1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Slap Bass Welcome Center

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bassist4Life, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Been slapping for years and have really toned it down as to where I rarely do anymore. Still love to whip it out now and then. I kind of "invented" some of my own techniques that a lot of killer gospel and funk guys would always ask me to show them. Most are speed slaps based on double, triple and quad thumps.

    I learned to slap pre-internet so I had a couple books and basically had to use my ears to learn. It helped me develop my own style.

    I will say that the left hand makes a huge part of slapping. The way you mute is super key.

    I learned Higher Ground and basically every flea part from a copy of bass player and just wearing out my cassettes. All I had was a Pbass copy with high action and no web forum to tell me to buy a better bass..lol. I think this really helped me with the double and triple thumps. I could play all the RHCP licks by the time I was 16 and so I progressed to fusion by taping BET jazz and copying Marcus Miller and all the guys on there.

    If you are new to bass or new to slap, I would not alter a bass so it slaps well but hinders other play styles. If you want to be a hired gun or session guy, you will want to be super versatile so set your bass up that way. I still have low action and 45-100 (130 B) because I like to vibrato and bend strings easily.

    If you are in a rock band I'd forgo any slap setup and consider a thicker string gauge for better tone that can handle a drop tuning.

    My point is that while slapping is pretty fun as a bass player, it is also pretty uncool in the wrong setting, so never force it.

    Definitely try and learn to slap on your current setup even if the action is a little high. It will make your hands stronger and you will become more versatile.

    My biggest tip is learn to count. By that I mean, learn to break a lick down so you can count every single note (including ghosts).

    If in your head you hear 1 2 3 4 123 123 - you will be able to learn High Ground quicker for example. It's all about counting in your head so your brain slowly makes your hands play that lick properly instead of skipping ghost notes. Most newer slappers skip their ghost notes because they just want to make it through the lick, and this is a way to force yourself to do it right.
  2. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    Got my first bass less than a week ago, as an absolute newbie, request you guys to please be gentle. I was just fooling around, and haven't read up anything on the slap technique including this thread, but I will.

    This was a quick recording, (new to that as well).

    In this attempt I hit the B string quite a bit. I think need to push the highs a bit more on the amp.

    Feedback would be appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  3. Noahs Ark

    Noahs Ark

    Feb 21, 2013
    Hey all, Ive been playing bass for about 7 months now and learning slap for about 3 months. I have a problem with my slap tone. When i slap I hear alot more of the string hitting the frets than the actual note itself, it sounds like alot of clacking and a little bit of background note when i slap.When i hear others playing slap, the notes over power the clack greatly and I want that sound. What could i be doing wrong? I have an ibanez soundgear gio btw
  4. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
  5. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
  6. hasudungan1


    Nov 11, 2012
    Hey, i want to ask something.. I am beginner - intermediate in slapping bass.. Can you prefer some song to me that can improve and add knowledge of my slap technique.. Thanks :D
    *i'm from Indonesia and i apologize for my bad English :D
  7. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Watching Wootens videos at slapping...

    I suck at it, I grew up with 90s alternative. Never had to learn it but for the new top 40s & 70s funk which is in now you gotta do it a little... DAMMIT! I'm terrible at it. Practice Practice eh?
  8. Exemonium

    Exemonium Supporting Member

    May 13, 2010
    Me too! ... :confused: slap eludes me
  9. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    TO be good at Slap Bass I found I had to just play slap style and see my other chops suffer so I never got into it too deep. All I do know I learned from John Taylor and Breaver Felton.
  10. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
  11. MonsterSam


    Oct 29, 2013
    This guy knows how to play slap.
  12. Just discovered his instructional video series on Youtube. I find it very helpful and exactly what I was looking for. I couldn't for the life of me get into Ed's DVD on Slapping and a lot of the youtube videos leave me looking for something else. But this one.......
  13. Cabereto


    Jan 10, 2014
    Hi, I wanted to ask a question..
    I've played bass for 3 years and I've played slap for one year but only now I realize that my technique is a bit.. I'd say raw.
    When I play standing up, I can't find the right position and my right arm really hurts, near the elbow.
    I play with the thumb towards the pavement.. can someone help me to find the right position for the right arm?
  14. JLP


    Mar 15, 2008
    I play with the thumb towards the pavement.. can someone help me to find the right position for the right arm?
    Reply With Quot I slap with my thumb pointed more toward the headstock with my elbow bent. You can look on youtube for teaching techniques but you have to find something thats comfortable. you shouldn"t be in pain while playing. Hope this helps.
  15. Hey, I've been trying to pick up slap bass for a long time now and my right hand is killer! I can now thumb/pluck fairly well and play stuff like 'Forget me nots' and the main riff from 'Run for Cover'.

    Though, I have some serious issues with my left hand. I've been told to use a percussive slap with those fingers on the fretboard as well and every (online) teacher uses it as a given thing that you're capable of it when using it/showing the usage of it. Thing is, I really have NO CLUE how to do that.

    I don't know if it's strenght, or if it's technique/movement but I can't seem to get a nice percussive boom with it. No sound whatsoever.

    It frustates me to no end, because it's the only thing holding me back from slapping really well. So if any of you could give me some input on how you do move your wrist/fingers when doing such a thing or give me any advice on that or even links to lessons on that, that would be gladly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time and sorry for the read. :)
  16. darthbatman


    Feb 2, 2009
    What I basically do is like a one-hand-clapping move where i keep my left index lightly touching the strings for muting, and quickly clap down onto the strings with my other three left hand fingers. you can practice this by resting your index around the first knuckle of your thumb and then smacking down on the tip of your thumb with the middle, leaving the ring and pinky in a straight line moving along with your middle finger. visualize a drumstick just falling onto the strings and rebounding off. you want a quick contact. that's just how i do the left hand percussive thing in slapping. hope that helps.
  17. DownLow


    Nov 30, 2007
    I have a slap technique question/challenge for the group. I've been listening to Les Claypool's Duo De Twang album. How does Les get the 2 quick dead notes (that sound like a snare drum hit) in between beats 1 & 3 of each bar?

    He does this on many of the root-five "old school country" grooves. You can hear it clearly on his version of Stayin Alive:

    Is that a double thumb on the dead notes? 2 finger ghost note pluck? A combination? Kudos to anybody who can explain it. Bonus points if you can post a video example. Thanks in advance.
  18. Bass-aholic


    Dec 28, 2010
    Northern New Jersey
    I own a cat... Owned a cat........... I think it was a cat.
    Salamenster - Get the "gallop" down with both hands. Don't bother playing anything besides dead notes till you can make percussive rhythms just using dead notes and both hands as once you get this down it becomes 2nd nature like most things. The Clap is essential to slap bass playing as it can not only give you the dead note in between your slap and pop, but mutes the strings. A good way to strengthen your ability to do this void of a bass is to do 1 hand claps until it is audible.

    DownLow - I am not 100% sure as I will say I do not know how to play that song, which seems like your issue also lol, but it sounds to me like a variation of the Open Hammer Pluck technique in as much as he may not be slapping or popping the string he is fingering and using the other silent strings to play the dead notes. This is a technique I use quite frequently to either make things sound stupid fast or make it sound like there is more than one person playing.
  19. Haven't listened to the song, but one way would also be to thumb the first note and pop the two ghost notes with your index and middle.
    Or thumb down - thump up - pop on the same string, but that depends on the speed.
  20. jaxsn


    Nov 17, 2003
    Nice chops,
    but if you are studying his chops, then study it standing up,being that most gigs you are playing,
    you are standing. which gives a different feel and comfort. which affects your playing style.
    But I do like his chops.