Slapping tips needed

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by hensonbass, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I like to slap the plank sometimes but I have a hard time making the bass sound as full and meaty. When I play with my fingers I tend to pull pretty hard - probably 'cause I'm an upright player first. It even seems like my overall volume goes down when I go to a slap position.

    I guess I have to learn how to play with a lighter touch or is there a way to use some type of pedal to even out my volume and tone differences.

    I've heard most people get louder with slapping than finger-style. I seem to be the opposite. I don't think it's my gear. I've got a Lakland bass going to an Acoustic Image head to either a Euphonic Audio 112 or an Epifani 110.

    I normally just plug straight into my amp but I decided to order a Boss ME50B multi-effect unit to see what it could do with compression and some other effects to have some options.

    Any advice? :help:
  2. Some basses seem to respond more to slapping than others. Compression might help some to even the volume out, but maybe you should set up effects differently (mainly meaning louder) for slapping.
  3. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I second the compression suggestion!
  4. funkslapped


    Apr 25, 2003
    I go from active to passive and turn to the neck pup to slap, but I also crank the volume up 1/4 of the way on a GK 1001RB to compensate for the drop in sound. That's quite a jump IMHO. I find a slight drop in signal when slapping in passive. Do you have an active Lakland bass? And compression seems like a perfectly viable solution. Gonna have to try that myself. Thanks a billion medic8ed!
  5. Ok - I know I posted this in recordings - but it'll give you a good idea of how to vary the volume, this is a clip of me playing both slap and finger style. I start with both pup's on - equal amounts of both, I find on the Warwick that this is the bass's loudest setting. Then when I have the groove looped I switch to finger style, where I have to switch to the bridge pickup and turn the bass up! Then when I switch back it's the reverse - using both pup's again for the slap sound. Wic

    On a technical note, try slapping with the full side of your thumb, sometimes you might not be getting enough of the fleshy part on to the string - and try playing without any tension in your hand - this way not only will you be striking the string more efficiently but you'll also create a more relaxed feel to the bass line.
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Id try playing with a lighter touch first and see how that goes. You'll find that a little finese goes a long way. Also when you pop the string, just nick it.