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Slap etiquette.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Brilliant Fool, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. I was curious as to how other bassists slap.

    Myself, I do it the 'proper' :rolleyes: way - Thumb perpindicular to the string.
    ||||-- <- badly drawn hand
    But that's just me.

    Does anyone use the, ever so annoying, 'downward facing slap',

    ||||\ <- another badly drawn hand

    or any other slapping technique?

    I'm asking for thumb placement here, what's yours?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I generally slap with my thumb parallel to the string

    Particularly when I am doing double thumb stuff.

    I guess my thumb points slightly downward sometimes, but I don't really have a solid way I do it. Mostly parallel, but sometimes up sometimes down.
  3. incognito89x

    incognito89x &#9834;&#9835;&#9834; &#9834; &#9834; &#9835;&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I do that as well... With Warwick 5 string spacing, it's hard to do it any other way than parallel :)
  4. You can adjust the spacing on Warwicks, check out the bridge. Sweet, eh?

    I also play warwicks, by the way.
  5. Flea.

    I slap that way too.
    I think it comes down to how high you wear the bass.
    the downward-facing slap allows you to use your little finger to get 16th notes etc., but if you wear the bass higher you can get that with left-handed slaps anyway.
  6. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    I dont understand why anyone would slap in a position where your thumb could hit 3 strings at once, but thats just me.

    I slap with my thumb parallel, but curve it a bit, so I get the big ole boney part smackin the string.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Well...when you slap downward, the bone part hits ONE string.
  8. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I slap mostly parallel.. 95% of the time.. sometimes i will point my thumb downward slightly.. don't know why.. again.. no set way to do it. I just do
  9. Parallel is the most natural position sitting down for me, but when I'm standing up, it changes. Perpendicular seems a bit awkward though...
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    What's slap bass:confused:
  11. my thumb usually points downward, about 45 degrees. sometimes it winds up pointing straight down, when i'm slapping upper strings.
  12. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I would say that i have a 60 degree (give or take ;) ) upward ting going on with my thumb.... i go paralell sometimes.
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's another thing...My thumb is parallel, but the tip bends upwards about 45 degress.
  14. Lenko


    May 3, 2003
    I don't think ther's such a thing as wrong and right hand placement; some players like to play with open palm (Ryan Martinie from Mudvyne), some other make fist (Marcus). I put my fingers in fist, with my thumb usually up somewhere around 30° or parallel if I'm doing up-n-down thumping.
    Open hand is a better IMHO if you do a lot of percussion type slapping, because it's easier to use all 5 fingers on the right hand. I never point my thumb down, since I find it impossible to slap. Never lower then parallel.
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I do it "parallel", a little more like my thumb points upwards rather than downwards. I find that this conserves a lot of energy and I can go a lot faster. This also gives me a lot more control over the volume of the slap, so I can have a nice controlled, low yet still very percussive sound. This position is also very convenient as a hand-rest, because when I pop (I slap open handed), I just rest the big chunky meaty part of your hand that eventually extends into the thumb on the E and A (and sometimes D) strings. This also mutes pesky sympathy-vibrations. This method also allows me to use all of my fingers, although I usually only use the first three and the thumb.

    Do note that you can play amazingly well with the down-pointing thumb method (or "Oppenheim" method). This guy at the school's last Coffee House of the year played Can't Stop, and then an original and slapped better than anyone I've ever seen (live, that is), AND he was using the Oppenheim method.

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