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Slap bass finger popping balance issues

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JazzCrazy, Dec 21, 2018.


  1. JazzCrazy

    JazzCrazy

    Mar 25, 2018
    Joshua Tree
    I recently decided to give Brian Bromberg's middle finger popping technique a try. Even if it doesn't work out I will develop control & be better able to do various maneuvers such as the flaminco strut. For that reason I try to pop using the ring finger as well.

    The intrinsic problem with the middle finger is that it has less leverage, & there's less coordination (or dexterity) than the index finger, so it feels weak & awkward. But it's not really weak given how loud those pops are. So much so that I'm almost afraid to pop--but I'm working on getting greater control of popping technique by popping muted strings, while alternating fingers.

    One thing I've noticed is that the my Hi Beam G string's intrinsically louder than the d string when popping. I think that's because of its different construction with a single outer winding layer, there seems to be more high frequency output compared to the d strings output. So the result is that unconsciously, I've grown accustomed to actually popping the d string harder & the g string lighte with my index fingerr.

    My question is if what I'm describing's a common problem, & if it's rectified with compression. I don't have a compressor yet.

    Also, I took off the chrome neck pickup gaurd of my Marcus Miller bass, as it gets in the way. I recently have made it a point to always have my fingers poised to pop by keeping them curved with the knuckles resting on the pick gaurd. Now this results in my knuckles frequently banging the pick gaurd as I practice slapping. I don't mind thee sore knuckles, but is this indicative of poor technique?
     
  2. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    When I was learning to slap my pops were way too loud. Eventually, I learned how to do more of a muted pop. In fact, a lot of times my pop ID muted and I use it for a percussive stroke instead of a note that rings. Seeing as that's more of a fine touch technique I do it mostly with my index finger and I use more of the tip of my finger.
     
  3. JazzCrazy

    JazzCrazy

    Mar 25, 2018
    Joshua Tree
    Yes, the index finger's more coordinated & it's easier to use less of it. The middle finger? It's too much or too little. That said, I still think the difference in construction of the smaller gauge g strings (one single outer winding) makes them put out far more high freauency
    Information (than the d string) when popped, making it piercing in quality.
     
  4. JazzCrazy

    JazzCrazy

    Mar 25, 2018
    Joshua Tree
    Also. Now I do have a painful blister on the middle finger's knuckle from hitting it against the pick gaurd.
     
  5. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Honestly, I can slap and pop on light strings, heavy strings, I can even do it on an electric guitar. I think once you really have a feel for the technique the strings don't matter. That being said, when I was learning I bought a jazz bass and 20 pairs of strings - mixing and matching sizes looking for the combination of heavy, medium, and light that would work for me. Now that I know what I'm doing it doesn't matter.
     

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