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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Dec 22, 2000.

  1. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    i can slap the E pretty good but when i try to do the others i hit all of them? can anyone help please?
  2. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    I had the same problem when I first started.. Just check your thumb angle and practice a lot.. Eventually, believe it or not, you won't be hitting other strings.. Just takes time =]
  3. i agree with infect practice makes perfect, try hitting the strings in quater note fasion slowly while you watch what you doing, helped me a lot
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    On a 4 string, my slapping became decent only after much practice. Now that I've gone mainly to a 5, I'm starting all over. that B just won't get out of the way. The classic, percussive, tones you use for slapping make your mistakes stand out, butt-nekkid. It's frustrating but practice is the only "trick" I've found. Eyeball that string you want to hit like a sharpshooter focuses on the target and get that hand-eye coordination thing going.
  5. Something else you may want to consider is how much motion you are using when you slap the string. I read an interview, some years back, with the bass player for Faith No More and one of the things he said really helped me out. He said he tries to keep his right hand as close to the strings as possible in order to eliminate any unwanted motion. That way he was able to strike the strings with more accuracy. I was just starting to work on slapping at that time and it helped me a lot. Now that I'm a little more comfortable with it, I use more motion. But it really helped me get the fundamentals in place.

    The bass your playing may also be a factor. Rickbass1 mentioned that he's starting over now that he's playing a 5 string. I noticed that he's playing a Carvin LB75. I also owned an LB75 at one point and found it tough to slap with because of it's narrower string spacing. I now use a Lakland 55-94 which has a wider string spacing and I find it's a lot easier to slap with.
  6. Try going "thru" the string stopping on the following string. Rather than trying to bounce off. Kinda like a guitar pick. Keeping your thumb parallel to the string. This technique is cool for 2 reasons. First I believe that it has a thicker sound. And second, after some practice, your thumb will be in position for an up-pluck on the same string (Vic Wooten, etc). Start off by using open strings E-A-D-G G-D-A-E (preferrably with a metronome). Practice muting techniques with your left hand as needed. Then try moving on to scales. Practice makes perfect.

    [Edited by Zonplayer on 12-22-2000 at 04:31 PM]
  7. yeah all good advice. i found hooking my pinky finger under the G string (yeah, yeah) while slapping helped me keep my hand in eth right place - of course you'll have to let go when you want to pop the string.

    Ignore me, my slap technique truly sucks.
  8. Yeah, I've got the same problem...


    I'm trying to improve my slapping myselfe (I'm not very good at it...yet)and I just wanted to say that I found alot of the pieces of advice in this thread to be very helpfull.

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that wearing the bass high helps slapping accuracy. Zonplayer mentions about playing with your thumb parallel to the strings and this the key, but to do this you really need to have the bass just under you chin - well maybe a bit lower! ;)

    Otherwise your thumb is going to be pointing down across the strings and more likely to hit others. I think if you go from 4 to 5 then you need to wear your bass higher on the strap as well to compensate and get your thumb parallel to the E string, but would also agree that wide spacing and wide necks make it easier to avoid hitting the wrong strings.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I play with my bass high (but definitely not Keith Horne-high) and play with little right hand motion. You can play very loud with very little motion...the secret? The Volume control on your amp:D
  11. bassguy187


    Jun 27, 2000
    Nazo, PA
    i play with my bass very low, (a couple inches down from my wang) :0)
    but i can still slap well,
    my techinique is to aim well, which took much practice,
    and also to garuntee no interference from the e string is i mute it with my middle finger and keep my pointer on the note i'm slapping while keeping my wring finger on the string i pluck,
    very good techinique, takes practice to learn,
    -give it a try
    and have a nice day
  12. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    I've always been amazed how les claypool can slap his 6 string with such accuracy (and without even looking at his fingers a lot of the time).. The string spacing looks like a guitar almost, and yet, I've never seen him on any live videos hit a wrong string or anything.. heh.. He's always right on target and bends his thumb quite a bit in the process.. But I guess he's just one of those freaky bass prodigys, not too many people like him ;)
  13. Hey infect, how low does he wear his bass? From the photos I've seen, its around his pelvis.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I have no doubt that Les Claypool has great musical talent and is a great guy. But I do remember that there was a lot of fuss in Bass Player and other magazines about him being included in lists for "best bass player" and that the reason mentioned at the time was "sloppy playing". Maybe if he wore his bass a bit higher he could be more precise? :D