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The ever so popular slapping problems

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Arganius, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Arganius


    Apr 6, 2008
    OK, here's my problem. I have a bass teacher who has been playing for about 2 decades, studied with many jazz musicians and it seems he knows what hes talking about. My math teacher at my school (alternative school. Every single teacher can play something) has been playing bass since he was 15 (hes about 45 now), and mainly plays funk and jazz but he's done it all from metal to punk to blues to whatever. And i have many friends who have been playing bass for quite a long time. And all of them know how to slap. But when i ask anyone for tips every person seems to give me completely different advice!

    "Slap as close to the neck as you can"

    "Have you hand above your bridge"

    "It doesn't matter where your hand is"

    "No it has to be by the neck or it won't be right"

    "Hold your hand like this"

    Get where I'm going? Maybe it doesn't matter where i put my hand. I haven't a clue anymore. And also i don't know exactly how to hold my hand.

  2. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    most people's thumbs strike the string near the top fret
  3. the reason why you are getting so many answers is because there are many different ways to do it and not everybody picks the same one. itll sound different at different spots- the string tension varies- as does the angle of your arm. so- pick the best compromise of the above 3 factors. sorry- no right answer here.

    ill slap over the fretboard- as far down as the 12th- but only because i play a lot over that area- and change technique a lot- i wouldnt suggest starting there unless it really feels comfortable to you.

    i guess one issue is- that if youre just learning- it may all be uncomfortable- cant tell you- as no one ever taught me to slap or do a lot of things- some of which im better for- some of which were a pain to relearn. my cookiecutter answer is: slap with your thumb parallel to the strings- hitting where the neck ends.
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    It`s true that most players have their thumb strike near the last fret, however, you are not limited to that area at all. What it comes down to is personal preference. Where does it feel most comfortable? What gives you the best tone? Which way is the easiest? etc.. are all questions you should be asking yourself.

    What I`ll end with is that you should learn how to play by the book first and do as your bass teacher says(this includes proper posture btw!), and once you can do everything the 'right' way, then you can go out and do everything your way!
  5. MindSpark


    Nov 27, 2008
    There's no right or wrong here IMO. This is how people come up with new techniques. They experiment, see what sounds good and is comfortable. Whatever works for you without hurting yourself is the way you should do it.
    But to cut a long story short, most of the people find it easier to slap with the thumb parallel to the strings (pointing to the headstock) rather than perpendicular (pointing to the floor).
    Slapping near the frets gives you a warmer fuller sound, slapping near the bridge gives you a brighter crispier sound.
  6. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    Just beat the hell out of the bass with your thumb and find YOUR sweet spot, screw everyone else, they suck.
  7. there's your answer, OP
  8. Ossaris


    Mar 2, 2009
    Gainesville, FL
    QFT! HELL YEAH!:bassist:

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