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Slapping with Steel Strings

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Smith373, Sep 28, 2000.

  1. I have an Englehardt Swingmaster and ES1 model, both with the steel strings from the dealer. (The ES1's strings are the same ones from 1982 when I bought it!!!) Yes, I want to get new ones but don't know which ones are best. For bluegrass or rock-a-billy slapping what is the best way get the slapping sound? I have to beat the #%*@ of them and the poor neck just to get close. My strings are closer than the store setup. (I'll be posting a thread there too.)I know about the general technique, its just the steel strings. Bass Player has a good article on it so I'm renewing my zeal until I get this licked, err ah well, slapped. BP says gut is best, but IMHO you don't get the drive from a gut that you can from steel. He'p me!
  2. Gut strings are easier to slap as a rule. Some bluegrassers will tune the "E" string to a lower note just for a better slap sound. Leaning the bass foward and holding it between your knees will also help. If you are amplified find a pickup that is made for slapping. Look on Bob Gollihurs web site for these pickups. http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/basslink.html
  3. Thanks! I'll take a look. I just discovered Bob's site through TB so I'm havin' fun there, especially with the links and slobering over the hand-carved DBs.
  4. Check out Lee Rocker's excellent video, "Rockabilly Slap Bass". He uses steels, and offers much insight into technique and amplifying.
  5. Texbob


    May 16, 2000
    Tulsa, OK., USA
    Check out my friends Mark Rubin and Kevin Smith's DB video "Slap Bass The Ungentle Art".
    There are some great tips on slap bass.
    I am using a set of steel D'Adario Helicore Solos.
    If you tune the strings E-A-D-G you will get a great sound with less tension on your strings.
    Also try a tension block at the bottom of your tail piece.
    Good luck, it worked for me.