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The Art of Slapping

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Flipside, Dec 5, 2005.


  1. Flipside

    Flipside

    Nov 14, 2005
    Montreal
    Sorry if this has been asked before but I just can't seem to get the technique down, i've tried copying what i see other people do but it never comes out right. Could it be the bass or something? I dunno i need help ><
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Of course it's the bass. It's never the player. Buy a $3000 bass and you will play a lot better.

    But seriously, find a good book on slapping and buy a metronome. Practice slowly with the metronome and gradually build speed once you get a line down at a slow speed.

    The book I used is called "Slap It" by Tony Oppenheim www.slapit.com . Great book. But it requires knowing how to read music. I think Ed Friedland also has a book, and I think it has tab, too. I'm not big on tab, but sometimes it helps for beginners.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Jimmy, unfortunately Slap It now comes with tab....

    Great book, by the way.
     
  4. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    Yeah, it starts to become annoying when people with bad technique blames it on their bass...
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the point is that nobody here can see what you are doing wrong and no amount of books will know exactly where it is you're going wrong...:meh:


    Whereas an experienced bass player/teacher standing in front of you,while you play, could almost certainly see what your problem was pretty quickly and correct your mistakes in a few minutes ....then set you on the right path.

    The way I see it is spend money on one lesson for maybe half an hour to an hour and find out why you're going wrong - or struggle indefinitely (maybe forever) with books and internet advice never realy knowing why...:meh:
     
  6. True, you won't actually believe how much stuff you are doing wrong/ how many bad habits you have until a teacher watches you play and points them out!
     
  7. EPrendergast

    EPrendergast

    Sep 23, 2005
    Wales, UK
    I find that to be entirely true and it's a relief to hear somebody else say it. I rarely have luck with books/dvds/etc, but after spending some time with an experienced tutor I benefited enormously and came on leaps and bounds. Unfortunately I live out in the countryside of Wales now where nobody teaches bass.
     
  8. Bassinthehole

    Bassinthehole

    Jun 21, 2005
    I recently saw a video on slap from Video Progressions that was pretty good. Its expensive ($40) but its pretty thorough and the camera work is very good and allows you to see exactly what the teacher is doing with both hands. It starts out simple...then gets into all kinds of crazyness...but its the best visual aid I've seen outside of getting a teacher who actually plays slap/pop style.
     
  9. Chili

    Chili

    Mar 8, 2005
    Newcastle/England
    i find it can be the bass, like i have trouble slapping smoothly on a bass where the pick ups r to close to the fret board, if i have a bass wheer the pickups have a certain distance from the fretboard i can slap alot better
     
  10. Zebra

    Zebra

    Jun 26, 2005
    People seem quick to dismiss the possibility that it could the bass at fault when it very well could be. Slapping can be sensitive to the setup, and that could be a major roadblock for a beginning slapper. Having low action, new strings, medium to medium-low string tension, and pickups that are lowered enough to not get thunked by the strings are all ideal for successful slapping. You can usually do it with any setup to some degree at least, but I wouldn't reccomend trying to learn it like that. Best idea would be to get someone who can slap to check your bass out as well as give you some pointers. It took me a while to figure it out, and there weren't any real "revelations" that came along, it was pretty gradual.
     
  11. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    Pacman,

    I'm glad to hear you like the book.

    About the TAB.... I held out as long as I could (25 years!), but now after working on editing the TAB for Slap It! this summer I've discovered that I like TAB more than I thought I would. It allowed me to convey a little more information about exactly where I intended each example to be played. So I think the TAB will be useful even for players that read standard notation.

    I would still encourage all players to learn to read standard notation as well. There is so much more information on the page if you can read it all.

    Cheers!

    Tony
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No - I'm just saying that without seeing the original poster and what he is actually doing with his bass - then there is no way that anybody here can say what the problem is!
     
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Cool - Tony Oppenhiem! It's been a long time since I've seen your book, Tony - I lent it to a student, and never got it back. Any chance you've got one or two laying around in the old, no TAB version?
     
  14. Tony Oppenheim

    Tony Oppenheim

    Nov 17, 2005
    Author, Slap It! Funk Studies for the Electric Bass
    Pacman,

    If I had one I'd gladly sell it to you, but I sold every copy that I had about a month before the new books were ready, but you know, even if you're not interested in TAB the new version comes with a newly expanded CD that has 28 more recorded examples than the prior version.

    When I realized they were going to have to remaster the CD anyway (because the voiceovers on the old CD referenced page numbers that were changing because of the TAB), I was able to sell my publisher on the idea of filling the unused space on the CD with more tracks.

    I used Roxio JAM to trim the voiceovers off the original tracks, and I recorded the 28 extra examples (after considerable brush up practicing). The book now has CD track numbers next to every example that is on the CD so that you can easily find any example on the CD. Each example has an individual CD track.

    The new version of the CD does not have voiceovers anymore. Since the book is marked I felt they were no longer needed. The great thing is that now, if you want to set a CD track to repeat so that you can practice along, you don't have to listen to my voiceover on every loop.

    FYI, we only had the voiceovers in the first place because I made and sold the recording independantly of the book publisher after the original book was already published, so there had to be a way to tie the recording (which was originally an audio cassette) to the book (which had no markings).

    If you really, really want one of the old copies, contact www.BassBooks.com. They might have some left over. Be sure to specify that you're interested in a no-tab copy. Also, if you're near a Sam Ash store you might find an old copy in the rack at one of their stores. I've noticed that their online store has not updated to the new price and art for the book yet. I don't know if this is just inertia, or because they have some left overs. You'd have to contact them to find out (www.samash.com).

    Happy Holidays!

    Tony