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Rickenbacker Slap Tone... what?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassyBill, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, as there seems to be some sort of unwritten law on TB, accepted by quite a few people, that a Rick is not a bass that can be slapped. On the other hand there are a few of us who actually like slapping on our Ricks quite a bit! So, here’s a clip of…. wait for it... the Rick slap tone! :eek:

    Sorry for the quality (my engineering skills and home setup are both pretty basic) and the less than disciplined playing. I just hit “Record” and went for it. The bass was set full volume and tone both pickups, strings are about six weeks old, probably need a new set on there about now.

    I know the tone is pretty different to more conventionally accepted “slap machines” like a Ray or a Jazz (I enjoy playing both of these), but it has a character all of its own, as you’d expect with a Rick, and I quite like it. I just wanted to show that, yes, slapping on a Rick is not a physical impossibility or (I hope you’ll agree) totally unacceptable.

    What do you think?
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Heresy! :mad:

    Burn him! :ninja:


    but didn't get to hear too much slap there :p
    Lotsa pop, but you didn't let the slapped notes ring out...
    So i didn't get to hear much slap tone, mostly just pop/percussive tone :)
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think that tone would get lost in the mix pretty easily.
  4. Les Claypool slapped a Rick pretty effectively.....
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Les claypool can slap a broomstick effectively.
    Dasgre0g likes this.
  6. Good point...LOL ... I play a Rick, but mainly pickstyle....and losing me in a mix is no easy feat....
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That Rick sounded fine to me. I slapped a Rick for years with no problem.
  8. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    cool tone!! :cool:
  9. Everyone has their own tastes....

    I have a friend that swears by Warwicks..he says "I don't understand why everyone doesn't use one??"

    ...my reply was that I never had any luck achieving a Rick-like growl with them, and they sound too "soft" for me.. I dig Dirk Lance's tone....just not for me, as I like my bass to sound like an angry diesel engine..
  10. ive never thought of what a ric would sound like slapped. now i know for sure, its amazing.
  11. Great clip, sorry it had to be with the Rick tone though. I just don't dig it, and I'm alligning myself with the slap-a-jazz, not-a-rick crew here.
  12. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    Check out the new Les Claypool DVD "Five Gallons of Diesel". Totally sweet opening jam with C2B3 where Les slaps his Rick.

    I believe it's one of the most wicked slap tones I've ever heard. Love it.
  13. Excellent slap tone.

    People tend to pidgeon-hole the Rick as having a lame slap tone... often though, they're the same people who say Precision basses and Music Man instruments are one trick ponies.

    Some people...
  14. I really don't think that the common consensus is that you can't slap a Rick, it more that there are better basses than a Rick for slap style. The people who claim you can't probably don't own one.

    One of my first basses was a Rick, I still have it. I learned to slap on that bass. Then I got a Pedulla MVP and went a little slap happy. With the Rick's set neck, it's a little harder to get you finger under the string and with the narrow string spacing also makes it a little harder to get you fingers in-between the strings, but to say you can't slap a Rick is just wrong. It's just that there are better basses sound wise and with better playability for the slap style.
  15. Figjam, "Les claypool can slap a broomstick effectively." this is going in my sig......................

    and as for the clip, sounded good, cant say ive ever heard a ric played like that
  16. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    If anyone doubts that a Ric can be slapped they should check out Amy from Clatter. That woman can play just about any style.
  17. If you can pull it off...Ricks have an amazing slap tone..Why??

    ...that's easy, hard rock maple just sounds naturally compressed

    My Jazz bass is easier to slap, but it has a closed, nasal sound in the high mids that I just hate, and wish I had another Rick, or P-bass, as they have a more open midrange to my ears...
  18. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Personally, I think it sounds excellent. Nice work, bassybill.
    Do you have to lower the height of the neck pickup in order to make your Rick slappable?
  19. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Wow great clip! A bit on the bassy side, but i love what your doing there. :D
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Cheers, people. I suppose EQ is the thing to get to sit up in the mix? I recorded it flat, but Rick's aren't exactly famous for not cutting through, are they? My fault for not tweaking, I suppose. I was just trying to capture the intrinsic sound of the bass. I don't think any Rick would become lost in the mix with a different engineer!