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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bassist4Life, Dec 30, 2006.
Zero dynamics. He is a great bass player, but this is not the best slapping advert.
You've got plenty to work with. From what I see, your issues are a general lack of control around your muting. I know that's probably opposite to what you are thinking in that you describe your issue as a striking issue. But, I see that your are generally not set up to sting the string with your slap or to mute your pops which are really critical for playing these disco style slap bass parts. You've got to man handle it more. I think this video, while longer than I'd like, might really help you.
Thanks. I really like Mark over at Talking Bass.
Does slapping damage the fretboard? I've heard that too much can lead to needing a fret job...
Thanks in advance!
Not in my experience. I've been slapping on my basses for years and have never needed to have them refretted or have the fingerboard repaired.
only if you use a hammer
If you play your bass, it's perfectly normal to wear out the frets. Damaging the fretboard is another thing, and it doesn't happen just playing the instrument. Don't think about it, play your bass and enjoy.
I played a 1983 Fender Jazz from 1983 to 2003 as my only slap Bass. When I sold it in 2003 it only needed a light dressing. And I slap the hell out of my instruments. I'd say 20 years on one fret job with my style of playing it's pretty good as far as wear goes..
if you're thinking about fret wear you're thinking way too hard.
I slap some on an old bass but just was trying to make sure before doing it on ny main axe.
I had heard it did but thought I'd ask you all...
I just never slapped much but have been working on it on an old bass. Been thinking about doing it some live.
I've got into slap bass more and more in the last year, to the point that I've become pretty fluent and consistent.
Unfortunately, I noticed that when I slap consistently for a while, the index finger of my right hand get damaged in the bottom right area (look at your own index to understand). That's definitely not the area that pops the string, it's the top angle that covers the fingernail. I'm pretty sure that this happens because when I pop the D string, the index somehow scrape against the G string. Eventually, it develops a cut.
If you have some suggestions, I'm all ears...
Does your bass have a narrow string spacing? That no doubt will make it harder to pop strings without touching the adjecent string. You could record a close up video of your right hand while playing and after that play it in slomo to analyze your movement and how you could improve it.
Actually, I started having this problem when I was slapping on a StingRay, which has a wider string spacing compared to my Jazz. Maybe I'm just slapping more often and string spacing isn't the problem. I'll keep practicing while paying attention to my right hand.
arrgg I'm actually making an effort to be at least rudimentary at slap but now have a huge blister on my thumb and a smaller one on my index finger tip that I think is going to force me to lay off for a bit.
Is this a "normal" issue or is my technique all wrong?
I’m also an aspiring slapper but have never gotten a blister from it. Where exactly is it? How long did it take to form? Can you describe your technique in more detail? Video would be ideal, but I wouldn’t want to put my own mediocre slapping on public display so I won’t blame you if you don’t either. However, this is the “welcome center” i.e. a place to find help, so maybe that’s an option.
On the thumb, it's right along the side/corner of the outer edge, which is where I'm using it to strike the string. Maybe I'm not using the correct part of my thumb?
I could post of vid but it'd be especially awful give that the slap is rather painful at the moment.
Blisters typically result from friction so if your thumb and index are not used to the friction inherent in striking/plucking a string (and have yet to build up any calluses) then I wouldn’t be worried.
When I slap I usually “play through the string”. This means that, rather than having my thumb bounce off the string it continues past the string and ends up between the string it just struck and the one above (so if I strike the E string my thumb ends up between the E and the A string). This is an approach that many bassists use but it is by no means mandatory (see Louis Johnson for example). The part of my thumb that strikes the string is the entire section between the “peak” of the joint and the tip of the thumb (the first point of contact being just above the peak of the joint). See what works for you in terms of getting the sound you want.
I'll check out these videos. I've been a pro bass player for 35 years - but never mastered slapping, not to the standard I would wish anyway. High time I addressed the issue, so thanks for this resource.
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