Slap Bass? Please Help.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CitricGuy, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. When it comes to bass i started about 2 months ago.. sofar i know the basics and have the fretboard notes memorized and know all the basics in tuning etc.. but when it comes to slap bass, no matter how I try or how many guides I follow I can not get anything that even slightly resembles what it should. Is there a way I should have my bass tuned? My amp set differently (low/mid/high tones etc.)? Should i be hitting the strings in a certain place? I would really appriciate any feedback at all im at a complete loss here. I think slap and pop are amazing to listen to which is the reason I started playing but I just cant get those soulds out of my bass.
  2. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Is the question about your setup to give you a sound that lends itself more to slap? Or are you worried about your slapping technique not being where you believe it should be?
  3. I guess it could be both now that I think about it. On one hand theres the technical aspect of it I guess, is there any standard settings to get a clean slap sound out of a bass. And on the other hand im not sure of my technique, im pretty sure its atleast similar to the standard way, its mostly what ive read in several other threads. Any and all basics will help me out here, anything at all.. Thanks again, -Js
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    With two months of technique under your belt, you probably are still shaky on a bunch of things. It took me a couple years to get a good slap sound and I'm still working on it. Some things you just have to let happen in their own time.
  5. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    I can't really help with getting a clean slap sound out of your bass. There are plenty of other people here who can. But I do know a little about slapping.

    Slapping is something that you really need experience. I have been slapping for about two years now and you can always actually notice and hear yourself getting better at the technique the more and more you play. Just keep practicing and playing everyday. It starts out slowly but as time progresses you will notice that you are starting to sound better and better.

    Blackbird said it great: "Some things you just have to let happen in their own time."
  6. lol, not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I understand what you mean. And it makes perfect sense. Ill just give it some time and work into it. If I have this problem still in a few years ill ask again, lol. Thanks for your guys imput and time though =) i appriciate it. Untill next time ill continue working on these scales..
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I've got a couple of thoughts - for what I consider good slap tone I use lots of EQ and I find new strings are the best for far as technique goes what has helped me the most was getting over the temptation to slap too hard. When I first started trying to slap I would slap the E string four times in a row at an even tempo then the A four times then back to E and so took me a long time before I could get 4 clean E's followed by 4 clean A's and as soon as I could I started doing it with a metronome...and it takes time.
  8. Get an instructional video or ask someone to show you how to do it.
  9. Where can I Find Instructional Videos on the bass? ive looked around but with little luck =\
  10. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    The Slap Bass Program with Alexis Sklarevski is a great book/video. The book takes you through the fundamentals of slap bass and to more advanced technique and the video has him playing every lick showing both his right and left hand. This is the best book/video I have ever seen.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    By far the best instructional tape on the market, IMHO. I wish that all instructional videos were produced like that one.

    Here is one of the places you can order it online.
  12. You guys are great, thank you very much. This is exactly what i was looking for!
  13. daysofelijah

    daysofelijah Guest

    Oct 15, 2002
    One thing I've found helpful is to minimize the range of motion on my right (slapping) hand. When I first attempted to employ the slap technique, I tended to exagerate the right hand motion and slap too hard; I understand this is a common mistake. A sage elder bassman tuned me by demonstrating his technique which utilized a smaller range of motion. I noticed results immediately as not only was the tone more even, but my accuracy had also improved. Try it, let me know what you think.

    God bless,
  14. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  15. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Also, keep in mind some basses just suck for slapping, others were born for it. Basses like my Musicman Stingray are born for it, whereas basses like my Epiphone Jack Casady (IMO, though some think otherwise) suck for it.
  16. pookeymp


    Oct 16, 2002
    In addition to what lermgalieu said regarding type of bass (which is definitely true)...your bass setup is also a factor. A high string setup does not lend itself to a very nice slap tone...On basses where I tend to do a lot of slap/pop on, my action is hugging the fingerboard.

    Ultimately though...the main key is practice...practice...practice...and then you will be able to tell whether it's your technique or your bass/amp/EQ setup.

  17. Im getting better now, im getting actual tones out of it, i had a long time bass player show me a thing or two about it so it gave me a pretty big head start.

    And speaking of practice, anyone know any sites or possibly threads i may have missed oh maby different thigns to do to practice? Not only slaping, but general playing and maby finger strength (im still only about 2 months into the instrument). Thanks for anythign and everything, you guys have been an enormous help! :)
  18. Just wanted to say thanks for all your guys help. I rented a slap bass video and know the basics atleast :D. So far ive learned Flea's woodstock (was it 2000?) intro and also his so called "rare bass solo" got all that fancy stuff down ;) It doesnt sound quite as clean as he plays it but im working on it. Im still having trouble with muting but its not too bad for about 2 or so months playing the bass. Also i learned "higher ground" by the chili peppers but the speed of that riff is killing me!

    All in all i couldnt have done it without your guys help so thank you very much for all your imput and feedback! :cool: