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Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by tww001, Aug 13, 2003.
I've been getting into rockabilly lately...any tips on slappin my doghouse?
If you haven't already, check out http://www.rockabillybass.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi. You'll find a lot of info there on slappin' it around.
that message board is great...thanks!!!
If you are looking for a video I would recommend the "slap bass, the ungentle art" by mark rubin and kevin smith. It has a lot more in it than the Lee Rocker vid.
Picked up this quote from Speddling over on the electric bass side (when we were discussing the nuances of the vocabulary around "slapping"):
"Call it what you will.... Jaco "spanked" the bass. If you want a nit to pick... hop down tothe DB section and get a true "Slap Bass" lesson from the Rockabilly guys"
So pardon my ignorance, 'cause I'm not really a rockabilly player (even though I love listening to the stuff), but when the rockabilly guys talk about slapping, do they mean the same thing as the electric guys?
Nope, sorry this is a little late.
The slap technique that is involved with rockabilly is:
Pull the string off the fingerboard and let it snap back making that "click" that you hear in almost all rockabilly.
There is also the double slap where you pull the string off the fingerboard and let it snap and then you slap your hand against the strings which hits them against the fingerboard thus producing another "click". So when you play the double slap, your making 2 clicks. IE: "boom dat boom dat"
There is even the triple slap. This is when you do a double slap, but instead of just one slap against the strings, there is 2 quick ones. This is often used in bluegrass.
Rockabilly slapping makes your bass a percusive instrument as well as.......a bass.
The clicking was something that bands, without drummers, would make their bass players do and i guess it just stuck and has just become a tradition and is still used even with a drummer.
The art of slapping is most often related to rockabilly playing, but actually originated in jazz prior to WWII. The unamplified bassists in the large swing bands, eg; Walter Page in the Basie band, developed slapping as a way of cutting thru the band. Another early exponent, and certainly one of the pioneers of this technique was Milt Hinton. Check out his wonderful slapping on the Branford Marsalis album, "Trio Jeepy". Walter Page can be heard slapping on some of the early Basie albums. Slapping more or less disappeared from jazz with the advent of amplification.
Last month I was showing my teacher my "neat little move" by pulling the string and releasing it to make the note speak and getting a popping sound from the string hitting the fingerboard. Then he gave me a little 5 minute discourse on slapping up to the triplet feel that also shows up on some Hank III song that's being played on our local redneck country station a lot now (you know, like: ba-ta-da-ba-ta-da-ba-ta-da-ba-ta-da-bum ba dum bum dum...). He talked about Milt Hinton the whole time he was demonstrating it to me.
Pretty cool stuff. I'll have to check out the Branford Marsalis record you mentioned.