slapping styles

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by prof_nutbutter, May 9, 2004.

  1. prof_nutbutter


    Jan 6, 2004
    im a bassist for bout 2 years now, and i basically just know 1 style of slapping, thumb tapping and the other fingers pop the high strings. can't u also slap with ur other fingers, not just with thumb, so that u slap faster???
    coz some basslines of flea or fieldy seem to be impossible to play with my slapping skills...

  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    To expand your slapping skills and versatility, I'd suggest investigating "left hand slapping". This is probably the single most important technique for a slap player. Once you've got that locked in, you can work miracles with your right hand using just the basic thumping and popping stuff.

    When I first started doing that, I couldn't get the hang of it "on my own", and needed a few lessons from a good teacher to understand what it's all about. Then it took another six months of daily practice to be able to do it passably well. It's not quite as simple as the right hand technique by itself.

    IMO you actually have an advantage if you're not a very accomplished fingerstyle player, that way you don't have to unlearn all that. Really it boils down to a mental exercise of placing your consciousness in your left hand instead of your right. But you won't get there until you've mastered the technique (at least that's been my experience).

    Left hand slapping is a wonderful thing. It can make you sound like you're hands are moving eight times as fast as they really are. There are other slapping techniques that are worth investigating, but the left hand slap is fundamental. Learn that first, it'll be well worth the effort.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Yes, you can use the tips of the fingers for slapping, but the result is a sound more akin to a mix between heavy fingerstyle and slap. Basically, not the sound that you are going for presently.

    I can't remember any Korn being extremely fast, but it has been years since I regularly listened to them. Never got into the Chilis, so I also can't advise you there.

    To gain speed you should practice playing scales, melodies, etc as fast as possible, while keeping a clean sound with little to no fret buzz. I know several "slappers" who can slap fast, yet they sound horrible when they do.
  4. I find hammer ons to be the easiest way to increase speed in a slap riff. Either Hammering a note first and then slapping soon after or slapping a note and hammering on quickly enough that you retail a slapped growl works well, especially if the initial slap is on an open string. Another alternative would be to alternate slaps and pops on the same string.