slap artists

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by karmapunk, Sep 26, 2003.

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  1. karmapunk


    Jul 15, 2003
    Hey all,

    I've played for about a year and i really really love to slap (dont most bassists during their first few years?). Problem is i dunno where to look. I've got the chili peppers, and les claypool, but are there any other artists that exemplify the slap technique? Not necessarily insanely fast slappers or insanely good, just any kind of good slap beat that i can learn and improvise off of.

    p.s. i'm not entirely sure if this is the right forum.
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001

    victor wooten is known for his double-thumbing slap-technique.

    adam nitti has developed an interesting slap/flamenco-hybrid.

    for many people marcus miller has the slap tone.

    ray riendeau play pretty insane lines.

    alain caron also deserves a mention.

    of course there are others at well: norm stockton, stu hamm, mark king, etc.

    you should also take a look at the "old schoolers", such as larry graham, louis johnson and stanley clarke.

    i'm sure lots of people will have great suggestions.

    but please note that all of the above can and will do a lot more than just slapping.
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, Alain Caron has a really nice slapping style, if you listen to the UZEB live album you'll hear some excellent slapping work.
    Vic Wooten is also an excellent slap player. That guy just totally blows me away. Once I saw him with the Flecktones at the Hollywood Bowl, and he was holding down this gnarly slap groove while shaking his hat off his head, and then kicking it back on again with his foot.
    Stanley Clarke, on the other hand, couldn't slap a bass if his life depended on it. I know, I've seen him looking quizically at the likes of Trevor Lindsay when he's doing a slap jam at the NAMM show (if you wanna see him, hang out at the Alembic booth).
    Remember that slapping is a LEFT hand technique, and it has nothing to do with how your right hand operates (ie. plucking the string or popping with your thumb is not "slapping", slapping refers to the sound your left hand makes when it lightly hits the strings without defining a particular note).
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    no, LEFT HAND SLAPPING is a LEFT hand technique.

    slapping is just "slapping" the string with your RIGHT hand thumb.

    plain and simple.

    nothing more nothing less.

    all that other stuff is just added onto that fundamentally RIGHT HAND technique.
  5. :confused:

  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Wow, I'm amazed. This really is a new concept for some people.

    Like this quote: "slapping is just "slapping" the string with your RIGHT hand thumb".

    No, that's not slapping. That's using your thumb to pop the string. It's "popping", not "slapping".

    Slapping is done with the FLAT of the hand (like when you slap someone). You don't slap someone with your thumb, right?

    If you really wanna explore the "correct" vocabulary for all the various right and left hand techniques that together comprise the generic performance method called "slapping", check out some of the good books and videos on slapping, for instance Tony Oppenheim's "Slap Bass" is an excellent reference and a great learning tool. Demo CD included!
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    Popping is when you put your finger under the string and pull up so that the string slaps back against the fret board and creates a sharp staccato note.

    in BASS terms, "slapping" is when you "slap" the string with your thumb, I put "slap" in quotes because you are not slapping it in a conventional sense, you but the motions are similar.

    there is another technique. and this is what you are talking about. called "left-hand slap"

    it is often used in conjunction with the right hand to create fast triplets.

    Hammer-thumb-left hand slap
    thumb-hammer-left hand slap

    or whatever combination you want for different sounds.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "Popping is when you put your finger under the string and pull up so that the string slaps back against the fret board and creates a sharp staccato note."

    No, that's called "plucking" the string.

    Check out Tony Oppenheim's book. It's all there.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    different strokes for different blokes.

    I'm sticking with what I said, because I hate arguing semantics.
  10. Tony is a monster! I bought and worked that book w/ floppy album when I bought it in 1984... not long after being floored by the amazing slap & lead playing of Stanley Clarke.
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Oh yeah, two more things I forgot to mention.

    One is, that there IS such a thing as right hand slapping, but again it's done with the flat of the hand. It involves taking your flat hand and "slapping" the strings to get a percussive effect. You can use it either on a dead note, or a live note. Jaco was really good at this.

    The other thing is, about Stanley. Don't get me wrong, he's a truly amazing bass player (especially on the upright) and definitely one of my bass playing heros. But he has this problem when it comes to slapping, which is that his hands are too big. I once saw a picture of him holding a double bass, and his left hand went all the way around the back of the neck and his fingers stuck out the other side. His hands are HUGE, which probably give him an advantage in many areas of bass playing, but it makes it a little difficult to be effective with the flat of the hand.
  12. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Just like Miles couldn't play muted trumpet:meh:
  13. Call it what you will.... Jaco "spanked" the bass. If you want a nit to pick... hop down tothe DB section and get a true "Slap Bass" lesson from the Rockabilly guys
  14. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "to the DB section" ...

    I'm intrigued, and pardon my ignorance, but can you give me the beginner's version on this one?


    p.s. Point well taken. I'm really not a nit-picker. Just saw all this vocabulary floating around and thought I'd make a point. Probably got too much time on my hands today... Dog's at the vet's and the old lady's in London....
  15. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Oh I get it. Double Bass! Sorry, I musta drank too much coffee this morning (or maybe not enough)! :):):)
  16. :D I wouldn't know where to begin... I think the tech was started to get enough volume out of an Upright Bass to compete with an amplified guitar in the Country and Rock & Roll yesteryears. I do know it's the mainstay of the Rockabilly bassist.

    Your Dog ok? I've got 3 sleeping on my bed as I type this.
  17. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Speddling, I love it! "Spanking". That one's not in my Tony Oppenheim book. But I hear you, and I can still hear Jaco doing it. I know exactly what you're talking about.

    I took your advice and visited the DB. Good stuff. I'm not really a rockabilly player but I love listening to the stuff. Sounds like a new frontier for exploration.

    Currently I'm in search of a nice 3/4 Kay at a reasonable price. A while back I was lucky enough to be able to bass-sit for a buddy of mine who went to Europe for a while, and the few weeks on that upright did wonders for my finger strength.

    p.s. Dog's fine. She had to get her ear sewn up, she got into a fight with a cat. Haven't seen the cat, but I heard the fight and it sounded like the cat lost... She's coming home shortly, we have some new toys for her to keep her mind off the stitches.
  18. I seem to remember Jaco calling it "spanking" in a video I've seen years ago... if I'm wrong, I still think it fits ;)

    I emailed Tony a while back, nice guy! I've been meaning to pick up a new copy, I loaned the book and little floppy record to a student back in 90 or so and never saw it again.

    I'm wanting an URB as well, I played in a band with a guitarist that was college educated in the art of classical bass. We rented a "band" house for a while and I got to spend a lot of quality time with his 3/4 carved something (I never knew the brand). I'm aiming at Xmas 2004 for an URB to call my own.

    (carefull down in DB land... they've been known to bite :eek: )

    search "off topic" and hit the pet threads if you haven't already... seems TBers are mostly animal people :bassist:

    Back To the Topic!
    Check out the "Meters" and George Porter Jr for some Hot and sticky, old school, New Orleans Slap Funk.

    If you are a RHCP fan, also get on some Fishbone (I saw Primus open for Fishbone in 92).

    Psycofunkapus was out of the Bay area when the Peppers hit the scene... they had a smokin' slap player on bass.

    Mr. Mark White (a resident TB'er) from the Spin Doctors has a great slap groove.

    PNut of 311 comes to mind as well as
    the early Dirk Lance & Incubus days.

    Like Chris said though... Get on the Old Skool stuff, that's where Les and Flea came out of.
  19. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, Mark White. Good call!
  20. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    like wrong robot, i don't want to argue about semantics. especially with bass playing, there seem to be many different words for the same technique.

    i've seen:

    "plucking" called "picking" (referring to fingerstyle)

    "popping" called "plucking" (see above) (referring to slap-style).

    "slapping" (with the thumb) called "thumbing" and "thumping".

    in this thread, i've seen the "left-hand-slap" called "slapping". elsewhere, it has been referred to as "fingerboard slap", "clapping" or even "left hand tap (!!!)".

    i've also seen the different words for a technique been used in the same text, eg. "popping" and "plucking".


    the most common and most often used meaning for "slapping" is the playing style combining
    thumb technique and popping. sometimes called "slap-bass" or "slap-style".

    so while nonsqtr is right in a sense, we all can be pretty sure that what the original poster meant when starting this thread is what wrong robot stated.

    this is also what i meant when replying to this topic in the first place.

    to nonsqtr: i don't mean to offend you, but i found you to be "too right", eg. with all that stuff about it's "a new concept" and how we have to "keep things in mind". while tony oppenheim's book is good, it's also a little bit dated. note that i'm referring to a book called "SLAP IT". the technique has been developed to a great extent over the last years. at the very least, tony is NOT the authority on how things have to be called. also please note that the book is called "SLAP IT!" (and the one you named "SLAP bass"). in that book, he refers to slapping and popping just the way that wrong robot does. so actually the author you quoted doesn't even back you up. or at least, he's just as inconsistent as we are.

    to line it up: please don't try to "teach" people the "right" meaning of words in a field as vague as this. the many replies that didn't agree with your definition definitely did NOT show that most people here are uninformed, but rather that your definitions are not the "mainstream" ones.

    sorry. this got a bit long. again, no offense meant. but all this stuff about semantics and people thinking they "own the truth" gets one my nerves once in while.
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