Slapping technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bassistutje, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Ok, maybe this is asked for about billions of times, but whatever :smug:

    I got my bass lessons for half a year, but I never learned the slap technique.

    So, what I wanna ask is: can someone tell me how I have to slap? I used to have my bass lessons this afternoon, but my teacher is ill, so I can't ask him.
  2. Tony G

    Tony G Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    There are two basic approaches to the slap technique: playing with your thumb parallel to the strings, which usually requires to wear the bass high ala Mark King or Stuart Hamm, and playing with your thumb perpendicular to the strings, which works best wearing the bass low ala flea or the guy in the video (who also can give you good advice on stretching strings :D ). I play with the parallel technique, which from the beginning felt way more comfortable to me. You should try both approaches (ask your teacher) to see which one works the best for you. The first instructional video from Stu Hamm, "Slap, Pop And Tap For The Bass", is great if you're interested in getting a solid foundation on the "parallel" style.

    Hope this helps.
  4. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    I love that guy.

    "Have you ever wanted to pump out a bass line like you hear in many songs? If so, the bass guitar may be the right instrument for you! The bass guitar is one of the easiest musical instruments to learn to play. Unlike the guitar the basic bass guitar has only four strings"

  5. "Slap it like you're mad"

    That made my day, I've never seen that before.

    As for slapping, you can find tons of serious instructional stuff online, or right here. I was in your same boat about 2 years ago and I just learned on my own by playing slapping songs, reading articles online, watching videos of people slapping, and most of all: practicing. I'm sure you can get all the advice you need right here, and then you have to patiently practice until you can't any more.

    If you keep practicing you'll be amazed at what you can do one year later compared to the beginning.
  6. Tony G

    Tony G Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Hahaha, I'm glad you guys got the sarcasm of me posting that video. However, for a beginer, it is a place to start.
  7. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    LoL i remember the video! Believe it or not, I learned my slap technique off that vid

    when ur slapping u need to make sure ur wrist is not too tensed, use the power of ur wrist to fluck ur thumb and let it BOUNCE off the string. keyword: bounce
  8. morf

    morf Inactive

    Feb 17, 2006
    buy Slap It! best investment I ever made :)
  9. Thanx! I'll practise it tomorrow, because now it is 9.30 PM here...
  10. thefruitfarmer


    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    Slap It! is the book, especially now it has the CD with it.

    I started re-learning slapping 6 months ago and had a problem with joint pain in my index finger. I asked the question here and it seems that I was pulling too hard and with my index finger at an angle to the strings...

    I rested my right hand for a few weeks and last week started slapping again. I fell into the poor technique again straight away and after 20 minutes I had a blister at a 45 degree angle across the index finger..

    Then I started to play using the tip of the index finger only, keeping the finger at 90 degrees to the strings to avoid the blister. This meant I had to open up my right hand a little to keep the index finger at this angle.

    I am now finding slapping a lot easier. What has worked for me is using as soft a touch as possible, using the tip of the index finger only and remembering that the slap and pop come from the twist in the arm rather than the wrist. I am conscious of keeping my index and second finger in the position where the pulling does n't force the 1st joint sideways.

    If you start to get too much pain, then you are probably doing something wrong!
  11. friedpenguin


    Mar 6, 2005
    I need a little help here too.
    When I slap the A, D, or G string I either get no sound at all out of it, or my thumb hits the string above, being not parallel with the string. Any tips on that one?
  12. morf

    morf Inactive

    Feb 17, 2006
    Try to slap the string on the last fret of the fretboard, it may help better your tone until you have enough technique to sound goos slapping anywhere.
  13. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    OK...OT, but can someone explain to me why you kiddies (like the one in the video) wear winter hats with t shirts. Even in the summer. I don't get it.

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