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slapping without pickguard is harder???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BrandonBass, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    I sold my jazz pickguard cause I wanted to paste my bass w stickers, goin for the punk look. But I realise that without the pickguard, theres much more room for your index finger to pop.

    This often results in me over digging and caused me to overhit and miss my pop sometimes. I can slap fine on my yamaha(w/o pickguard) with smaller distance between strings and body...

    Anyone with tips for me to achieve greater popping consistency? Apart from the obvious 'just practise alot'
  2. You just have to adjust your technique.
  3. Jon_West


    Jan 8, 2009
    GTA, Ontario
    Changing to anything new takes time. I know you said no "just practice a lot"s but honestly, give it a few more practice sessions. :bassist:
  4. millerfreak


    Jun 29, 2008
    Hey man. Definitely know what you're talking about. I'd say try lowering your action.. That way it'll minimize the room from strings to the body.
  5. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    Get a transparent pickguard, best of both worlds ?
  6. How about if you just practice a little? People are very good at adapting to new situations.

  7. millerfreak


    Jun 29, 2008
    It's not so much about practice.. It's like Marcus Miller saying how much he loves pickup cover that he can't slap without those (not entirely true, but it's just showing how much he depends on it)
  8. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    Go slow in order to go fast. :)
  9. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Another vote for the clear PG.
  10. It is well known that for some slap techniques, the distance between the strings and body is important. I too very much dislike the space that results in most J type instruments when the pickguard is removed.

    You can work around it... but why... put it back on:D


    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm still wrapping my head around slapping and punk together...
  12. Yep, I'm playing my J these days, but when I pull out my G&L L-2000 which has much more room under the strings, I struggle with slap. Even playing with my fingers feels funny. The G&L used to be my primary instrument and it was fine -- I think you can adjust to anything eventually.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I wonder why they call it a pickguard anyway? since when did they ever guard a pick? It should be called a paintguard and you would probably be wise to get a stickerguard for your bass.
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I also dislike a big gap between the strings and body because of that exact reason. Although practicing to get used to a particular instrument solves the problem, "overdigging" when popping never ceases to be annoying and uncomfortable to me (that's why I created this thread so long ago). When Stuart Hamm stopped playing Kubicki basses and the Fender Urge I was released in the early 90s, he said in an interview that one of the many reasons why he was enjoying his new bass so much was the pickguard, which reduced the gap between the strings and the body and made popping more comfortable. Since Kubickis don't have a pickguard, that's why he did this with some of his old basses:


    (Fortunately, I have that picture hosted on my Photobucket account. I can't find it anymore, nor the aforementioned interview)
  15. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    Hey thanks guys, i wasnt expecting so many response!

    Transparent pickguard = lol

    Lowering my action = My strings are as low as possible without buzz

    Marcus miller cant slap w/o pickguard = glad to noe im not the only one!

    Slap doesnt go w punk = heard of this guy called flea? not sayin I can play him...but yeah

    So I spent the whole afternoon trying to work out a way to make me slap as well on my jazz as i do with my yamaha. And believe or not, I think ive got it!!!

    I figured why Im much more precise with my yamaha is the fact that I dont get any room to overdig, so only the tip of my index hooks the string when I pop. I tend to 'anchor' my pinky on the body, and when the body is at a different distance with another bass I have trouble.

    My solution to this of instead of anchoring my pinky on the body I anchor my underside of my forearm on the top of the jazz body. The 'down slope' on a jazz body, if ya get wad i mean. 1 thing good with this stance is the fact that your index finger will always bounce back to its previous location, and in the case where you overdig by chance, u can use the body for leverage which makes it easier to pull out and overdug pop.

    I hope this piece of information can help my fellow low end brothers! lemme me know if it worked for u :)
  16. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Why is that funny? The JEM FP model (Floral Print) and Swirl models use a clear PG, so as not to cover up the beautiful/gaudy (your choice) paint work. Very valid idea that's not without precedent.

    Here's one.


    Dec 29, 2009
    I didn't say slap doesn't go with it, it's just unusual. And RHCP isn't punk anyway.
  18. Very true on the pickguard issue. Otherwise repetition repetition...
  19. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Personally, I slap better on basses without pickguards. Pickguards can sometimes get in the way.
  20. Norm Stockton has a thin piece of wood installed on his basses that he calls a slap ramp, which reduces the distance between the strings and the body. Maybe you could do something like this? Maybe out of plexi glass so it isn't so obvious?

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