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Slap n pop?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Demon, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Can anyone give some link that explains well how to slap especially?
  2. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Thanks, but none of them really says HOW to slap, imstill not sure how to do with the thumb? Should i hold my hand straight down then attac with the thumb like with a pick? Should i just hit the string and stop there? Or should i hit the string and follow through and stop at the string after?
  3. www.cyberschoolofbass.com

    Bunny Brunel explains it well (with video) and talks about some common misconceptions of the technique too.
  4. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Its so small screen, the video:/ Cant really see exactly where on the thumb he hits the string:/
  5. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass

    There is more than one way to play slap. What I'm going to describe is the way I do it. You may like this technique or ultimately you may learn something very different. I think it's best to have as many tools at your disposal as possible, so learn every technique you can.

    In my approach I form a bridge from the heel of my hand (on the thumb side) to the tip of my index finger.

    When I'm in the down position the hand touches the bass above the E string and below the G string (on a four string bass) and forms a "bridge" over the strings. The tip of my index finger is below the G string touching the bass (ready to pop a note on the way up, if I want to). The heel of my hand is touching the bass above the E string.

    My thumb is in its natural position relative to where my hand is. For me that means that my thumb pointed downwards across the strings (at about a 45 degree angle relative to the strings) with the knuckle of the thumb hovering over the E String (but not actually touching). You may have a feeling of lifting your thumb away from the plane of the bass in order for it not to be touching the string when at rest in this position.

    To play a slapped note I rotate my wrist clockwise so that my thumb goes up and the bridge that I formed with my hand lifts off the bass. If I look down at my hand the palm is now up facing me with my hand about perpendicular to the bass.

    Then I rotate the wrist counter clockwise bringing that bridge down and striking the bass with the heel of my hand and the tip of my index finger at the same time. I'm hitting the bass with my hand and not really thinking about hitting the string with my thumb directly.

    By doing this my thumb hits the E string very quickly and creates a slapped note.

    Try playing your open E and A strings using this technique. Play one note per measure at a slow tempo concentrating on form and getting a good fundamental pitch.

    If you work on this for 15 or 20 minutes I think you'll get it.

    My book contains a series of exercises to practice that help you unconsciously develop this technique, but you can do this on your own with the information above.

    Everything else flows from this technique. At least in my style.

    Good luck!

  6. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Thanks for the help, im supposed to go through the string and stop at the next right? I just cant seem to hit good/often:/ And now my wrist hurts when i try it:/ Maybe im doing it wrong..
  7. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    In my technique the thumb never goes below the plane of the string. I play on top of the strings not below.

    My thumb hits the string and then bounces off.

    I do not typically use double-thumb techniques in my playing, or let's say that if I do, it's not a part of my own standard technique.

    There's a picture on my web site that shows my hand position:


    It's near the bottom of the page.

    In that photo I'm about to pop the G-string, so this is an upstroke, but I think you can see where my hand is relative to the strings.

    Also, the cover of my book (on that same web page) shows the approximate position and orientation of my hand. Though I don't typically play as far from the end of the neck as is shown in that graphic. They took some artistic license when designing the cover art, but they got the hand position from one of my photos.

    I hope this helps!

  8. One thing that helped tremendously for me was...

    Not using my ARM to slap. It's all in the writst. Rotate a relaxed hand in the air for a little while, as if to loosen it up, (hangLoose sign?) and you'll get close to what you need to implement for a good slap movement.

    when you slap, do it slowly, adjust your technique, relax the shoulder, relax the hand... your thumb should "scrape"(hard, but not forced) the string you wanna hit, and rest (very shortly) on the string below.

    at least thats how I do it now, after my teacher helped me improve my technique. then, practice, practice, practice.

    oh another thing, always use your momentum. when you pop, make sure you arent Shy about it, and that you pull kinda downwards (good practice, helps keep momentum)
  9. Expert Village

    Expert Village

    Apr 24, 2006
  10. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
  11. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    I think dudes are confusing slapping with double thumbing (two entirely different techniques imo hence mucho confusion :) ).

    "Traditional" slap involves using the middle of the thumb (the knuckle) to "bounce" off the string roughly around the last frets on the neck, you need to have the string bounce off a fret to get that "ping" sound...there is no "hit through the string to the string below"..thats (the start of) double thumbing or "thumb picking" as I think of it)

    Now, there are two schools of thought on whether the thumb should be straight up (like hitchhiking) or parallel to the strings, personally I use the Thumb up technique as I get really strong attack from it (also it keeps my wrist straight which avoids a potential RSI)..The "thumb parallel to the string" technique works just as well and if you master that it'll make learning double thumbing a whole lot easier..I just personally prefer the Thumb up technique.
  12. True vic teaches the sort of lift thingy. thx. Vic's is a better way IMO to do it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4449818176212403705&q=Bass+Slap&pl=true like this
    Murf is also correct in saying this.

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