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Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by AoD, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. AoD


    Nov 20, 2003
    lebanon, beruit
    hi there mates i want to learn slap as a technique what is the 1st step plzz be clear
    thx for the help
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Slap is a pizz technique where you get under the string a bit; you pull and release to sound the string. That's followed up by a slap of the pizz hand on the fingerboard (thus the name "slap".)

    It's a percussion effect, really. You coordinate into a cohesive whole the sound of the hand slap and the sort-of-violent pizzicato attack on the string. The most simple pattern is using the slap on the offbeat (the ANDs), either straight or swinging. Ya get fancier with multiple slaps: doubles, triples.

    You can hear slap in any kind of acoustic music that has DB in it, has no drummer and which gets kinda lively. When I'm playing bluegrass or polka I think of slap as a kind of ersatz oom-pah; fast tempos are OK in that mode. (For some of those kinds of tunes I think I really ought to be playing a tuba or something similar.) For a certain kind of blues, or a great country honky-tonk feel, I like a swung slap; moderate tempos so you can savour it a bit.
  3. first ya make your hand into kind of a fist, but with your thumb sticking out to the side. you should probably move your hand about a third or a quarter of the way up the fretboard so its easier to..well.....slap. pluck the desired string in a direct upward motion with your 2 strongest fingers, or maybe 3. follow this up by a percussive slap on the string above it with the meaty part at the bottom of your thumb, and the lower palm. like the other guy said, used in bluegrass, and other lively stuff such as polka and boogie-woogie
  4. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Mill Valley, CA
    Lissen to a little Willie Dixon. There's also a video called "The ungentle art" that would be helpful too. I never got too into this as a) its not really appropriate to the styles of music I generally play and b) you really need to have your action a bit higher than I generally do to get under the strings.

    Its a nice effect though then players get pumping with it - more percussive than melodic, which is why you hear it more on Willie Dixon than on straight up jazz.
  5. bass-skin


    Jul 17, 2003
    buffalo NY
    The Nekromantix, Tiger Army, The Quakes and Demented are go all have sick slap bass. Check them out. Look at pics of kim nekroman's bass to its killer
  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Try the Bop Kings, High Noon and The Johnny Burnette Trio. They're more traditional than the Psychobilly stuff you hear about alot these days. Also, if you can, find the old Sun Sessions Elvis with Bill Black on bass or very early Johnny Cash with the Tennessee Two. Both good examples of tasty slapping.
  7. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI

    Check out Mark Rubin's "Ungentle Art" video. I've never seen it myself, but have heard that it has tons of great info, and is better than Lee Rocker's instructional video. Honestly, I've never heard a bad thing about Rubin's tape.

    Good luck!
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    It's a very good video. I bought one even before I had a DB. It takes you step by step and applies the technique to different styles. I like it alot.
  9. Check out the message board at www.rockabillybass.com There's a whole forum there specifically for slap bass, and some of the posters are well-known full time pros.
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