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The Slap Bass Welcome Center

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

  1. GilbouFR


    Dec 1, 2017
    Thanks. Will try tonight.
    My problem is when I hit the strings with the thumb, half of the time it does a kind of muffled sound and doesn't do the slap sound at all.
    sherocksonbass likes this.
  2. Release!
    You should work on the release of the string right after you hit it. Your thumb should "bounce" on the string.
    Or you can use rest stroke and go through the string without bouncing, but tone is different. You should learn both.
  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I have the same problem. Or I miss the string all together. I usually wind up hitting the fret board between the strings.
  4. Karl Kaminski

    Karl Kaminski Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    as mentioned earlier...its about control (i.e. bounce)

  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yeah, I know all the ideas and techniques behind getting it right and I've been studying and trying for about 15 years to get it right but it just doesn't seem to happen. For me anyway. But I'm a stick to it kinda guy so I'll keep at it. What I did, to add more pressure on me, is to assign Forget Me Nots for the bands next song to perform. I'm not one to allow myself to be embarrassed so I have till Feb 9th to get it at least passable.
  6. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    Been trying for 15 years myself. I’m thoroughly convinced you’re either born with the ability or not. It’s like playing drums. Either you got rhythm or not. I can play just about any style or technique in bass efficiency but slap will never be one.
    FunkySpoo likes this.
  7. Karl Kaminski

    Karl Kaminski Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    keep at it! Reach out to a teacher in the style you want to learn (even a one-off lesson is insightful).
    Getting the feel for some of the techniques is challenging and time consuming. Trying to pick a song to play first then learn the technique can be a crap shoot if you pick a "hard song" with advanced techniques.

    for a song like Forget me nots, thats what you want to do in theory: Strike the string and land on the FB just below the string you just hit. AND many of the roots are hammer-ons from the open string. (it adds that 'scooped' sound to the bass line). Good luck , great song!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    FunkySpoo likes this.
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Ok, so here is a video of the problem I have with slap. As I mentioned earlier in the thread I just miss the string I'm aiming for altogether. Usually I either hit the fretboard between the strings or I hit one of the strings I'm muting. I think I'm doing everything I've learned from instructional videos right: I.E. Anchoring my arm so I'm not flailing around in space. Twisting my wrist in an "turning a door knob" way. Keeping my thumb fairly parallel with the strings. But I just can't seem to hit the string I want to hit in consistently. Try not to laugh too hard at my terribleness. I can use all the help I can get.

    Good god I'm fat
    HD007 and Youngspanion like this.
  9. Karl Kaminski

    Karl Kaminski Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    hey man, great job! your misses are few, and well... it takes practice! :thumbsup:

    Two things come to mind:
    1) practice without the amp. Can you get a good solid slap tone just from the instrument alone? There are times your thumb isn't really attacking the string, but pushing it. This tends to sound hesitant. Record yourself without the amp, just the bass.

    2) fundaments of aiming. Setup an exercise where you play a loop groove forcing yourself to cross strings. Octaves as quarter notes, use a drum loop, ||: D – F# – G – B – C – G# – A – C# :|| rinse and repeat. Speed up once youre comfortable, then as eight and 16th notes. *Watch your RH while doing the exercise. notice when/if a miss happens, take note and adjust.

    Play On!
    LowRick and Mingus_Habens like this.
  10. I'll report back as soon as I watch the video, but I think nobody would lough at you for trying, at least here. You're just helping yourself getting some help from other people, showing your problem.
    Try practicing in front of the TV, watch a stupid shark movie and practice without an amp without thinking too much.
  11. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.
  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Looking forward to it
    CunniMingus likes this.
  13. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Looks (sounds) to me like your really there. Just keep pushing and it'll go..eventually.
  14. You won't believe how many hours you can spend on the couch practicing while watching TV. It's a great way to build finger strenght, dexterity, and practice new techniques. It's not the only way to practice of course, you need to do other things too.
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  16. Ok, I watched the clip and:
    1) You're playing is not terrible at all, you seem be on the right path
    2) You seem to get a decent slap sound with D and G strings while struggling a little bit with E and A strings. In my experience, that's the opposite of what happens to most people. Keep practicing and pay attention to the release time of the lower strings. Try to "bounce" very quickly.
    3) Your popping sound seems precise enough and well controlled. Again, that's the opposite of what most people seem to do.
    4) I think you've never seen a really bad slap player. :p
    Keep on trying, you're doing a good job.
  17. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Thanks. I have always been a bit of a contrarian. :D
    CunniMingus likes this.
  18. bass12

    bass12 Basking Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I was expecting something much worse. :D The main ingredients are all there. I've also experienced the same problem and for me it was/is just a matter of putting the time in. Something I would try to do is to dial things back and just focus on thumb accuracy. Take your left hand out of the equation for a bit and practice striking open strings. Start without any left hand muting. It will sound terrible what with all the ringing but it will force you to concentrate only on your right hand. Then introduce left hand muting (still with open strings) and then try fingering only with your index finger in first position (C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab). Also keep in mind that while you generally want to keep your right forearm in a fixed position, you might want to make some micro-adjustments when hitting the lowest or highest strings (for me it's the E and B strings). This is largely about muscle memory which means slowing things down until you're solid and then speeding up. You'll get there.
    CunniMingus likes this.
  19. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Thanks. I'll keep those in mind as I'm practicing this week and for the near future. I have a lot of time on my hands right now as I'm a furloughed fed. So might as well learn to do something better.
    CunniMingus likes this.
  20. sherocksonbass


    Jan 1, 2019
    St Louis
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