1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Slap Too Low In The Mix!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by FUNKIESTMUNK, Oct 17, 2002.



    Feb 25, 2001
    Like any bassist I LOVE to slap, and sometimes I like to put little pops and thumps into songs that I would normally play finger style. Just for a little self indulgence and basically to show off ;) . However I have noticed that when I switch from fingers to slap, the volume of the sound coming from my amp seems to die :eek:. Because I mainly use fingers for most of our songs, the EQ is set up for a nice finger style tone, however if I know theres some slap coming up, I have to turn the amp up at least two notches just so I can hear it. This obviously isn't practical during a gig. I just bought a marshall ED The Compressor pedal to alieviate the problem but it has had little effect. I use a Trace Elliot 300SM GP7 (without built in compression), with Trace Elliot 4x10 and 1x15 and a Warwick Corvette Standard Passive 4 stringer. Can anyone offer me any suggestions which might help.:confused:

  2. Off to misc.


  3. Get a volume pedal. When you start to slap, kick it up, and knock it back when you go back to fingers.
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    or get an eq pedal. I have my GT6B set up on a patch with pedal to kick in a scooped eq (boost low and high end, cut mids). This makes slap really cut through.
    Be careful with the comp settings. A compressors basic function is to even out volume levels. Slaps and pops are ny nature louder signals than finger style, the compressor will just lower the volume of these notes.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Or practice more :)

    Seriously, you'll do more for yourself by learning to play fingerstyle with a light touch and slap with a light touch than you will by relying on gear. When you practice, turn your amp up and practice both fingerstyle and slap concentrating on getting an even tone. You don't have to yank the carp out of your strings when you play fingerstyle, nor do you have to crush your string with the thumb to get a good slap tone.
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    ...and you'll have a hell of a lot more endurance, which translates into better playing with a light touch.
  7. Well said.

    I think these days, folks rely too heavily on gear to fix their playing. For the past many years apart from still playing a lot of electric bass, I'm primarily a classical double bass player and of course, my sound is purely acoustic. Every sound that comes out of my bass is because I played it that way. I use no amplification at all so I'm responsible for the volume, articulation and tone of every note.

    If use use your ears and listen, then practice with the aim of achieving better tone and more even note volumes it really can happen without the aid of gear. I recommend you find yourself a nice, even, flat sounding setting on your amp and LEAVE IT - use no compressors or volume pedals. Then use your ears and fingers and/or pick to achieve the sound you have in your head. It may take longer than using electronic means, but you will be far more in control of the end result. The results should also be more natural in the end.

    There is no substitute for practice. Maybe consider spending a little more of your practice time on working on your tone, rhythm, articulation and dynamics rather than bothering too much with licks that let you "show off".

    BTW, your initial statement "Like any bassist I LOVE to slap" really does not apply to every bassist. There are a few of us that don't particularly care for the technique. However, that doesn't change my advice mentioned above. :)

    Practice more - save your money.
  8. I actualy have the opposite problem.

    When I slap, which is rare because I suck at it, it's much louder than when I play finger style.

    With my fingers, I've really lightened my touch. I used to really dig into the strings. With a lighter touch, I feel I have more control over what I'm doing. And with the lighter touch, I didn't sacrifice much volume, if any, which was a surprise.

    My slap technique is really bad, which is why I don't slap much. But when I do slap, my volume gets much louder. If I back off some, it loses the unique sound.
  9. boomerang

    boomerang Guest

    Dec 9, 2001
    practice is it. A good bass reacts nicely to a light touch. Slapping or plucking is the attack you play with, it doesnt mean the strings should react that differently (resulting in louder or lower volume) after the chosen method of plucking. Consistancy is in your hands, not in how fast you can adjust a volume or eq pedal.

Share This Page