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P Bass Slappers

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by madjazzbass, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    For the "Slappers" out there; How do you feel about P Basses being used for slapping? Do you think P Basses sound O.K for slapping? Or do you much prefer the tone/sound of a Jazz Bass for Slap? I personally think P Basses sound O.K for this, but J Basses sound better IMHO. ... Who are some artist known for slapping using a P Bass?
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Look back a few decades, and lots of people slapped P-basses like Robert Wilson from the Gap Band, Pops Popwell in the Crusaders, Ronald LaPread from the Commodores, Henry Davis from LTD. Studio guys like Chuck Rainey, Will Lee, Freddie Washington, all slapped Precisions.
  3. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I prefer the Jazz Bass Slap sound but the P slap sound is good too...Here is an A/B for readerz:

    Patrice Rushen, Forget Me Nots, P-Bass Slap (Ready Freddie Washington)

    Pleasure, Glide Jazz Bass slap (Nathaniel Phillips)

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  4. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    It depends on the mix and the context. I think a P-bass can sound great slapped. More bite in the middle, less around the edges, if that makes sense.
    twinjet and petrus61 like this.
  5. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I think I'm gonna have to learn this. That's some agile, pocketed thumb work.

    EDIT: I was referring to Forget Me Nots -- you added the second vid as I was quoting!

    EDIT EDIT: The tone in Glide is pretty mean, too -- not so scooped as people often think of slap being. Though I dig P-bass slap, a version of the Jazz tone (more Marcus) is more what I had in my ear as I was growing up.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I found the key with slapping on a P is compression. The way the pickups work, the note blooms a little before the attack is heard (think the opposite of a J bridge pickup, but much more initial attack and thump than a J neck pup). A comp can help bring that initial attack forward, and also sustain what what would normally be a fairly rapid fundamental decay. Round wounds or some EQ'ing of the high end to add some crispness may also be beneficial. There were some very beautiful slap sounds laid down in the 70's (and if we're getting technical, a lot of it was popping) on a P. I personally never really liked it until I realized that for it to work for me, compression and rounds were the ideal setup. I still think some of it can be a little too throaty for my tastes, meaning if I had to choose, I'd prefer to hear or play a jazz or ray doin' it's thang over a P in most contexts.
    Jared Lash likes this.
  7. ScarfFace

    ScarfFace Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    La Crosse WI
    I'm a big fan of the sound of a P Bass with flats being slapped. I know it seems wrong, but it sounds great to me.
  8. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015
    We have similar taste!

    The man "Ready Freddie Washington". His technique and tone are flawless.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
    grrg63 and lowdownthump like this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    I agree with the need for more compression with my p style basses, discovered this by accident.
  10. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015
    Anyone know if Freddie Washington's Fender P-Bass has been modded?

    I have never heard another p-bass sound that good slapped!
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Well it all depends what sound you are after. The Washington slap is a back-of-the-throat kind of sound. Not anywhere near the Marcus Miller slap sound. The world is big enough for both - neither is better.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  12. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015
    I like both! :)
  13. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    highboltage55 likes this.
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    As much as I like and admire Marcus, this is by far my favorite slap tone, and when I slap (which is not that often), it's what I tend to try and achieve.

    And reminded of how funky Ricky Lawson was - RIP.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Since neither is better, liking both is best.
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  16. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    I have a friend who worked on a Steely Dan tour that Freddie was on. His main P-Bass is a dead stock '72 and is entirely unremarkable except that it's been on a lot of well-known recordings. I know it's TB heresy but in many cases the magic really is in the hands of a very experienced player.

    The Marcus Miller type of sound made a huge splash when it first came out and seemed to be the preferred slap tone over time, placing the P slap on the back burner. I listened to Marcus all the time from 1990 to 2000 and thought only his tone and Mark King's were the only ones that mattered, but I grew out of that.

    Here's some slapped P examples from different times past:

    Freddy is on this one:

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  17. That G&L Ed plays in the first clip is killer!

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    P sounds very mean when slapped which I like a lot. I think they equally sound good in different ways.

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