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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mofomage, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. mofomage


    Jun 18, 2005
    I've watched people do it and it doesn't look hard, but whenever i try it it just goes THWAK! against the frets and makes no tone. Is there something I'm doin wrong, and could someone tell me how if i am? Or, the problem might be my Squier P-bass that i used to keep tuned low... :confused: :help:
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Wrong forum - moved.
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Find a comfy seat and put the bass in its stand right in front of you. Stare straight at it and say something really nasty about the bass,................................ then just haul off and slap it real hard. :smug: Wait a few seconds and do it again. :eek: Now take a break. A little slap goes a long way :D You don't want to stress anything ;)

    The first thing you must do is learn how to use the Search function
  4. It makes a THWAK because you're not rebounding your thumb fast enough. You'll get it with practice.

    Also, an unmodified Squier P-bass gets a horrendous slap tone, so unless that's what you want, look into getting some new pickups (I recommend Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickups, or EMG active ones), and definitely get new bright strings (Elixirs are pretty bright and will withstand much slapping without dying). Also look into getting your bass set up for slapping. If it's got the factory set up, chances are your action is way to high for slapping. Get a professional to set it up nicely for you.
  5. mofomage


    Jun 18, 2005
    allright thanks i'll look into that!
  6. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    It's all in the wrist. Here are a few basics to keep in mind.

    You can slap with your thumb pointed up towards your face,thumbs up style, or with it pointing down and bent at the first joint. I believe flea plays with his thumb point down like that, toward the floor.

    Your "wrist muscles" will build as you go, so just focus on trying to really get your thumb to "bounce" off the strings. It should hit quick near your last fret or so, and come right up off the string.

    When you pop, hook your index or middle finger under the string and pull it up slightly off the fretboard, then let it go, so it "pops" against the board.

    When you're first starting out, I'd recommend using your thumb to slap the E and A strings, and using your index and middle fingers to pop the D and G strings. Stick with that for a little while, and see how you do.
  7. W.Nelson


    Jun 17, 2005
    Another thing in slap bass that my help you is your arm position...try dropping your elbow down,so that your thumb isnt coming down at an angle...but more of striaght on top of the string..this way,you will find it easier to thumb the the string you want without hitting the others,...never tence up your wrist,and if it helps you may want to use your pinky finger to kinda help spring the thumb off the string...in time,and practice,you'll get a good feel about it..and find a position to fit you.....good luck
  8. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    yeah. the only time you want your thumb to hit other strings is when you learn how to come to rest on the next highest string when you thumb. I wouldn't worry about that just yet though. Just work on getting a good consistent sound.
  9. mofomage


    Jun 18, 2005
    awesom thanks guys!