upside down bass slapping technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by steviecsg, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    How do players who play upside down basses, ie basses string reverse like wayman tisdale, jimy haslip and keith horne slap?

    I've heard some killer slap grooves and soloes from these guys but I cannot imagine how it is done on a reverse bass. I would imagine pulling off such licks to be near impossible or at least many times harder than on a conventionally strung bass.

    Does anyone have any insight on how these plays slap/ their technique or anything?

  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Do a google search for steve chesney and ask him.
    He's a lefty that plays upside down and can flat rip it up. I've seen him play a bunch and I still can't figure out how he does it.
  3. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    or maybe they use reverse basses for regular fingerstyle and keep a separate conventional strung bass just for the purpose of slapping

  4. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I've watched a video of Keith Horne and he slaps with reversed strings as well as playing fingerstyle.
  5. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    so what was keith's technique like? was it a regular thumb pointing up technique ala marcus miller or thumb down, all fingers pointing down technique ala flea?

    or rather? a totally new technique unknown to bassists who play regular strung basses
  6. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    on the page there'S a video of keth horne which also shows him slapping. that should answer some of your questions!
  7. kwelch28


    Aug 31, 2000
    Allegany, NY
    Maybe I'm missing something, but why do they play with their basses strung upside down? I could never understand why.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Usually, because the player was left handed, and had no left handed bass available when they started out playing. The righty bass that they learned on was strung as a righty, and they turned the bass around(and upside down) and learned to play with the strings upside down.

    Once you learn to play that way, it is very difficult to start over and learn the 'correct' way.
  9. Ok I must be real stupid, Why dont they just reverse the strings on a right handed bass if thats all they have and there Left handed?

    I think people just want to be different so people start threads about them on a bass BB's.

    This is the same thing as when right handed people play a left handed guitar upside down and restrung:rolleyes:

    yeah I'm talking bout you brad whitford, BRING IT ON!!!!:D
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Several possibilities:

    1. They've never been taught that way. Sounds silly, but the only reason you play the way you play is that someone showed you (or you watched someone do it). There's nothing inherently better about the way you play.

    2. Have you ever tried to get an E string to fit through the G string nut slot? Try it and get back to me.

    3. When Paul McCartney learned to play (guitar), he wanted to be able to use John Lennon's guitar. (This could be just urband legend, but the reasoning is sound) If he had reversed the strings, only one of them could use it.

  11. yeah I'm going to have to disagree with you on #1 If your trying to slap (the point of this thread) it is much easier to have the strings set up the "right way" because your hands are already in the correct position to slap low and pop high, I'm not saying you can't do it in reverse, you just have to move you slap hand alot more and it's going to hurt your speed.

    And as far as #2, I'm not the most mechanical person but give me 30 seconds with a file and I can make a B string fit into a g nut;)

    Oh and #3 There the Fricken beatles, BUY A LEFT HANDED GUITAR!!!!!

    I still say they just want to be different:D
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    1. Tell that to Keith Horne, who slaps better than just about anybody I've heard. Do you slap as good as he does? Maybe you should try his way. :)

    2. Could you have done that when you first picked up the bass? Probably not. Could you do it correctly (insuring a good witness point)? I doubt it.

    3. The beatles, as hard as it might be for you to believe, weren't always rich. Note that I said "when paul mccartney learned".

    If I could be as different as Paul McCartney or Jimmy Haslip or Keith Horne, that'd be ok with me. Free your mind, dude.
  13. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    i got a bass teacher who is left handed and plays a normal left handed bass-strung conventially.

    but when he conducts my jazz band, or sits in on a gig, he usually ends up using someone else's bass. yet he can play just as well upside down

    it's incredible i tell you.