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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mhead, Apr 14, 2010.
For what I can see new generations of bassist are forgetting about slap, what do think about it.
Pretty much the opposite of a lot of my observations of young players. Kids are more apt to know about Flea than Jaco, IME.
i think that slap players now are forgetting the roots of the slap style. too many people are running off trying to do metal slapping and stuff like that without studying the guys like Larry Graham and Louis Johnson who invented it and used it for its original purpose: making funky grooves.
Yep. Slap is here to stay and I don't think it's a bad thing. My issue is with the fact that so many people see simply slapping, particularly slapping at speeds that would make professional dominatrices envious, as a substitute for playing with any real taste. Not that slapping can't be tasteful but some can't recognize the difference and that bugs me. Slap has it's place and it's place isn't with everyone who has a bass in their hands. I do hate throwing names out but Bill Dickens is the perfect example of what I'm trying to describe.
On a somewhat different note, why is it that throughout all of the most recent NAMM vids everyone that had a jazz bass in their hands was slapping?! It drove me absolutely insane that I couldn't find a good fingerstyle vid among dozens!! Don't get me wrong but geez... variety much?
Simple. You usually can't hear the bass at NAMM unless you slap it. It's that loud.
Slap isn't going anywhere. just look at all the young bass players on youtube
Hmmm, really? I've heard plenty of guys playing fingerstyle (without really digging in) in vids that weren't super high quality and I could hear the actual tone of the bass just fine, except none of those vids featured anyone on a jazz bass.
Seems to me that slapping is now a way to draw attention from people who don't play bass and are easily impressed, usually by doing it unaccompanied (in GC) or in a song where it doesn't fit. But yeah, it's been hijacked by suburban metal kids who don't know any better, just one more reason American metal sucks now (with exception).
Here we go again...let the "more than accepted bass playing style for over 35 years" hate begin.
I grew up on Flea and Les Claypool, but as I matured, my tastes went to Jaco, and more recently I have been appreciating those not so famous bassist like DeLa and Pino. Slapping kept me interested in the instrument until I matured. So its definetly going to be sticking around because I do think this is consistent with young kids...my argument for slapping versus fingerstyle is this...
money made slapping in my bedroom...(insert joke whenever applicable) $0.00
Money playing fingerstyle with the 4 bands that hire me to be as solid as possible...$Priceless...
Its a nice tool to have in your back pocket, just like double thumbing...but honestly in most groups (excluding the virtuoso groups) its not tasteful.
Best part of playing with a band is when they say to you after a gig that you really didn't have to struggle over any parts..."you made us sound so much better tonight"
This can be very true. It seems like often the first thing I hear when I tell someone I play bass is, "Can you slap?" (of which I cannot...haha)
Slightly off-topic - but is anyone in here a lefty and play righty? I feel like I have trouble slapping on account of my dominant hand is my fret-hand...
My personal perceptions differ with the OP as well.
Yesterday, there was a 'mini-summit' (purely coincidental) of top local bassists in a downtown music store, and over the usual shop talk the topic of young players who appear to want to do nothing but slap (or tap) no matter what the circumstance arose - no fingerstyle, no walking over changes, no single note groove, none of what more experienced players regard as the essential tools in the kit.
While all present could certainly squeeze out a flash 'slap cadenza' or two to wow the straphangers, the shared notion was that such activities are not what gets and keeps the gigs. YMMV.
That said, it's easy to sound like you're 'doing something' (regardless of the subjective skill level) which may explain the universal attraction to the style. If it acts as a bridge to further study and appreciation, then it serves a purpose.
Me. What helped me the most: Find a drumstick. Hold it halfway up so that it passes between your thumb and index, crosses your palm, and then passes through your ring and pinky. Now move the drumstick radially in the same motion you would use to turn a doorknob, were your hands in such a position. Do this for a few minutes daily, it will strengthen the relevant muscles and make you more accustomed to the necessary hand motions.
You will stop getting benefit from this pretty quickly (~2 weeks) but it was very helpful for me to get a healthy thump.
I don't really get this thread - to me slapping is just one of the techniques available to the bass player. If appropriate and done well it's effective, if out of place and/or poorly executed it's just bad. Saying slapping is passe or just for kids is like a tennis player saying "I don't hit backhands" - you can win a lot of points with the forehand but you're missing an important part of the skill set for the game (and probably losing a lot of points) without a backhand.
Having said that a lot of great players never slap - you don't have to do it, but if it's the right thing for the tune (or a part of a tune) then it's better to know how to do it. You can certainly play way funky without it, but it's another technique to have in the bag.
Death, taxes, slap bass & threads about it- all inevitable...
tasty slap such as alain caron can stay.
stupid grooveless slap such as i dunno maybe bill dickens
can go far far away.
I absolutely refuse to slap. I used argue with this drummer (a dear friend actually) because he wanted me to do it and I would not.
I don't ever recall being asked to do a slap line in the studio...not once ever. Personally, I feel it's just not necessary. Bass players seem to do it with the sole intention of impressing each other/showing off.
Exceptions: chorus of "Peg" (Chuck Rainey), most of what's on MJ's Off The Wall (Louis Johnson), and a handfull of Larry Graham lines.
just my opinion!!
Slap is fun. Having said that, I mostly pluck (with fingers).
There are no substitutes for taste and making the groove work. Put groove and taste first and you can play any technique you want. Any style can become dreadful if poorly executed or poorly placed.