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Slap question.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by maxherlim, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. maxherlim


    Aug 12, 2004
    Hi all...I am a newbie here. I have a question regarding slap technique.
    I tried to bounce my thumb off the string ...I got a nice sound when I hit the E string ....but when I hit the A, D, or G, the sound is not as loud and clear as the E.....I got better slap sound when I use thumb through the string technique.
    My question is do I need to use "thumb through" the string technique or need more practice using bouncing off the string technique?
    Which one is better?
  2. I prefer bouncing off. I can play much faster that way and the note resonates better, but it's really up to you and your style. Most bass players will probably tell you that you only need to be able to slap the e and a string (or b) and just pluck the rest. Usually when your playing funk and slapping your root note is one of your lower strings, so slapping a higher string would be a waste of energy. I personaly tend to slap all the strings when I'm playing extremely tech bass lines. I can only pluck 2 to 3 notes really fast. If I can't reach a hammer-on for those fourth or fifth notes I will slap that extra note on a high string after I pluck so I can get a smooth triplet or whatever kind of fast fill i'm lookin for. The best thing to practice is precision and speed. Hit each string as hard as you can (not too hard obviously) w/ your thumb untill you don't have to think about it. The higher the string the harder you have to hit it for it to be heard. Your not going to get near as much punch on the higher strings though. Hope this helps.
  3. jedwards


    Feb 1, 2005
    Sounds like you are changing the angle of your strike. Make sure to hit the string with the same part of your thumb at the same angle. Most players will change the hand position at the elbow (slightly) to keep the angle. The hardest part (tom me anyway) is the left hand mute on the higher strings, using your index finger to mute on the G string may end up causing the lower strings to resonate, I try to use the fat part of my left hand to mute the higher strings in order to maintain hand postion.
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    My opinion only:
    getting off of the note quickly is the key. Imagine your thumb pulling the sound out of the string. Like jedwards said, if your arm angle is changing, the speed, or length of time your thumb remains on the string will also change..As for the pulling or pounding question, if you are playing a bassline your volume and intensity should remain even with your lower notes so keep that in mind. For solo work do whatever makes you special...
  5. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I think you should be able to get a good sound with either technique, and then you can choose to use what works best for you, at whatever moment. One way may be easier, but if that's not what you want, just keep working at it, you will get it.

    My teacher suggests the "through the string" method to his students, but I see him use both live, so...
  6. Just a quickie - get both happening as they can both be useful - I like the Wooten style but I think you'll find the Marcus Miller bouncey technique a lot more useable - try playing slow funk bassline with JUST your thumb - play a low note on the E or A string then try hitting the 7th or the octave with your thumb on the D and G strings (assuming you play a 4) - try all kinds of rhythms and grooves - then try adding some pops and see what happens. ;)

  7. I would like to ask a question on slap as well...

    when slapping, do youwant your thumb to be the only part of your hand that hits strings, or say, when slapping A do youjust want your thumb to bounce on A or do you want part of your hand to hit E as well to mute it?
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Hey MCB!!
    When using the "accepted" style(elbow dropped and your pinky below your thumb, elbow not any higher than your pinky)your right hand needs to be off of the strings a bit to remain live so muting with the right hand is out of the question..players that sag(hold their bass low) usually have to slap with elbow-up method(thumb and pinky parallel to the strings..I don't much to say about this because I have not really tried it in 15 years, but I have seen players ripping it up from the top!!!
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I prefer the MM 'bouncy' technique hands down (thumbs down?). I use it exclusively when slapping. I have learned the Wooten double thump method briefly but it wasnt for me. I can get great speed and everything i need for the style of funk slapping that i do with the bouncing off technique.