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Percussive on solid body basses?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Raunaq Singh, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Raunaq Singh

    Raunaq Singh

    Jul 28, 2018
    Is it really possible to play percussive on a solid body bass? I mean I know slapping and hitting the strings inwards so that it hits the fretboard are two techniques that make for a good percussive sound but can we utilize the body for percussion? It's tough but is it possible and will it sound good?
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    If only there were some way to find out....
    saabfender, lz4005 and Mushroo like this.
  3. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    You can use any surface for percussion, but it only sounds good if you’re good at percussion. This dude smacks his body and it sounds better than most local drummers:

    maturanesa, saabfender and Nashrakh like this.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If you really want to get a good percussive sound, you will want a piezo pickup in the body. Manring has several in his Hyperbass.

    gebass6 and maturanesa like this.
  5. Raunaq Singh

    Raunaq Singh

    Jul 28, 2018
    Does the body wood on a solid body bass also make a difference? My bass has an agathis body.
  6. I get all my best percussive sounds by tapping the strings,, not the wood.
  7. Rock Salad

    Rock Salad

    Jun 30, 2018
    Tulsa, Ok. USA
    My EB-0 has that metal pickup cover that makes a nice percussive, slightly different from the sounds I get percussing the strings.
    I'm with you on this being a technique not explored fully on electric bass guitar.
    How do you use percussion on your bass?
  8. One of two ways:

    (1) To emulate drums and toms during a drum break (when no one but drums is playing), or (2) to help accentuate the snare by tapping on 2 and 4.
  9. Rock Salad

    Rock Salad

    Jun 30, 2018
    Tulsa, Ok. USA
    Cool, I use it more steadily like back beat on my notes. I am trying to do a thing like the Rock a Billy upright guys do.
    I was kind of meaning more of how physically do you make your percussion on the bass?
    I use two different ways depending on the style of the song. First one is for steady down beats and is just like upright slap, pluck downbeat note away from bass and ghost note back beat as my finger comes back down on the string sometimes I will accent the ghost more by clicking the pickup cover with my finger nail. Second one is similar to pick strumming ghost notes, except I use three of my fingers and don't rake all strings, just one at a time or pop the ghost gently if it is on that side of an up/down stroke. Getting a nice feel with the volume of each compared to played notes is challenging and fun.
  10. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Check about 48 seconds into this:

    Rev J
  11. Probably not with the body, but with the string muted against the frets. Like a muted tapping...

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