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Slap and pop is in in the set up?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I just started learning some slap chops from my instructor. I noticed a few things.

    1. I feel set up has a lot to do with how effective you can slap

    2. String spacing on your bass should be fairly wide

    My bass has narrow string spacing and if I set it up with low action I get too mych fret buzz, I raise it, it makes it difficult to slap without hitting the string very hard. ARRRRRGGGGG so what do I do? I think I can releave the action on my bass so I can lower the action a bit but is it still possible to slap with narrow string spacing effectivey? I will ask my instructor the same question but I thought I would check with you guys....how frustrating! :crying:
  2. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    Pfff... I can slap on a 16.5mm string spacing without problems.
    But try getting slightly higher gauge strings and get the action low enough to slap but high enuf to get no buzz...
    Also you may need to adjust your trussrod.
    Does it buzz when you don't slap?
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I was just at our local 'Guitar Center' trying out oh-so-many basses, and this string-spacing thing is what I just discovered (like, duh.) I really value playing a 5-string, but the resulting close string spacing is making it WAY hader to learn slap - and the thing that's MORE valuable to me: thumb-down, thumb-up, index-on-same-string 'Wooten triplets'! (I love the tone of those for most things, as compared to the drier three-finger triplets, which I'm also just BARELY getting proficient on.)

    Anyway - for the first time I tried a 5-string with the splayed-out strings, and was THAT nice! Does a wide-spaced five like that tend to slow a player down appreciably - I'm thinking either left hand when you move up the neck, or for string skipping on the picking hand?

  4. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Yes so I raised it and now it's tougher to slap on, I need to adjust my neck it's too straight I think.
  5. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI

    I think it may at first like jumping from a 4 to a 5 string did but given time it shouldn't matter. I think there is a reason why most of the high end basses have larger string spacings.
  6. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    I agree with you about string spacing, which is why both of my fivers have wide necks. But, admittedly, I've seen a few others, with sometimes even 6+ strings, slap very well with limited string spacing. Very skilled indeed. I sure couldn't do that with my size hands and level of technique! :)

    One thing I've found is that string choice makes a big difference as well. For slapping, I find that medium or light stainless roundwounds work and sound best, at least for me. The stainless is brighter, and the lighter strings seem to "rebound" better when slapped and provide a better tone. Also, you're right about set-up too. If I'm going "slap-happy", I like a little more relief and string height to avoid fret buzz, although I really don't prefer that action for fingerstyle.

    I also find that I have to be really agressive when slapping, whereas with fingerstyle, I pluck rather lightly and let my amp do the work. After talking to many others about this, I've somewhat concluded that a lot of this has to do with the type of bass you play and what materials it's constructed from. I say this because some of my friends derive a really great slap tone with what I consider to be an unusally passive "slap". I guess it's just like so many other variables.... YMMV. ;)
  7. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    you should learn to slap with good technique so string spacing won't matter. I used to worry about the same thing too, but honestly, I like a narrower neck so my left hand can play easier...the right hand adapts..don't worry abut it..sounds like you just need to spend 20-30 bucks on a pro set up job.
  8. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    No two people are alike, if you got larger hands something like 19mm spacing might be necessary, etc...
    I had a ibanez 6 string a while back, was way too tight to get in there it was much easier on my 4's with wide spacing.