slapping with a feather touch

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    For you slappers, how hard do you slap?

    For those of you who do left-hand slapping, do you find it's more effective when it's done lightly or heaviliy? Which do you prefer and why?

    I've been experimenting with a very light slapping technique lately, and it's been coming out really well on tracks. Does anyone else do this? Who are the bass players you think of when you think of a slap style with a light touch?
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Just hard enough to make the note.

    I try to refrain from left hand slapping because I view it as a filler technique used to make grooving lines wanky. Very rarely if ever will do this technique in my lines, I would rather do the occasional muted slap or pop using the right hand.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Soft. More sound, control, power and speed.
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I agree with all of this except power. If I want power, I'll slam my shoe on my fretboard. :smug:

    But in that sense, it also means more dynamic slapping. A lot of guys who just slam the fretboard... you can't go anywhere from there. If you start really light you can work your way up to a more "powerful" sound. ;)
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Varies, but mostly softly. Seems to me you can control the bass better.
  6. but I slap with a very light touch and these are the kind of results I get: Jam Bass

    it gives you a lot more comtrol - and as ole Viccy Wooten says - the les distance your thumb has to travel from downstroke to up the more efficient your technique will be - economy of motion etc...

    Hope that helps
  7. Predominantly soft. In saying that, there are times when a heavy thumb/finger on the string sounds better. Slapping/popping hard does emphasise well. But its like anything - do too much of it and it loses its effect.

    Edit: When left hand slapping, I only ever hit just hard enough to make a decent sound. I often find, though, that I don't hit hard enough when doing so. So, I try to hit it a little harder than perfect so that when I fatigue, I'm still getting good sound.

  8. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Very Very light, but I also play with my fingers very very light. My thinking behind this is that the lighter I slap and play my rest strokes the easier it is to make things like tapping and harmonics the same volume, and the added dynamic control. As far as the left hand slaps go I used to do them very hard to try and get a good sound but I found that the key is actually in making all your fingers land at exactly the same time, they used to sort of flam for me and it really kills your sound/volume to do that.