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The Slap Bass Welcome Center

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

  1. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I'm no slap expert by any stretch of the imagination but as far as tone goes the "slap tone" generally is a mid scoop sound. Sounds like you have a passive bass so you may need to adjust your amp EQ. You can either cut the mids or boost bass and treble.
    jdh3000 likes this.
  2. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    Ok cool, thanks! I'll try that...
  3. This thread will come in handy
  4. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Slapping on a five string.

    I'm new to slapping and worked up the very basics on my four string. However, in both the bands I play in I'm on a 5er. I'm having a tough time keeping the B quiet when slapping fretted notes on the A and D.
    Any suggestions would be welcome.
  5. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Muting while playing a 5 can be a bit tricky. I've noticed that the things I tend to do to minimize unwanted ringing from the B and E strings when slapping are the following:

    - With my fretting hand, I'll often use the fingers I'm not fretting with to extend past the string I'm fretting on to mute the lower strings. This works on patterns where, for example, I'm fretting with my index and pinky (b7 to root for instance). I'll fret with my index but my middle and ring fingers will mute the E and B strings. I'm used to doing a lot of muting with my fretting hand so this comes pretty naturally to me. I also have long fingers which might help. I might also resort to using more of a traveling index finger approach (rather than a one finger per fret approach - think Mark King if you're familiar with his technique).

    - I'll sometimes use the thumb on my fretting hand to reach over the neck just enough to mute the B string.

    - Once in a while I'll use the forearm of my plucking hand to mute the B string. This is a last-measure technique as it can feel a bit awkward but it can be effective at times.

    Best of luck finding something that works for you!
  6. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Great suggestion! Thanks! This lead me to something that is working. When fretting with finger 1, mute with finger 2. When fretting with fingers 2-4 use the fingers behind the fretted note to lay across the strings and mute. It looks like a guitarist playing a bar chord.

    Thanks again,
  7. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Has anyone used the floating thumb technique while popping? I'm new to slapping and am finding that when I pop on the G string it's easier to mute by keeping the thumb in the traditional floating position but applying a bit of downward pressure to mute the E A D strings. It does mean the popping finger moves in more of an up and down motion as opposed to a rotation motion. Other than that I can't see a disadvantage but, I'm new...

  8. arrowsun

    arrowsun Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    I use a Mono fret wrap over the nut on my 5 string.
  9. MarkM13, I've come to the conclusion that there is not really any single technique with slapping that is ideal for everyone. People have different shapes to their hands... hitcher's thumbs vs. straight thumbs, ring fingers longer than index fingers, etc... so what I suggest is just try different things and get with what works for you, but be cognizant of things that are limiting to you and try new things.
    For me, I tend to keep my thumb pointing north or parallel to the ground. Aiming it downward never worked for me, although for some, that's their comfort zone. I tend to pluck with my ring finger on the G string, but my middle or index finger on the other strings. For ghost notes, I tend to mute however is most convenient with my fretting hand and will strike with my thumb, my palm, or the meaty part where your thumb and palm converge. To mute unused strings, I'll do a combination of things such as barely touch the lower string with my middle finger from my fretting hand, to palm muting, to even using the meat of my inside forearm. But all of that is just what works for me. No one taught me these things directly. It just developed over years of playing and figuring out what does (and doesn't) work.
    In short, don't let anyone sell you on a right and wrong way to slap. Experiment, practice, discover, and have fun doing it.
  10. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Isn't that 1 + a ... not 1 e + a ......?
  11. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I guess I'll just read through this thread rather than post another weekly "How do I slap?" one :laugh:
    Been playing for years, but just when slap was getting huge I joined a blues/rockabilly band and never really needed it. Then took a long (18 year) break from playing. Been back at it for 5 years now but starting to be limited by not slapping.
  12. I'm sure it's mentioned numerous times thru this thread, but The Slap Bass Bible by Anthony Vitti and Slap It! by Tony Oppenheim are excellent sources for practice and theory. I woodshed through these all the time for inspiration and just general chop maintenance. Of course, just listen (at watch performances) of the really good slap players. Watch how they move, hold the bass, work their right AND left hands. I posted this before, but I really don't think there is a catch-all correct technique. You sort of have to just flesh out what works for you and develop it.
    tbirdsp likes this.