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Slapping sound - that POP sound

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by fingerguy, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    Hi Everyone,

    This weekend following YouTube videos and a lot of trial and error finally going to invest time to find my sound. I will be using a Fender Rumbler 100 and my two main Bass's:
    Fender P Elite and Fender J American Standard

    The sound I like the most is that POP sound; not POP as in POP music but that pop sound you hear commonly on slap. I am not even sure if it's possible w/out slapping but going to try to find it or close to it.

    Also willing to get a pedal or pedals if that helps but need guidance on that.

    Any tips or even tell me it's not possible w/out slapping is welcome. Going to focus on sound regardless but don't want to waste time on looking for something that is only achieved when slapping. I will eventually work on slapping but not yet.
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Low action, low tension strings, dig in playing so you snap the strings when plucking. It's very possible with the right setup. I've had bad setups where it was hard NOT to achieve this. Some of Stanley Clarke's most iconic solos are done this way.
  3. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    Still have the strings that came with the bass's. Suggestion on strings? Brand, gauge, etc.
  4. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I've never gotten that detailed as I've been able to achieve this a number of times over the years from any number of string types, boomers light gauge will probably work just fine. They key is really to have the action set so that when you play normally you get a good normal sound but when you dig in just a little more you start to snap the strings, exact same effect as popping during slap but your finger is travelling down toward the fingerboard instead of pulling it up off the board, if that makes sense. It's a technique/setup combination more than anything.
    red_rhino and fingerguy like this.
  5. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    Between your suggestion and learning Flea uses them it was a no brainer. Ordered two sets for my bass's.

  6. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Scott Devine talks about what you may be talking about in this vid:

    BrBss, aldaa, Ikkir and 1 other person like this.
  7. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016


    ahc likes this.
  8. That sound is all about technique, and tone controls.

    There are two techniques at play in slap style: the “thunk” of the thumb ricocheting off a low string on beat one, and the snap on the offbeat, of the finger(s) getting beneath the string, pulling it away from the fingerboard, and releasing it to “pop” against the fingerboard.

    There is also a control aspect to getting this perfect sound. It involves the right blend between pickups, and the right EQ (on bass, if active, or on amp) balance of highs, mids, and lows.
    basscapes likes this.
  9. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Beware of "perfect" knob setting searches this early in your journey in instrument control skill acquisition.

    ...in other words- don't sweat getting the eq right until you get close to mastering the strings and frets. Might be a few months, might be a few years away.
    St_G and Quinn Roberts like this.
  10. Any that are newer than that! :eek: If you want to slap you need lively strings, so get used to changing them if it's something you want to fully pursue.

    Also, if you can find the accompanying book to this, it's chock full of info!
    LSMFT6 likes this.
  11. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    On my jazz

    Low action
    Marcus miller dunlops
    And bass boost
    treble flat
    Mid boost and I slap HARD
  12. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365 Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California aka Paradise
    "Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny."
    Wow..thanks for sharing this iconic Stanley Clarke/George Duke rendition of School Days. In his solo, where he is digging in, it definitley sounds similar to slap style, keep in mind he was playing a 32" scale bass. Hence the stings are very pliable and bendable compared to a 34" or 35" bass.
    MattZilla likes this.
  13. Phe


    May 30, 2005
    Oulu, Finland
    And stay away from the "smiley face" EQ, ie. mid scoop. People will recommend it for slap, and it sounds good by your own, but it will bury you in the mix.
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  14. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Also, try to have impossibly long fingers like Stanley. Can’t hurt. :)
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    He also has same heavy effects going on. Not sure what though. Auto Wah? Reverb?
  16. MassacreBass


    Apr 26, 2017
    Victor Wooten has such an amazing slap technique and sound. Check out his instructional video. It's very dated (1992) but the content is great. The man is a bass God!


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