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Tapping Help

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by como_kenyatta, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    Hey guys, I need a little help. I've been playing bass for a few years and have really become interested in the tapping techniques used my Victor Wooten, Michael Manring, ect... I know HOW to tap, and have come up with some cool lines, but have come to a sort of wall. My lines sound the same, and I need to expand my view of the technique. My problems may have their roots in my lack of interesting chord choices...I dunno, take a listen.

    Thank you over and over.
  2. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    here's one.
  3. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    damn, how do I attach the file? AAARRGGG!!!
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    To attach a file first it has to be an accepted format:

    Valid file extensions: gif jpg png txt zip bmp jpeg mp3

    Then it has to be: Maximum size: 324000 bytes

    that's 324 kilobytes.

    then you can attach it.

    as far as tips.

    do a search in this forum, it has been covered before, then if you still have a question, feel free to edit your post and make your question more specific.

    Of the top of my head though, don't worry about speed, worry about getting EVERY note perfectly clear and with NO fret buzz, keep all your notes as even as you possibly can, between both hands. work on being able to control the dynamics of your two hands, and of your fingers, don't just hammer every note really hard, be aware of dynamics, subtle things like that really make or break tapping for me.

    again don't worry about speed or flashy stuff, just start slow, spend your efforts to get each note clear and even.

    I do a similar thing with tapping that I do with singing and playing. when I sing and play, I make sure that the bass part is solid, and I just layer the vocals ontop, I make it a goal to be able to sing whatever or say wahtever while the bassline remains solid.

    similar with tapping, keep the low bass notes solid, and just layer the melody on top, make it a goal to be able to play whatever you want with that bassline going.

    that's just off the top of my head, do a search for more tips.

    I've been preaching this here recently, and I will not stop because it's a very important and useful practice technique, that is often overlooked


    there is a web page that calculates permutations. take those numbers 1-2-3-4 assign a value to each one of those numbers

    it could be 1=right hand index 2= right hand ring(or middle)
    3=left hand index 4 =left hand ring(or middle)

    if you use more thna 4 fingers then set that webpage to be N=X

    the point is, assign those values to your fingers, assign them to frets, do whatever, then cycle through them all.

    start slowly, build up your speed, focus on clarity and evenness, and I promise your tapping will improve.
  5. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    yah, I can't get the files small enough...oh well(stupid Samplitude). Thanx for the advice...I think building my hand strength a little more might make things that much easier.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    your hand strength will come as a result from practicing as I mentioned.

    If you have multiple basses, practice tapping on the one with the highest action.
  7. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    I think my main concern lay with my tendency to keep the tapping around the standard I-III-V-oct. range, just over two octaves...actually, most of it ended up sounding like Les Claypool, which is wierdly cool, but not the sound I'm going for. I've heard of permutations, but never tried them...I will now, they sound cool! I watched Wooten's video and he tends to accent the 9th and the 10th more. His tapping solos end up sounding really jazzy...but I'm sure he uses more than just root-III-V-9-10 patterns. Positive in fact....:eek:
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    do try permutations, they are very overlooked, but are arguably one of the most useful practice concepts.

    up there with transcribing and sight singing.

    and if that does not work come back and I'll suggest some other things you can try...or just do a search ;) :)
  9. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    I actually just saw Victor live...he was beyond belief. I could hears HIS use of permutations...he would play an 8 note pattern, double tumbing and double plucking, accenting the III every time...it was nuts. Same with his tapping. He talks about it in the video I have, but very briefly. Maybe it's one of his secret weapons he doesn't want too many people to catch on to ;)
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    My first introduction to permutations was years and years ago, shortly after I started, however, I largely neglected them.

    I went to Victor's Bass/nature camp this fall, and anthony wellington did a lesson on them, and it re-ignited my interest, and now I see how incredibly useful they are.

    Victor puts on a great live show eh? :)
  11. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    Great? I honestly couldn't believe that guys chops. It was a spectacular display of musicianship, on his part and his brothers'. Regi is a MAD guitar player...he makes most others I've seen look like toddlers.

    You went to Bass Bootcamp? That must have been a helluvan experience. What did they focus on while you were there?
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    A lot of people dismiss vic as just being a wankaholic, but he didn't get his chops from searching for them, he got them from being musically mature. He is one of the most mature players I've ever seen, AND he still manages to have fun with it and be playful.

    I love it.

    at any rate, things covered included:
    the senses.
    some survival skills
    some tracking ideas and concepts
    bird language and the language of nature
    how music and nature relate
    how music relates to everything(some ways in which it does)
    the importance of dynamics and everything other than notes
    have fun!

    And some more concrete things(that is, not ideas adn concepts but actual topics covered*)included:

    sight singing
    note choice
    soloing ideas
    finger independence
    practice techniques and routines
    right and left hand technique
    and whatever else anyone had questions on.

    * I actually learned the least from the bass stuff, most of it I had been taught when I first started, and had practiced my whole bassin' career(6 years)
    I learned far more from the nature side of things than I could have possibly imagined, It really opened my eyes and ears to many new things.
  13. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    I've been having problems with my soloing concepts lately...my solos sound kinda stale...I think it's along the same lines as my tapping...my "spontaneous compositions" seem awkward and forced...I'm not sure what to do.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    again, do a search.

    permutations can also help here.

    as, with increased finger independence, you will be able to speak more clearly through your instrument.

    another thing I would suggest.

    practicing SINGING while you play, play what you sing, and sing what you play.

    it sounds a little weird, but I guarantee it will improve your CONNECTION with the instrument immensely!

    also, practice sight-singing, just get a piece of music, and go for it, give yourself the first note, and work from there.

    I can't tell you how much that will help, if you actually practice it.
  15. como_kenyatta


    Sep 2, 2003
    Thanks, man, I appreciate it. I will definintely try the sing/play thing. I see how that would help the whole "from your head to the fretboard" approach.
  16. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    also, don't depend on looking at the fingerboard.

    feel it.

    steve bailey can do this thing, it's really quite remarkable, he can play a lightning fast line and then stop whenever some says "stop"

    and then tell you what note he's on.

    he doesn't look at the neck once

    he's always 100% on

    he plays an unlined 6 string fretless, and he does NOT have perfect pitch.

    he just has a really good connection with his instrument and he can visualize where his hands are.

    again, do a search, you will learn a lot more.
  17. That is pretty damn amazing. I read the whole topic and I am gonna try and sing and play. Sounds like a good idea.
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    It is one of the best things you can possibly do to improve that connection with the instrument.

    try and make it a goal to get to the point where what you hear in your head is never hindered by your fingers inability to play it.

    that's the thing right there.
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