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slap bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by gruffpuppy, Sep 8, 2000.


  1. just starting to try playing slap bass
    do i hit the strings dead on or with a downward slap?
    stu hamm seems to slap downward, the guy in "the slap bass program" video seems to hit them dead on
    thanks for any info
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    There's no right way. Some people point their thumbs up (Mark King); others point their thumbs down (Dave LaRue). Some people attack the string from directly above (Flea); others attack the string in a plane nearly horizontal to the strings (Wooten). Whatever you do, pick a position that enables you to play as fast, as clearly and as comfortably as possible.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The crucial part is getting the basic principle right.
    The thumb hits the string like a piano hammer(?) would.
    It actually touches the string only for a fraction of s second and bounces right off. Any technique is possible, as long as it utilizes this principle.
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I have another question about slap - when you slap the E on a four string, do you pop the G or D string?
     
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Uh...HUH?!?!? :confused:

    ...I studied privately with LaRue for 4 years, trust me, his thumb don't point down when he slaps. He holds his thumb at approximately a 45 degree angle across the strings, POINTING UP, keeps his wrist straight, and uses a "twisting" motion of the forearm to slap/pop. He doesn't slam his thumb into the strings, it's a very relaxed and efficient technique.
     
  6. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Yup!! I always tell my students to imagine their thumb (specifically the joint furtherest from them hand) is a ball, and they're bouncing it off the string. The hardest part of getting a good thumb/slap tone is getting that thumb to not stay on the string.
     
  7. SlapDaddy

    SlapDaddy

    Mar 28, 2000
    Steve S,
    Either(or both) The "10th" slap is a useful and easy slap that utilizes the E and G strings
     
  8. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Well, I play a 6, and slap quite a bit. There is no hard and fast rule, I'll use my thumb (slap) on my C string, and sometimes (for particular effect) I'll "pop" on the B string (you don't get much of a useful note that way, but some pretty interesting percussive sounds ;) ). Typically though, most slap lines have a string or two between the thumb/slap and pop portions. Either octaves (one string between) or the 10th's (two strings between) that SlapDaddy mentioned are the most common slap/pop combinations. Of course I'm leaving out purely percussive/muted stuff....
     
  9. Get a good teacher and practice, practice, practice,.
    I taught myself to slap. Not that I'm that great but I just did what felt right and sounded cool!
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Let me see if I've got this right....if I slap the G note on the E string, does "poppin on the 10th" mean that I pop the B note on the G string?
     
  11. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Stevearino (beats callin' ya "SS", don't it? ;) ) -

    Exactly. A 10th is a third raised an octave, so the B on the G string, 4th fret is the 10th of the G on the E string, 3rd fret. To be exact, it's the MAJOR 10th, the Bb at the 3rd fret would be the minor 10th.

    In a related idea, LaRue used to do this lick in E moving up to the root that was really cool: start with a 10th slap/pop on G, an octave on the A (E 5th fret/oct at 7th, A), and then a minor 6th on B (a G on the D string 5th fret, B on the E 7th fret). Took the typical b3-4-5 octave line and made it interesting by giving it a contrary motion line on top (G-A-B ascending on the bottom, B-A-G descending on the top). I steal it all the time now, makes me look like a genius or something ;).
     
  12. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Thank you for clearing this up for me. Now I know how to practice this style of playing.