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Slapping and Plucking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Kooasik, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Kooasik


    Mar 26, 2013
    I love to slap and pluck, but when i start to groove real hard, and get really fast, my right(slapping and plucking) shoulder starts to tighten up and get really sore. Has anyone else had this problem? Also if you did, was it a technique problem? or was it just something you had to work through?
  2. russtolium


    Jul 12, 2010
    Sounds like a pretty straightforward case of excess tension in the arm. It's easy to tense up when playing something fast or difficult, try to be aware of that while playing and resist the urge to tense up (and if you can't play fast without being tense you may need to hit the woodshed and work that out.) I'd also take a good look at your strap height, sounds like your right arm might be hiking up to get your hand in line with the strings, and playing with a bunched up shoulder will likely manifest itself like your symptoms.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Stop thumping (slapping) so fast!!
  4. 77 StingRayBass

    77 StingRayBass

    Sep 15, 2011
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I never slapped for long periods of time (vid below is the longest), so I can't answer your question from experience, BUT, I'd say you already know the answer. Either practice relaxing your shoulder, or practice building it up. I think you'd be better off with the former. My shoulder doesn't come much into play when I'm playing or slapping.
  6. hampulator


    Feb 10, 2012
    It's all in the wrist. If anything,that's what should be sore.
  7. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    Relax, BREATHE, and stay in the "zone."
  8. Kooasik


    Mar 26, 2013
    Thanks guys, it was the fact that my strap was too high and that my shoulder was tightening and being tensed far too hard. Thank you for the reply's
  9. Are you throwing your shoulder into the slapping motion? The back and forth slapping motion is all about your lower arm; shoulder shouldn't be doing any real work. Sometimes when I'm slapping and my forearm muscles get tired I compensate by using my shoulder.

    Perhaps that's what you're doing. Perhaps not. Comfy strap never hurts though!

    EDIT: Oops... didn't read that last one. Glad you got what you needed.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Don't play so hard.
    You'll have to lighten your attack to play faster.
  11. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Groove to me doesn't imply fast at all. That's one reason why it's a groove. A groove gives you something to hold onto and kinda settle in. I learned this from my father who was a Tenor Sax Player from the 'Old School'. His favotire player was a man named Lester Young. When asked about the young fast playing cats, Lester replied that all that fast playing and all those notes are fine but "Can you sing me a song." Believe it or not I try to incorprate that principle in my slap playing. While some are playing a lot of fast dribble and it does sound good, I'm trying to bring a grooving, singing aspect to my slap. As if I'm having a conversation. To me the faster and harder you play, the less expressive you become. After awhile all you're doing is shouting at your audience. Sometimes it's nice to shout. Most people I know like to be talked to and conversated with.
  12. metermech

    metermech SMOOVE ONE

    Mar 17, 2008
    Thanks Phillybass that was very well explained..Gave me food for thought..
  13. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Welcome. Musically things are starting to open up for me. Youhave to come up with something that separates you from the crowd. Every great player has had the ability to come up with their own voice, tone, and concept about how they approach their bass playing. It is in a lot ways a soul searching. If someone walks up to me and says I sound good, just like so and so, I take that as a half assed compliment. I'm not implying that I'm great or that I will be. I'm really just an ordinary guy who loves playing bass. However, I have been around and listened to so many great players, known and unkown and what makes that player special is that he or she has their own thing going on. IMO Slap Bass has been bastardized and downplayed. Slap Bass has a Father and to me it's Larry Graham. Graham just doesn't play a lot of licks. His Thumping and Plucking says something. I'm trying to incorporate that vocal quality to my Slap. To better explain myself listen to the song Water by Graham Central Station. A very simple and uncomplicated song but Larry is talking on that bass.
  14. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    Sometimes the issues are fixed by simple solutions ;)
    Anyway is you need any help in future just ask again.

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