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Ok, slap overpowers fingers, also louder!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Obsolex, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    How do I set my amp so that when i play slap and with my fingers there isnt such a big difference in sound? thanks, _-soto-_
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    It's not an amp setting... it's all about practice.

  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Brad speaks the truth! I have noticed the more I practice the more controlled my slap volume is.:bassist:
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    or you could always get a cheap compressor.
  5. What they said, plus:

    Are you using roundwounds or flats?

    If rounds, how old are they?:confused:
  6. Turn your guitar down when you slap. Turn it back up when your using your fingers.
  7. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I agree with the practice comment. I was thinking the exact same thing when I read the thread title.

    If you're lazy, you can do like the other lazy people and buy a compressor for that purpose *note that I didn't say everyone using a compressor is lazy*
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    True. The only thing I'll add to that is, if you find yourself in a situation where, after coming to rely on it, it's not available (dead batteries, malfunction, sitting in on a different rig, etc.)... you're screwed.

    OTOH if you actually refine your technique (which really isn't that hard, it just takes time*), barring injury or mental collapse, it won't fail on you.

    I like for my potential problems to be long shots.

    * a little bonus is, once you get it under your belt, you can fascinate others who are amazed at your control and wonder how the heck you do it. You'll know the answer: practice.
  9. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    PRACTICE!!! seems to be a bad word for some people.. but its the only way you will learn to control your tone and your volume.. Now... If you are getting that "fork on a plate" sound when you slap... then you need to adjust your preamp settings... Set everything flat on your bass and your amp and work from there. I have found that boosting the bass slightly will give you a nice Fat slap tone...
  10. I think "slap and pop" are misnomers, i.e. they seem to imply beating the hell out of the bass.

    In my experience, it works best and sounds best to use as light a touch as I can. Beating the thing seriously degrades the tone......and affect the volume too much, as you mention.

    I tend to eq with increased bass and treble for slap. If I was so inclined I might get a eq stomp box so I could use this technique on and off quickly.

    It's easier with some basses than others. My Cirrus is much better for slap than my Fender, but they're totally difference beasts.....

    (I think this thread belongs in Technique) :bassist:
  11. Over the years I developed more strength and consquently more control over my technique. This meant that I didn't need a compressor half as much as before. Over time, you will find that your finger and slap techniques might not have such a discrepancy in volume. Using a split-band compressor is also a great option. Tame your highs w/o squashing your lows; this can be great for when switching between techniques.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Practice is an excellent suggestion in this case and always a good idea. However the playability and setup of the instrument can be a big factor. I know a number of slappers much better than I who use compression. I also know good slappers who don't use compression, but their basses are set up with low action, usually with light gaugs strings.

    I use medium gauge strings and medium action, and even though my technique is far more gentle now I find I still need gentle compression to keep the slap spikes from overwhelming my fingerstyle playing. I'm sure some players can balance slap and fingerstyle playing on medium action (or higher), but it ain't easy.

    Oh yeah: panning towards the bridge pup adds compression. I'm usually a neck-pup person.
  13. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I solved this problem by buying an EQ pedal and setting it up for slap. Not just the volume, but the tone as well. Works a treat.
  14. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    truer have never been spoken til now.


    wow, that's a great idea!
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I agree, setup can be a huge factor. Once you have that out of the way, the rest can be in your hands.

    OTOH... ;)

    FB, there's a local guy, Anthony Setola, who is a killer player (you may be familiar with him). I hung out with him at Gordon Miller Music one day and watched as he pulled all kinds of basses off the wall and proceeded to play the snot out of them. Low action, high action, didn't matter. Single pickup, duals, P, J, , wide or narrow spacing, humbucker, slap, fingerstyle, didn't matter. Ran them through amps that were nothing special.

    It was truly eye-opening. How did he get to the point where he could play like that regardless of the bass?

  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    When you discover the joys of being able to play hard AND quiet...

    it's a beautiful thing.

  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Hard and Quiet With the same tone? I got frustrated since my choir band director told me to get the tone of an aggresive slap/pop line without the volume. My solution: Ernie Ball Mono-Volume pedal. Overall i'd say just practice. Right now my finger style and slap volume are fairly equal. That's all
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Yes and no. You can get the same tone but you don't have to. For example, there are ways to vary your muting while you slap that can actually allow you to play harder than you do when you play loud. Half the fun IMO is figuring out what you can get away with.

    The trick is in developing your touch so that you apply just enough muting to get the results you want. I typically mute with either the side of my plucking hand, my plucking fingers, my fretting fingers, my forearm or any combination of the four. You can go from a slight mute to a full out choke... and anywhere in between.

    Start slowly.
  19. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Yah..I practically cut out the bridge pup and boost the treble a lto and the bass a tiny bit when I am slapping for a clean fat tone. Maybe I just suck, but i get alot of funky harmonics and a duller tone if I leave the bridge pup up a lot.
  20. I actually find that playing fingerstyle is quite a bit louder than slap. That could just be because I suck at slapping.