slapping style

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by finno_gilbo, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. tip

    14 vote(s)
  2. next to my nail

    63 vote(s)
  3. on the joint

    384 vote(s)
  4. the fleshy part on the thumb print area

    26 vote(s)
  5. other

    14 vote(s)
  6. i dont slap

    39 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. finno_gilbo


    Jul 31, 2002
    australia NSW

    ive been pondering over my slap technique and ive asked a few of my friends about their style and everyone seems to be
    different. im not sure if this is one of those "develop your own style" things so i asked anyway.

    now ive got a diagram of how i slap, and how i think i should slap.
    the way i slap is i have my thumb pointing downwards and i kind of "peck" at the strings with the side of my thumb just next to the nail (see diagram)
    i tried slapping the other way with the side of the joint in the middle of my thumb (see diagram) but it seems i have to line my thumb up with the strings and be extememly accurate, one advantage of this is i can slap a damn lot faster

    im open to your opinions.

  2. finno_gilbo


    Jul 31, 2002
    australia NSW
    my diagram didnt turn up on the other post :confused:

    forget the diagram i cant add it:mad:
  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I find that the joint provides the most even, punchy sound, though more attack can be had with the side of the nail. I do both in the position you mention second. I'm not sure how you manage in the first with your thumb pointing down, but do whatever works for you.
  4. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    I've pondered the same.. I slap with my thumb kind of parallel(pointing slightly downward) to the string, connecting on the joint... I've been slapping this way since I started doing it...this is bad mechanics I'm thinking. I'm running into problems now.
    1.It creates excess noise due to the fleshy side part of my hand rubbing/resting over the I can't get that clean sweet sound I've been searching for since day 1.

    2. When I try to double thumb.. it can't be done. I have to reposition my thumb so it's pointing up toward my head( like stu hamm, mark king etc ) so that I can do up and down strokes.

    it really sucks when you have to take something you do quite well and scrap it and go back to the beginning to revamp it.
    This may not be the case for you.. but if you look at your technique and find the same things that I've mentioned.. I would suggest fixing it now before you waste a whole lot of time practising something that might bite you in the a$$ later. :eek:
  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I used to slap with the part of skin next to my thumb (red bit), until my mate laughed at me for bad technique, then he showed me how to do it properly, and now i use the joint area, the bulgey bit, in normal words, the blue area ;) :D

  6. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I have always used the joint of my thumb.
  7. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    if you're slapping with your thumb pointing downwards, your index finger is going to be nowhere near the location it needs to be to quickly pop on the higher strings. if you slap with your hand and wrist more horizontal, your index and middle fingers will be right where they need to be to pop, so you can bring your thumb down and get under a string to pop all in the same motion.

    at least that's how it is for me... by the way, i started the way you do it. and i voted "on the joint" or whatever.

  8. finno_gilbo


    Jul 31, 2002
    australia NSW
    yeah im now trying to slap with the 'joint' of my thumb but its quite difficult. i sure if i keep it up it'll get easier
    im definately going to try and keep my wrist and hand horizontal.
    I noticed my music teacher does this and has his thumb pointing directly up. he also seems to have his elbowout in front of his bass....hmmmmm


  9. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    yeah, in order to feel comfortable slapping with my joint, i had to start wearing my bass much higher. it's much easier on my fretting hand now too. i also hold my bass almost horizontally when i'm slapping.

  10. Skavenger


    May 26, 2002
    Tried slapping with your index finger? My bass teacher does that, VERY fast!
  11. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    oOoOoOoo do tell!
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I saw a guy that used a 4 fnger slap tech. before
    it was wierd, could hit notes blazingly fast though
  13. QTraXQ

    QTraXQ Guest

    Aug 16, 2002
    San Antonio, TX
    Im sure everyone has seen Victor Wooten play. If not, then check out the Bass Day Vhs that Feature Victor Wooten's Set.

    He can Stroke both Up and Down with his Thumb instead of the Tradition Slap Technique. And at some points he does use Three Fingers(maybe even 4) to POP the strings.
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I use the joint area if I'm doing straight slapping and the fleshy part next to the nail if I'm doing the double thump. Got it from Wooten of course. He slaps mostly with the fleshy part next to the nail but I'm sure he varies it sometimes when he wants different sounds. If you want to see that demonstrated closely then get or borrow the Victor Wooten Super Bass Solo Technique video.

    brad cook
  15. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I knew a guy that did that, but he had his action so low that he would get fretbuzz if he did anything, but slap.
  16. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'd say that I use the upper half of the "blue circle" in Kirbywrx's picture/diagram.

    I've seen most players use the full "blue circle" area.
  17. hayngman


    Aug 20, 2002
    Wise County, TX
    I use the joint area. I wear a thumb ring, so sometimes I cheat and slide it over the joint and use it (nice punchy sound).
    I point my thumb down, along with the rest of my fingers, so I can pop. Flea and Fieldy (not the best example, I know) usually do this.
    I used to slap with my thum parallel to the strings, but, like you said, that requires too much accuracy.

    EDIT: BTW, if you point your thumb down, hold your thumb parallel to the rest of your hand, not pointing out. (If I had a diagram, I'd post it)
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Me too.
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The side of my thumb forms a very obtuse V-shape, and I thump with the top side of it, which is pretty much a flat plane from halfway up the joint to the tip of the thumbnail. I also use the thumbnail itself when I pop with my thumb.
  20. I learned to slap from Fieldy

    But I'm good now:D