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Newbie - slap technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Seraphial, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Hey all

    Hoping to pick your brains on something - I'm slowly working my way through the Slap Bass sticky but some of the links have expired. Wanted to ask - I'm a newbie and dipping my toe in slap bass. I can hit the E string fine, but I seem to be struggling with the A. I'm not getting a definitive sound out of it. I've adjusted my technique so I'm muting the E and D, and looked closely at my position (close to the neck) and how my thumb is angled (straight across the string) but all I get is the sound of the string bouncing off the frets/fretboard. Any tips?

    Thank you!
  2. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    If you're hitting that string with your thumb, and only hear string hitting fret, then you're accidentally muting it. I know I am not a great slap player, and sometimes my part of my thumb that connects with my wrist accidentally lingers on the string, killing the sound.
  3. Remember poppin' a towel on someone's rear in gym?

    That's what your thumb does on the string. It's a ricochet, not a slap.
    Element Zero likes this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    A good exercise:

    Set the metronome to a comfortable slow tempo. Slap each string, in quarter notes (in time with the metronome counting 1, 2, 3, 4) E, A, D, G and then back down G, D, A, E. Concentrate on getting a consistent sound on each string.

    When you are comfortable with that, play eighth notes (two notes per metronome click, counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and): E E A A D D G G G G D D A A E E.

    Once you can comfortably play slapped quarter notes and eighth notes on all strings, you can introduce more rhythmic vocabulary: sixteenth notes, triplets, dotted notes, rests, ties, etc.

    Don't forget to practice a mix of open strings and fretted notes.
  5. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    What string spacing do you have in your bass. If it's less than 19mm, It's going to be hard to not hit other strings.

    If it is 19mm, then practice practice practice. You just need to get the feel down.

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