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Stupid question about Slap/Pop.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Phry, May 5, 2010.

  1. Phry


    May 3, 2010
    So I'm still in the process of learning how to play better with fingers, but I had a question about Slapping and Popping. It's stupid, but does slapping somehow damage your bass? Since the strings are smashing against your fretboard? And as for popping, sometimes I'm paranoid that I'll just rip the string apart.

    Well, yeah. Got any insight for me?
  2. zulujack


    Jul 25, 2008
    No you'll be safe.
  3. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    I have never slapped much but I can tell you that if you let your amp and the electronics on your bass do their job you don't have to slap or pop very hard to get the desired effect. Turn up your amp and use a lighter touch. You may find that you feel less fatigue, can play longer and can develop more speed and accuracy with a lighter touch. Don't try to beat the volume out of you bass with your hands. Let the amp handle that.

    Regardless of your touch I don't thinks you should have much trouble out of you bass or strings as long as they are in good condition, decent quality and well taken care of. The strings don't really slap up against the fretboard as much as they do the frets. Metal strings being slammed into metal frets is part of gives slap it's unique sound.
  4. azfryguy


    Feb 2, 2010
    Queen Creek AZ
    nah not unless you slap on a bass thats like 200 bucks for like 40 years and slap 12 hours a day
  5. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area

    Whut he said. Unless its a fretless bass. Don't slap a fretless.
  6. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    Haha! I've tried to slap on my fretless. It didn't do any damage to the bass but it sure sounded like crap!
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Frets do get damaged and need to be replaced - they can wear down and fret dressing etc. is a common set-up that gets done by luthiers etc.

    Some famous "slappers" have got their basses reinforced to combat this! ;)
  8. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    What do you mean by reinforced? I'm not doubting what you said in your post as I know that frets can wear down. I mean, what is the process and what function does it serve?

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I was thinking about Mark King - who is a famous slapper and he worked since the late 80s with Status to produce custom basses that suited his style.

    So - the first thing is that they have woven graphite necks with a hardened phenolic fingerboard. But they also have a nut with hardened steel ball-bearings for greater durability and the fingerboard has a "slap-ramp" between the 24th fret and the end of the board for this purpose.

  10. tk421


    Mar 3, 2010
    middletown, oh
    i slap on my fretless all the time. with the right touch, it sounds just fine.
  11. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    I seem to remember a bassist by the name of Les Claypool...

    To the OP, no, unless the bass is poorly made, or you treat it like Jamerson treated his P. Over time, the frets will wear, but if you just take it to the luthier every once in a while, you should be fine.
  12. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    Sweet. Thanks man.
  13. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Status Graphite fretwire also seems to be remarkably resilient to fret wear. My replacement neck is only five months old, but I've heard guys with ten year old Status's that have yet to get any significant fretwork done.
  14. JamcoPasamerson


    Apr 16, 2010
    I have played bass professionally (as in that is how I make my living) for over 28 years now, doing any and every style of music imaginable (you have to be diverse if you want to survive in this business) For nearly 20 of those years I played a standard Fender precision with a standard maple neck and stock frets, no reinforcement, no bells and whistles what so ever. I did plenty of slapping and popping as well as taping, bending and more than my fair share of shredding (when I was younger of course). I basically kicked the living sh*t out of that bass, I worked it like a two dollar mule if you get my drift. I never had any issues with fret ware, neck damage or any of that. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with graphite stuff (if that is what you are into and feel comfortable playing) I am just saying that it is not necessary and if you are happy with what you are already playing than save your money, you will be fine.
  15. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have worn down some stock Fender frets in my time, but nothing that a fret-dress doesn't take care of.

    Slap away!
  16. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Slapping will not harm your bass, your ears however, are another story...
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    sheesh! talk about overkill!
  18. Muaguana


    Jul 28, 2009
    Under most circumstances you have a 25:1 chance of your fretboard not exploding from slapping. You can improve this ratio by rolling a 25-sided die for your THACO saving throw; if your bass is a fretless add a -4 penalty. If by rolling the die you get a number greater than 17 (not including any bonuses accumulated through special items like the Mothman +5 bass or LaBella +2 flatwound strings but including the aforementioned penalty plus any others) then the ratio is increased to 35:1. Additional saving throws can make the likelihood of fretboard detonation even less likely, but you have to earn these through compliments given by attractive women during your gig.

    So, in conclusion, you should be fine.
  19. CannyBusDriver


    Jan 21, 2010
    ive slapped on all my basses, and slap most my practice, i have never even broke a string and i pop/slap pretty hard. I use Circle K strings, half steel half nickel. Great for slap, bright for months and counting.
  20. JamcoPasamerson


    Apr 16, 2010
    Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science? ;-)

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