Slapping, left-hand slapping etc.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lovebown, Jan 6, 2001.

  1. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Hello fellow bassists,
    this is my first time posting on this forum and I would very much appreciate a little help.
    I have a few questions...

    How do you achieve the "percussive" left-hand slap sound?
    Could someone please explain in detail how this technique is done...(where do u slap/how do u hold your thumb etc.)

    Also, how do u get the classic "slap" tone?
    I play on a Ibanez ATK-300 and a Peavey Microbass 50W.
    My eq are set to medium everything and the tone control on the bass is turned on max...
    I've been slapping quite much and i think i attack and bounce of pretty good ... is it just a matter of techniqque?
    Is it even possible to get a clear classic flea "slap sound" on this equipment?

    Any help would be much appreciated


  2. W.J.


    Oct 31, 2000
    try the search globe at the top !!!

    and for the tone ; cut those mid-tones!!!
    I don't know the amp of yours but your bass is the same as mine :) and there is a selection knob for the tone => push it to the right ; you'll get a high punch , good for slapping but turn your low up also.

    i don't know if it's the same with your bass but my action is rather high . otherwise I get some buzz . / not plesant /

    and maybe you can set your profile in order to help you more..
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...check out the thread titled "What's A Double Thumb Slap"(it's in this forum, just scroll down). In my 1-3-2001 post, I attempted an explanation of the LEFT(ie fretting)HAND slap & an exercise.

    About the "classic" slap tone-
    ...I guess everyone has their notion of what/who is "classic". Some guys like to cut the mids for a slap tone, others don't. Since you have mentioned Flea, whadda you consider his "classic" slap tone? Something like "Aeroplane"(which is MID-heavy & kinda "classic", IMO)?
    In fact, I would consider a lotta Flea's stuff(particularly the earlier recordings)to be laden with midrange; midrange is a Funk staple, midrange is what allows the bass to be defined, punchy, & be able to cut through the band. Just my .02.
  4. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Hey JimK,
    I'm not sure I understand the left-hand slap (I read your other post).
    Basically, as I see it, ur holding your left hand fingers together and slamming the strings
    like when i thumb the bass i slap it and bounce back, but i gather you are not suppose to bounce back when us ing the left hand technique or what? ... when i do this it either sounds lame like notes rining out and just really messy sound , or it sounds like a hammer-on on a open string.,...doh.. are there any pics of how this is done?

    sorry for not understanding :/

  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I just noticed in the Carvin catalog that Bunny Brunel has a video called "Getting the Right Bass Sound." In it he discusses everything from the right strings for slapping and plucking techniques, choosing the right bass amp, etc. He also discusses how to "attack" the strings for different sounds. That video might be of help to you. It is on sale now for $9.99 and runs 72 minutes on VHS. That's a pretty darned good price for a video and the description sounds like what you are looking for.

    Jason Oldsted
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Try this...
    Lay your index finger(fretting hand)across the 3rd fret, applying JUST ENOUGH pressure to mute the strings(too much pressure=sound/fret buzz; too little pressure=harmonics ringin' out). YOU will have to decide/figure out, through trial & error, how much presure is enough. ;)
    Now, use the remaining 3 fingers & slap the strings(don't bounce off)...the pads of each finger seems to hit mainly on the "E" string(on a 4-string bass); BTW, the fingers are somewhat FLAT & not so curved as when playing "normally".

    Hit & check out some of his lessons; I think he has a couple that deal with the "Left-Hand Slap".
  7. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Ok thanks ... ill try that