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Slap On An Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lethifold, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Hey there, I will shortly be purchasing an acoustic bass so that a friend and myself can busk in the local town for a bit of a laugh

    My style of playing is a cross between melody (played with lots of high notes) and funky slap (lots of muted and popped notes)

    I know that the first part of the style will fit with an acoustic bass, but I was wondering how possible it was to slap on an acoustic and if so, is there a different way of doing it that I should be aware of?

    Any help would be enormously appreciated

  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    Take that stance...and just whack it, real good.
  3. If you have any questions about being able to slap on acoustic bass guitar, just take a listen to Jonas Hellborg's acoustic bass work (if you can find it). There's a sample of "Salah Al Din" off of Aram of the Two Rivers on this page: http://www.bardorecords.com/Bardo038.htm

    I'm sure there are other samples around online, but that's the first one I came across.

    Technique-wise there's not a tremendous difference, except that if you're going for good acoustic volume your action will be fairly high, and that's different from the approach a lot of slappers take. Howver, it does let you actually get your fingers under the strings over the end of the fretboard.

  4. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Stanley Clarke+upright+slap/pop=Wow.

    Enough said.
  5. lethifold


    Mar 19, 2005
    Hey, thanks for all of the feedback

    I think, perhaps, I didn't convey my meaning clearly enough

    I mean the acoustic version of an electric bass, not one of the 'stand up basses'

    mikezimmerman thanks a lot for the link, it was exactly the thing that I was looking for. Not exactly the style of slap I like, but impressive none the less. Once I get the beast I will do a good recording of some slap stuff and upload it here

    Thanks again for the help (I would buy a 'stand up' bass but I don't have enough money at the moment)
  6. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I might be getting an acoustic bass soon aswell, and i checked out Jonas Hellborg's acoustic bass, and it has one of them little black thumb rests, does most acoustic basses come with them? or do you have to buy them or have them installed??

  7. Most basses do not come with thumbrests. To be honest, I don't use one, and I've never seen photos or videos with Jonas using it--his newer basses don't have one. Acoustically, if you install one and rest your thumb on it, you'll be inhibiting the top from vibrating, and that's going to cut down on the acoustic volume.

  8. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Oh right.. well do a lot of people play fingerstyle on an acoustic bass or just use pick?.. and if they do fingerstlye.. how do they do it without a thumbrest?
  9. Rest your thumb on the low E, or just float your right hand--the same way people play acoustic guitar fingerstyle without a thumbrest...
  10. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Yeah i figured the E rest, but when you want to play the E what are you going to rest on?, but yeah the floating hand does figure..

  11. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Hey Whafrodamus, have you seen Stanley Clark play this summer? I caught him up at his first show of this tour and he was doing crazy stuff to that bass: five finger stuff that sounded like flamenco guitar, and some really wild slapping technique. He had to retune between every song . . . hehe.
  12. There's no need to rest on anything. Just play like non-anchorers do on electric.
  13. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    :( i'd prefer something to rest on.. otherwise it will take me out of the fingerstyle mode, (thumb resting on pickup) and it will be uncomfortable....

    Ill just try and find a acoustic bass that has a Thumbrest with it..
  14. Good luck finding one! I can't think of very many ABGs that come with thumbrests. You're better off finding an ABG that you like, and buying or making a thumbrest for it.

  15. AcousticBass


    May 28, 2005
    http://www.folkofthewood.com/page1493.htm i was thinking about getting one, its funny i was planning on getting a banjo for like 5 months and went to guitar center right? couldnt find the banjo section so i got a bass instead, maybe it was my destiny to play bass or sumthing, well i might get one of those myself.
  16. Or just wean yourself from the thumb rest ... it's not essential for fingerstyle.