Slap Note Definiton

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Ok, when I slap, I've noticed I dont pull away fast enough with my thumb when I'm popping right after slapping. Like I hit the note but it doesnt sound out and isnt defined, it sounds like I'm slapping a muted note. Anyone have any pointers to help me? The only way is probably just practice but are there any tricks you guys use? Well, I'm off to practice. Thanks for any replies.
  2. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    I think you need lower action.
  3. DiazRomero


    Jun 25, 2004
    Moss Beach, CA
    You have the right idea - practice, practice, practice, and don't get discouraged. Try to make your slap at the top of the joint on your thumb. Don't slap too hard and just bounce off the string. Mute your slapped note with your left hand or the palm of your right hand or both and pop your next note alternating your index and middle finger. Use a metronome and start at a slow tempo. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb when your jamming with your band and try things out. :bassist:
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    High action can choke your slap sound. The technique aspect cannot be verified because we can't see you play.
  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    You will find that the direction you slap the note in will greatly effect the Timbre. If you want a clear Pitch Slap in a slightly downward motion allmost brushing the string. Dead notes you slap directly into the bass. Work on the D and G string they are the least forgiving.

  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Let your thumb bounce off the string - use the elasticity of the string to propel your thumb off of it. Think of a drumstick bouncing off of a drumhead.
  7. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    so... medium gauge strings and "low as can go" action.
  8. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    How low is your bass (strap-wise) when playing fingerstyle? You might want to consider raising it when playing slap. For me anyway, I can't slap worth a flip if I'm wearing my bass as low as I would if I was strictly playing finger style. It might not "look" cool, but when I wear my bass higher, it's much easier for me to effectively slap yet make the transition between slap and fingerstyle much smoother. I honestly don't prefer this posture for purely fingerstyle, but, when I'm playing a blend between the two, I have to have my bass higher on my body, else I suck! LOL.

    I don't know your level of dexteriy or if this is even a factor for you, but for me it's a biggie, and one that I've definately noticed and have had to compensate for. Anyway, I'm hopeful that my commennts will help.

    Let us know how it goes. Good luck!
  9. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I use .040 gauge strings for slapping both in my Stingray 5 and in my Fernandes Gravity 5. 10 years ago I used the Flea technique (hit and release) but I switched my teacher around 95 and from then on I use the "like a pick" technique. I mean my, earlier, my thumb would point at the nut. Now it points 45 degrees (north-east if you're facing me) and the palm isn't on the strings at all as it was before. So it's like playing with a pick, but only the thumb movement (I don't need my pointing finger 'cause there's no pick to hold). I don't know if I'm clear, but if you need more info I can make some photos.

  10. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I'm with the metronome idea. Practice a slap riff slow (half-tempo or so) for about fifteen minutes. And make sure that you focus on getting good sound out of each note. After fifteen minutes of running through a riff at half speed, crank it up to normal and you should hear a difference. :bassist: