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Players that don't slap.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Madness, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Madness


    Jul 27, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I've noticed that Bass Players idolized by non-players are usually guys that slap (Flea, Claypool, Wooten). Not to say I don't love these guys, but do you think Players are measured by how well they slap? Do you think it's fair? I think Players are just as guilty of this as fans, and frankly I don't get it. I think Finger-style funk is just as impressive, if done properly, as Slap. And yes, I can slap, not as well as a lot of you guys, but I can certainly hold my own.
  2. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    You have a good point. Slapping (to the public, at least) is a flashy technique that looks harder than it is, which makes the bassist seem better to a non-bassist. I don't really slap; I'm much more of a fingerstyle and pick player. I think it is good to know how to slap, but it should be used sparingly and tastefully.
  3. Speaking as a beginner... Flea and Claypool are definately fun to watch and I think they do bring in alot of noobs. All flash and show... with some funky sound is always attractive. But, there is no replacing proper technique IMHO.
    Kinda' like dating a cheerleader or a librarian?!? The cheerleader is all show and no go but the when the librarian let's her hair down, stand back! LOL
  4. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    proper technique? is there really a proper technique? i believe that you should play bass they way you want or the way you feel that it works with the music. personally i dont feel that there is a "proper technique".

    in terms of the original thread, i understand what is being said. normally when i mention that i play bass, the first name anyone throws at me is flea or RHCP. the thing that upsets me is that people tend to get deffensive of other bassists who they feel should be better known than flea and practically unintentionally cut-down flea. the truth is, flea is an astounding musician. he, along with anthony, john, and chad have created song after song and album after album that many enjoy and can relate to and i think that that is beautiful. music bringing people together for almost two decades. what can be better?
    i say you let the "pop" fans enjoy what they know. but if you get a chance, give them a little culture.

    as for my technique? i have learned and am still learning as many "techniques" as a can so that i can use them as tools to accomplish what i like. music.

    and the cheerleader remark...im going to disagree...i dont think i need to say why.
  5. I personally think that slapping is an unnatural way to play the bass. People will argue for sure, that's just my opinion.

    For some very cool fingerstyle funk, check out Andrew Levy from the Brand New Heavies (get the self-titled 1st record and 'Brother/Sister' to start). Hardly ever slaps.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    IMO, most bassists don't slap that much. Most do it when it need s to be done. I love slapping, but those who hear me playing out probably don't know it. In fact my wife pushes me to slap more since I tend to lean more towards understement.
  7. VanillaO

    VanillaO Poop?

    Oct 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    I slapped in the first show I ever played.. haven't really since even though my current band wants me too (slap here man do it).. As Spencer said, it should be used sparingly and tastefully :)
  8. im not a slapper either. Some great fingerstyle funkers are

    Rocco Prestia
    Willie Weeks
    Verdine White
    James Jamerson
  9. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I think that if a player is "measured" by any one technique, that player is being slighted. A bass player should be judged on musicianship first and foremost as any other musician should...
  10. et141311


    Oct 25, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    Amen! I agree with everything you just said! About technique and the Chili Peppers. RHCP are my favorite band because of all 4 of them. Not just flea. Flea is good in so many ways because of the whole band...Hes "Flashy" only when he needs to be or wants to be.
  11. To be more specific, a musician should be judged by how well he can play in musical context. Whether it's within a band, or by himself (if it's called for). It all comes down to how much they contribute to the music. Slapping can be out of place - a lot of kids like throwing it in to be flashy. But it can also have its place in a lot of styles of music and that's when it should be used.
  12. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    ha, its true that for some people they think they bassists who slaps are better. I recalled in my firstband...

    guitarist: hey man, can u slap
    me: yeah alittle, kinda. im not good at it tho
    guitarist: cool, ive known bassists whos played for years who cant slap

    then when we hit the studio i messed up some of the songs but then i noodled around with my bass and i did the highground intro, the guitarist was like 'wow, your the man' and he clapped. But then again, this guy thought that any amps with 'marshall' written on it must be great, but fails to get a decent tone out of his guitar everytime we plays

    but im sure not everyones like that, just some people. i used to think slapping was cool too when i first started. infact it was what made me get a bass over guitar. But like most people, i grew out of it after afew months
  13. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    +1 on that!
    Check out Anthony Jackson.Definitively,one of the greatest "non-slapper" bassists/musicians out there.:cool:
  14. Neb Maro

    Neb Maro I don't think, but I still am.

    Oct 20, 2006
    So. Cali
    Slap has it's place and it's time. I think some songs just wouldn't sound right without some of that thumpin and poppin.
    I can't do it yet, but I want to learn how. It's flashy and it's fun. Nothing wrong with it.

    Good slapper doesn't always equal good bassist. Neither does good technique with fingerstyle.

    As concerns proper technique. I think there is such a thing. Slap the wrong way, you get shredded fingers. Fingerstyle with the wrong position and you jack your wrist up. Hold your fret hand in such a way that you develp carpal-tunnel or other such painful afflictions? Improper position.

    Back again to slap. I kinda think it's an ambassador to the bass. It draws notice tot he bassist and the instrument. I'd have much more fun watching Flea and his slappin than I would watching Wooten even though Wooten is more proficient. Boils down to time, place, demand though.
  15. There's also Jeff Berlin.
  16. Cliff don't slap. and I like Cliff.
  17. janek65


    Apr 7, 2005
    tbh i don't care, i'm a non-slapper and i agree that it's first and foremost about musicianship, but there is of course a show element to playing bass on-stage. If slapping helps players to put up a show and entertain, that's pretty cool.. just my 2 cents
  18. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I'm not a slapper. I remember living through the ghastly Mothers Milk > Blood Sugar Sex Magic > FNM era, where all of a sudden every bass player in Dublin seemed to have bought a Stingray and was poppin' and slappin' at every opportunity and usually in the most musically unappropriate places. While it can be an impresive technique and sound truly excellent in the right context, I get the shivers when I hear it, I'm taken straight back to the days of rampant slap over-indulgence. Don't get me wrong, Flea's a great player and I've a lot of time for RHCP, but those were dark bomp-bomp-gink days and it's a sound that is forever tainted in my ears.
  19. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    "raises hand"
  20. Roger Pounders

    Roger Pounders

    May 24, 2006
    I do a little Slap, A little Tap, a little Finger Style, a little Chording, some Funk Finger Hammers (levin Style) A little 5 String, a little Fretless and a little Electric Upright ARCA.. some Pick

    why? for Flash? No, for Tone. whatever the song requires...

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