the string closer to the neck or even on the neck which results in more fundamental) can really result in the low end compressing. I've also found this issue to occur with some tube loaded preamps or hybrids, where the gain structure of the pre tends to compress a bit when really pushed... I hate that!

    I've also run into this with a few basses, where the low end fundamental seems to compress when slapped. This is rare though, but it can drive you nuts. It doesn't seem to be 'brand or model' specific, but I guess certain pieces of wood can have this issue, and it's a 'slap killer' if you unfortunately run into one of them. It's like someone is turning down the bass control of your amp with every low E string slap. This should not impact the 'pluck' part of the techique, though, and becomes much less apparent as you move up the neck. I doubt that this is your issue.

    The best way to test whether it's 'you or the amp' is to play at moderate volumes, playing the same 'lick' or pattern fingerstyle and slap style. You should be able to go back and forth with no apparent change in volume IMO and IME.
     

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