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Slap Tone...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bass element, May 30, 2005.

  1. i know that we have probably beaten the hell out of this topic, but i just wanted to know how to get a nice slap tone out of your amp based on using the mids, lows and highs, as well as shape. on my crate theres a switch for the shape of the tone, im not sure if its all most bass amps or not.

    anyways, i was trying to emulate the sound of a Seinfeld-ish slap tone to give you all a general idea of what i am trying to achieve.

    any help is appreciated. and sorry for the cliche thread...
  2. You'll want to go low on the mids, but leave the highs. I get the best tone when I max the highs out. Some amps have switches to suck the mids as well. Your shape switch should do that in one of its positions. I find that it really helps to have two pickups going at once, although that's not part of the amp.
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Since you want to know about amp settings, you'll get better responses in the Amps forum............

    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you want the Seinfeld slap tone, get yourself an old Yamaha DX7 synth, and learn to play keyboards, because that wasn't bass at all . . .
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Heavy stainless strings, action as low as possible with as little relief in the neck as you can get without buzzing on the first fret. Boost the Lows a lot and the highs a little less, and drop the mids some. If you go too far with the Eq it'll sound clanky ... so find the sweet spot.

    A compressor also really helps a lot.
  6. +1 per 'pickle's comments. Another thing... like most good bass sounds, a lot comes from your technique and hands. I know there are some heads that have slap contour foot switch controls, etc. but you should be able do dial in a sound that is good for both finger style and slap, with at most a slight increase in the bass control on an active bass when slapping. Also, as pointed out above... don't go for an overly 'scooped' sound... like a lot of those preset contour controls will give you. That sound losses a lot of definition in a live setting. Mids are not a bad thing when slapping if you keep your technique clean and precise.

    Don't get too hung up on changing your settings when you go back and forth from slap to fingerstyle. With practice, you should be able to go between the two general styles of playing (finger and slap) with no problem.


    PS Since it sounds like you are a 'beginning slapper'.... try to stay out of the key of 'E'... once you become dependent on that open E, it gets very difficult to play the slap style equally in all keys :)
  7. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Depends on the overall sound of the bass your using I think.
    I think most basses with an overall "fat" fingerstyle tone, sometimes need "carving" around the 2khz-3khz region for a good slap tone. (Just my idea of a good slap tone) . Not all amps give you the freedom to specifically dial out those upper midrange frequencies.

    Amps with a 4 band tone control/EQ section have fixed frequency points, with the upper mid control usually aimed around 800-1000 khz. I find this
    too low of a EQ point for my taste. (Thats where amps like the Eden work well with semi-parametric EQ sections)

    My MTD and Fender both sound great with a little of the afore mentioned freqs reduced. On my GK1001RB-II head, I pull down the upper mids while boosting the upper highs (presence control)

    Depends on how fussy you are about your slap tone.
    Many basses don't have the inheritant sound thats conducive to a good slap tone, (missing the ultra high end output ala Marcus Miller tone) so sometimes pulling upper mids is all you can really do.
  8. thanx for all the advice. im not actually a beginner on slapping. i kno the basics and can play fairly well along slapping lines, but i was mainly tryin to find the tone that fit the seinfeld-y kinda sound. but since it turned out not be a real bass at all.... haha.

    but i learned a lot so thanx again.


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