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The Slap Bass Welcome Center

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

  1. Hello!

    I’ve been playing bass for several decades but never really got into slapping a lot, except when it was necessary on one or two disco covers per night out. So I’ve spent very little time on the technique. I’ve sort of BSed my way through it.

    During the past year, I’ve been working a lot (almost daily) on my Cuban and Afro Cuban grooves. Mainly using The Latin Book and Afro Cuban Bass Grooves. Totally cool, learned and learning a lot from this.

    Since January, I decided to use this opportunity to work on my right hand muting technique and slap, too. So this means that I master every exercise on fingers first, then muted, then I slap. On slap, I do all the notes slapped, irrelevant of where they are on the fingerboard. And then I do them all plucked. And I do this until I get it right. Which takes a long time.

    I’ve improved on slap, which is inevitable doing this kind of thing. A lot of these Cuban and Afro Cuban grooves are one octave up. I’ve noticed that when I slap on my G string from the high E and to high G, the sound is not as imposing as on all the other strings. This is normal, of course. That’s the way it is, finger style too. But I mean, it sounds really puny. I’ve really looked at my technique and there isn’t anything different when I slap the G string. I even move my hand down, to be closer to string. But it is really not impressive.

    I am wondering if the actual physical dynamics of slapping a smaller string plus a higher note is responsible for this, versus a technique issue on my behalf. What I mean by this, is that maybe no matter how much I work on this, there will always be a problem there, no matter what I do, because of the higher note and smaller string. I want to know this, because if it isn’t the case, then it’s on me to work more on it and improve it. I just don’t want to spend time on this if it isn’t really going to improve. If I am actually facing a mechanical problem that is not really resolvable.

    I know that if I used a compressor, most if not all of this would go away as all the notes would be more even. But I don’t want to start dragging that out and use it everywhere.

    I also know that I can pluck those strings and that it would punch through fine. As a matter of fact, this is what I see most bassists do. There are not a lot of people that I see that actually slap there. But I am a bit of a stubborn person. I want to be able to slap and pluck there, not just pluck.

    Any help or comment would be really appreciated and helpful. Thanks!

  2. wes stephenson

    wes stephenson Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Dallas Texas!!!!
    What’s the best slap for metal?
  3. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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