Slapping question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by indridcoldxx, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. indridcoldxx


    Mar 3, 2014
    hi everyone, I am a new bassist and I've been falling in love with slapping, it is so much fun. However my current bass is a Yamaha RBX170, I find slapping on it a bit hard because the strings are so close to each other (like slapping from e to a, I always end up slapping the E by accident because my thumb is big)
    Is this a normal thing I need to get use to? Or is it the bass itself?

    I was planning on getting a Ray 34 to get better, dont know if the strings are father apart.

  2. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Keep practicing, I used to own one of those basses and it was very playable. I can slap and double thumb on a guitar when I want to, it's all about small and precise movements.
  3. indridcoldxx


    Mar 3, 2014
    thank you, is there a method I can employ to stop accidentally hitting the e string?
  4. DerTeufel


    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    Try striking closer to the string that you want to hit. I had the same problem that you did at first, but kept working on my accuracy. What Duckwater suggested works very well..small and precise movements. If you are flailing your hand about, it can be hard to make sure that you hit the intended string.
  5. indridcoldxx


    Mar 3, 2014
    Thank you for the advice, ill try being a bit more precise now.

    As for the Ray 34, im just about to buy it, do you think playing on a bass of this caliber will help me get better?
  6. DerTeufel


    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    I had a Ray35 for a while..but I didn't learn how to slap on it. I learned on a Schecter 4 string and worked on my technique. What I am trying to say is that it really doesn't matter what bass it is. I have a cheap Squier P-bass that I can slap just as well as my Yamaha BB425X. Get your technique squared away and you can play slap on just about any bass.
  7. indridcoldxx


    Mar 3, 2014
    Oh okay then, no issues. I just bought it and im excited to play on it!
  8. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    Learn to slap on a cheap bass, if possible. Get your technique together before you go thumping on some fifteen hundred dollar bass.

    Doesn't the RBX have pretty standard string spacing?
  9. Technicality


    Feb 10, 2011
    While you can learn and play on any bass (and make it sound great), early on you will most likely be trying to copy techniques you hear on records. The string spacing doesn't really matter but if all you are playing on is a cheap bass with mile high action and muddy sounding pickups through a cheap amp, you are never going to really know if the reason you don't sound like the record is because your technique is off or its just the bass.

    That was my experience anyway. I learned an incredible amount the first time I picked up a nicely set up active bass and played the riff from aeroplane.
  10. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    Interesting question, your bass should be fine to slap, especially because is a 4 strings bass right?
    Almost the 99% of the bass are 19 mm spacing, so very comfortable to slap. The troubles start to come when you use a 5 string with 17mm or 18mm of strings spacing.
    Anyway, if the strings action is set good (at least medium low) you should be more than fine.
    About the accuracy when you thumb all the strings, this is one of the most common problem to all the players that don't improve their technique.
    The very first exercise I teach to all my students at beginning of a slap course, is called thumb calibration and it has the goal to clean and make your thumb hit clean and accurate.
    Basically what you have to do is thumb in quarter, eighteen and sixteenth note all the 4 strings, starting from the E to the G and viceversa.
    First the quarter, than the eighteen and than the sixteenth. Start at 60 of metronome than skip to 80 than to 100 (useful to start practicing with the time keeping).
    When you get a clean result than move to the variation B, apply the string skipping on the previous variation.
    So it will be: E than D than A than G with the same rhythm variation, quarter, eighteen, sixteenth and the same tempo exercise.
    When you'll get a nice result, you should be able to thumb the bass on each string without hit other strings and with your eyes closed.
    Last but not least, be careful to the dynamics, each strings need to be at least close to be similar in volume and sound.
    Hope that's help, if you need more just let me know or pm me.
    Have a good practice.
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  11. indridcoldxx


    Mar 3, 2014
    Oh is there a chance me practicing on the bass will break it or damage it?

    thanks! Im looking for some good bass slapping excersises so ill try that!
  12. DerTeufel


    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    Breaking a string, perhaps..other than that, no.
  13. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    It's all about "Economy of Motion". That's what I'm working on with my slapping right now. Little movements to make big noises.

    This guy seems to be decent at it-
    Watch the solo...

    I'm NOT suggesting you try to play like Alain Caron, although that would be a worthy goal, but just observe his hand motion, or lack thereof, and see what can be done with very little hand movement.