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Slap Problem

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by P-nut, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. P-nut


    Dec 27, 2004

    I have a problem with my slapping technique.
    When slapping the E and A string, the volume is nearly the same but when I need to slap the G string (which is quite seldom, but I need it for "give it away" or "lessons in love")
    the sound is lower in loudness.

    How can I even my slap tone??

    PS: The pickup is parallel to the strings.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Slap lighter on lower strings. You don't need to smash your strings to get a good slap tone, quite the contrary. Slap lightly and let the string speak.
  3. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    what he said.
  4. Tnavis


    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Which thumb style do you use? Do you bounce your thumb off of the string, or do you "thumb through" the string?
  5. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    More mass = more signal = more volume.

    Other than changing your technique, you can raise the treble side, or lower the bass side of your pick-ups to even things up, or use a compressor.
  6. Kevjmyers


    Dec 10, 2004
    Boulder. CO
    What about buying two different sets of strings? One set for the third and fourth strings and another set for the first and second? I've never tried it, does it help alot? I'd imagine it would for someone who specializes in a slap/pop technique.
  7. chadrock


    Dec 22, 2004
    are you 'popping' the 'g' string? that would surely give you a better sound on your higher strings. just practice alternating between thumb and forefinger (or slap and pop) to get a even groove and a feel for using 'pop'. ;)
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Not necessary. This is a technique issue, not a string issue. You don't need special strings for slap.

    Pacman's advice holds the key.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Hey Brad-
    Back in the day(about '75), I used Labella tapewound strings...FME, they didn't work at all for slap bass.
    And this was right when the Bro Js came out with their stuff, too.
    My world changed when I finally went the Roundwound route.
    Nowadaze, I'm pretty convinced I can slap/pop any bass with any kinda string(maybe not "well"; that's another story)...I'm pretty sure I had a Technical issue back then, though string technology is now light years ahead of what was available to me back in '75.
    Just one man's observation.

    In the initial post, it sounds like "P-Nut" is slapping his "G" string. That's OK; my Pre-CBS Fender P-bass didn't like having its "G"-string popped, either...so I used the Thumb exclusively on that bass for this style.
    IIRC(& I do recall), I played through either a Bassman or Music Man 65 with the Bass and Treble UP-UP-UP.
    I also made sure to strike the "G" string with part of the thumb actually hitting part of the neck...that little piece of wood just past the last fret.

    When you're playing a 'log' like I had, you gotta make do.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    That's why I said it was a technique issue... when I started I couldn't do a lot of things;). Now set up is more of a factor than strings for me. No, I can't get flats to sound like Rotosounds but I can definitely slap on them:D

    The touch required on each string is different... after you get it under your belt it becomes second nature (IME) and I don't even think about it... unless asked.

    BTW I have some LaBella Black tapewounds on a Stambaugh fretless 5 and they have a serious old school Louis Johnson vibe.