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Slap volume question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ryco, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Sometimes I have trouble hearing my slap lines when changing over from fingerstyle. Does slap require volume boost? Opinions please. Right now playing thro a Hartke ss w? tube pre and 6 x 10" aluminum speaks. Thanx!
  2. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    yeah that happens to me aswell, but when i pop i can here them as clear as day, just fiddle round with the settings, i dont no any really answers to help lol
  3. If you don't have one you might try a compressor pedal. I never used one until I read that alot of the pro's use one to 'tighten up' the sound, which makes sense.
  4. Vysous


    Mar 29, 2005
    I have opposite problem, if I start slap, I am a lot louder than with fingers... strange... And I dont use compressor, I don't find it as useful as everybody says. I think everything should be made by your fingers, only thing I use is Equalizer, just to add some deep lows and some trebles (low trebles, almost mids).... Do you use nickels or steels? It's important, because steels are better for zingy sound....
  5. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I was wondering if a comp or EQ pedal might be an answer. I pretty much stay away from [edals anymore. If I use a comp pedal I should turn off compressor on the amp, right? And if playing live I'd have to tell the soundguy to turn off the compression at the board.

    BTW - bass is active Jackson. Also use passive Fender PJ with Seymore Duncan 1/4 pounders.
  6. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I'm using steelies pretty much these days. Markley med lite Bluies
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    While I woudn't consider myself a 'slapper' per se, I do use the technique regularly in 70's funk situations. Assuming the starter of this thread is a relatively new 'slapper', I found keeping volume even the most difficult thing to do when learning the technique (along with muting open strings). You should be able to go back and forth between fingerstyle and slap with virtually no volume difference, and at most, very minor adjustments to your on-board EQ.

    I never use any compression (although a very, very slight amount of limiting can protect speakers)... I don't really like the lack of control over the dynamics, even with relatively light compression and would rather control the dynamics with my hands.

    Anyway, the key for me was just woodshedding scales, etc. using my thumb... just looking for a very even sound across the neck.

    Have fun with it!
  8. Never used an EQ pedal specifically, only what the amp / bass has.
    I do use a comp pedal but it is set at what I call light. On a scale of 10 it is set at 4. I would have to agree it is more to LIMIT than compress. I have found that I still have dynamics control when fingerstyling.
    If your amp has one I would play around with it first to see if it helps.
    I would'nt worry about the soundman, let him do his own thing. Out of courtesy you might mention to him what you are considering.

    I recently had a problem with something similar and got several replies to bump up my mids and cut my lows. I thought I had a pretty good setup. After trying what was recommended, it worked I had more clarity. Here are the two threads that were similar.


  9. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I'm not a ness a new slapper - I'm just not a house-a-fire at it and am seeking to improve. I'm new to this forum and can finally ask things that have been buggin' me for a long time. I tend to play pretty hard with my fingers so I wonder if my volume may be set a tad to low to be effective at slappin'. I don't want to rely on fx and agree that I should be able to pull out a consistent tone in any style maintaining an even volume. I was just wondering if I was overlooking a basic necessity in the slap style in having to turn up a little. Thanx to all - really appreciate the input!

    Thanx groov'ster! I try not to worry about soundmen but I am aware with some bass is at the bottom of the list. Our soundman had a sticker on his rack that said "I'm not deaf - I'm ignoring you". He was a great soundman and made my band sound way better than we were. The sticker was for the benefit of bar patrons - not band members.
  10. If you've got uneven volume you just need more practice. Both plucking and slapping have plenty of dynamic range.
  11. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Thanx again for the threads groov'ster! Gained much valuable info! It was the way I had my EQ set ("smiley"). At practice last night I boosted more mid and rolled back the bass a little and voila! I could hear! I wish I would have tried this ** years ago!

    ... and now I can hear what I'm tryin' to practice! O joy!!
  12. I wish I could take the credit but it was the other guys.

    Peace out, thump hard! :D
  13. pauljacksonfan


    Jun 14, 2005
    This is definetly the more common problem. A whole lot of slappers play really hard which of course makes it louder than your finger playing. I, and a whole lot of other slappers, use a compressor to keep the volume from getting out of hand. Also, the happy face (lotta bass, lotta treble, almost no mid) on your eq gives you a really tight even sound for this type of thing.

    I, myself, generally only turn on my compressor when slapping as it gets in the way of my fingerstyle playing. But if I'm gonna offer just one tip to slappers with volume issues it's get a compressor ASAP
  14. jedwards


    Feb 1, 2005
    Most likely the amp has some sort of post-gain limiter (to protect the amp). When you turned down the bass EQ, you increased the headroom (it is the low frequencies which suck the power). Try turning down the gain (or input, pre-gain) and decreasing the master volume a bit. I had an amp which did this in the past (hartke model ???).
  15. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Good tip that may help you. Slap down against the string and rest your thumb on the string below.

    This causes the string to 'roll' like it would if you were playing fingerstyle.

    It can take some getting used to, but that tip is straight from Vic Wooten, via Rob Little (My teacher). And I also prefer to think that I have my own compressor in my hands, rather than using an amp. It's all there for you.

  16. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005

    hhmmmmmmmmmm - a wee bit confusing! I really appreciate all the comments and help! funny bizniz dis bottom end stuff! For every recommendation there is an equal and opposite recommendation ...... very zen! LMAO! ...now go practice!
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That's the fix... practice. It's no more complicated than that. The more time you spend learning to control the instrument manually, the more control you'll have over it.
  18. I'm thinking playing fingerstyle different places on the neck are different volumes. By bridge = quieter than by neck.

    Slapping is probably done more std location?

    So whether you're louder or quieter when you slap depends on where you're playing fingerstyle, how hard you pluck?

    I try to work a light touch when slapping too, economy of motion thing.

    I usually crank the bass up, treb up, mids down when I slap, run flatter for finger on my SR5, so I have to crank it down a bit to get the volume right slapping.


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