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SLAP! Please Help!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rangerz715, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. ok, i know that there have been posts on slap already and i have read all of them but i just dont get them. i am a true begginer. When i went to but my bass some guy was slapping and kinda showed me how and that was probally the best advice i got. everybody says that you have to slap with the inside of your thumb by your knuckle, but every time i try to do that i hit it with my whole thumb and not just the joint. when i do this it just doesn't sound right. i tried to look for an online video but i can't find one and i won't be able to go out and buy any program any time soon. i would really appreciate any advice so thanks so much.
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Practice! And do it very slowly. Can you slap with your joint even one time? If you can't practice until you can. When you can do it one time, work your way up to two. And so on.

    Remember, keep it slow. You are not going to be able to slap 16th notes at 180 bpm the first day.
  3. what exactly does that mean?

    i have tried to do it but im just not really sure, like is my thumb supposed to be more up or perpendicular to the strings? thanks so much.
  4. I think Joint is slang for something,....not sure though
  5. Viktor


    Jun 21, 2003
    If you want a video...you should look for a Stuart Hamm Slap,Pop & Tap video!
    It helped me a great deal!
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The best slap instructional video is Alexis Sklarevski's The Slap Bass Program.

    Hit the string with the last joint of your thumb, let it bounce onto it and let it rebound.
    It's all about momentum, not force. You don't need any strength or force to slap.
    The hardest part in the beginning is to get the bounce right and to avoid slapping too hard.
    Keep it loose and you'll get more control and speeed.

    Practice all lines that you play in fingerstyle with slapping, so that you avoid the typical octave slap trap and improve your technique.
  7. is there any way you can show a picture?
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The knuckle on your thumb is what we are talking about. Maybe some of these will help.






    This link may help too. It has an mpeg you can watch that shows how it is done. http://www.warwickbass.com/basssurvival101/lesson_5slap.htm
  9. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I'm far from being a slap expert, but don't you think this guy's hand moves way too much? His hand bounces back almost one feet from the bass?!? :eek: Aren't you supposed to minimize movement?
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yeah, but I think he was exaggerating the movement to make it clear
  11. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Yeah, probably, but it might be misleading to a beginner isn't it? Maybe I'm just being paranoid! :)
  12. Rope


    May 27, 2003
    Essexville, MI
    While I can't say I've tried this method myself, it can be downloaded directly to your PC and is relatively inexpensive. Check out the samples on-line first.

  13. the_kev


    Sep 5, 2003
    Your problem might be how low/high your bass is. The best 2 examples i can think of are mark king and flea. Mark king has his bass REALLY high, virtually on his chest, whereas flea has his bass at his waist. This will drastically affect your slapping technique. If you have your bass high up, your slapping thumb will be horizontal and your strings vertical, but if it's low down your thumb will be vertical and the strings will be too.
    There is no right or wrong way to slap, you really do need to develop your own technique, when your thumb hits the string and bounces off it, then you've pulled off a slap, simple as that.
    PS good look
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Imagine your thumb is a hammer and the string is the nail - now hit it!

    BTW, that Alexis Sklarevski video is indeed very good.
  15. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    As long as beginning bass players keep posting this question, I'm going to give the same advice and I hope the rest of you will just indulge me. If you are just starting out at bass, you will be better served by concerning yourself with learning music in general rather than one specific technique. Slapping is almost a "special effect" on bass, the majority of what you will probably play on bass will utilize your fingers or pick. You may be better served worrying about slapping after you master important basic involving scales, time and tone. You could easily get distratcted trying to learn riffs to play in music stores and not spend enough time learning to play music.

    There are some amazing bass players who slap out there, but none of them are weak musically. There are millions more horrible bass players who slap (those seem to be the ones I hear most often)and they usually are missing some fundamental musical skill. Not trying to be discouraging, trying to be helpful.

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