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Slap bass notation

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Adam Booker, Mar 18, 2008.


  1. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    I'm working on a composition project and I'm trying to work out a way to notate more intricate upright slap bass solo work (ie. Milt Hinton, Kevin Smith, etc.) I've seen some solo transcriptions, but they were some very basic patterns (double slaps and triple slaps). I'm thinking on how to notate the more advanced stuff like two-hand triplets, triplet flams, crazy stuff like that. Any ideas?:help:
     
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    You should PM our friend Pete Coco ("pcocobass") if he doesn't check in on this thread. I bet he could help you.
     
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I would probably use drum notation... X's and stuff mixed with regular notation.
     
  4. UBERMUNSCHIST

    UBERMUNSCHIST

    Mar 1, 2008
    Modify the "snap" notation.

    It looks kind of like this: ^ and it rests on top of a note.

    You could stack them up on top of each other for any number of slaps.:bassist:
     
  5. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    That's a good idea Uber! Thanks!
     
  6. UBERMUNSCHIST

    UBERMUNSCHIST

    Mar 1, 2008

    You're Welcome. :bag:
     
  7. Pcocobass

    Pcocobass

    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Hey Adam,

    I just sent you a message but I'm not sure it went through. I also use the x's to designate the slappy slaps.....

    pc
     
  8. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I do it too. Use the x's I mean. I'm not sure if that really qualifies as a proper notation for a slap though - I thought that in most circles that would designate a ghost note, no? When you're talking about electric bass slapping and popping, you've got the T and P under the note notating how each note is played. Maybe we need (or someone already has come up with) a standard like that. I think the important thing would be to keep in mind that there are already many playing techniques that might now be used in more 'modern' slap bass playing. For example, using the X as a slap would then preclude it from being a notation for a ghost note, which may not come up often in DB playing but is still certainly a possibility.
    Maybe somebody should track down Djordje Stijepovic and find out what he does. He's the one cat that I know of that's taking slap playing a few steps further than the norm - he's just gotta be writing this stuff down somehow :meh:
     
  9. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Agreed. Now my comp professor wants me to use this idea as a master's thesis "Notation of upright Slap Technique." Luckily I have Marc Rubin and Kevin Smith within twenty mile of my house. How do you think an actual book along those lines would do?
     
  10. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Well, I think as part of a book on technique it'd be interesting. Are you suggesting making an informed and researched decision on how to notate it, then publishing that as a book? Or would the book cover a possible variety of notations that you've discovered?

    The only similar situation I can think of is with all the Guitar for the Practicing Musician mags I used to read 20 years ago.. (sorry to have to bring up the G word...) They had a whole key at the beginning of their transcripton section the laid out how they notated all the hammer-ons, tapping, palm-mutes, whammy-bar dives (this is prime hair-metal era, keep in mind ;) ) etc. It was a standard at least within their publication (and Cherry Lane Music I suppose, who was owned by the same company-?)
     
  11. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Thinking more along the lines of pedagogy. Research definitely, and a good deal of historical perspective. My composition prof seems keen on this being a publishable thesis.
     
  12. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Ah, sorry - I misunderstood a slight bit. I really think it would be an interesting read - Slapping is such an interesting technique to me. As much because of it's untapped potential, as the fact that I just plain think it sounds cool ;) Being able to properly notate new ideas so others can read and understand them is the first step to exploring those ideas.
     
  13. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Thanks mole. That's what I'm going for! Granted, it's such a niche market, but the percussive and musical potential for a codified notation system is long over due. This should be fun. (Get back to me in a few months about that last comment)
     
  14. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I have my own notation system for slaps. When you're trying to write a note to be slapped, I usually draw something that looks like a cross between the @ sign and half a dead squirell, and for a click sound, I draw a kind of & sign but with a large H at the top of it with a bright pink pen and than I spit on the paper and smear all the ink up... so far, it's not working so well...

    :)
     
  15. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Not exactly what I was hoping. A little avant-garde for my taste. Thanks for the input anyway. On another note, I have gotten in touch with Stejepovich, and he is researching the same subject and is quite approachable on the matter. I'm looking forward to continued correspondence with him!
     
  16. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    TX,

    How is the progress on this project? Please be sure to share it with the class! :)
     
  17. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I was just thinking about this thread today too. Still very interested in how it's going...
     
  18. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Hey guy's, I'm putting the finishing touches on the test piece I wrote using this method. I can't tell you how much a pain in the a$$ Finale has been trying to get this down to a publishable form, but when I'm done I'll post it here and let the forum get it's licks in.
    I pretty much treated flams and triple flams as grace notes with x's, while actual hits on the finger boards are notated with x's as well. A pulled note gets an "o" over it for now. Any of this jive with anyone else's ideas?
     
  19. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    The Rockabillybass.com forum is having problems right now, but be sure to get some feedback over there too when it's back in action, if you haven't already. There are some very advanced and technically gifted pro slappers who frequent that one, and quite a few guys into the theory side of music. I'm sure they would be interested to see the piece. :)
     

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