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Relearning slap bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SlapPopBass, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Up till recently, I had been using the "flea" style of slapping. It has not caused me any problems, but on several occasions, has limited my playing in some way. Then a couple weeks ago I decided to take up double thump ala Wooten style. I'm far from perfecting the double thumping yet, but interestingly, after a practice session, I decided to fool around and decided, for the first time ever, to slap with my thumb pointing up, like Miller or Clarke. Miraculously, I pulled it off, surprising myself in the process, as I could do simple lines like Higher Ground or Love Games rather easily. Only bum was that my arm was abit more sore after it all. This normal?

    Anyway, should I stick to this 'new" style of slapping? I see no harm in learning all techniques, but out of curiosity, what advantages does the "Miller" style have over the "Flea" style?
  2. Bass1965


    May 3, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I can't do either very well! However, I can definitely see the advantage of Wooten's form - with the way he plays through the slapped string and then immediately slaps "up" re-hitting the same string for that awesome double slap sound.
  3. I struggle with finding a good slap technique too.

    Having the length of my thumb parallel to the string seems the most versatile to me as I can easily go through the string or pull it back as desired, as well as easier when the string spacing is tight, but having my thumb pointed downward by far gives me the best tone. My wooten style down-stroke sounds weak and the upstroke is totally pathetic.

    Anyway, sorry I couldn't help, but it sounds like if you've got something working for you then don't be limited by what other people are doing or you perceive as correct (unless it continues to hurt as you mention).
  4. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    You may want to look at the Alain Caron slap technique, slightly different. Do a search on youtube, he is explaining his approach.