What is it with guitarists and slapping?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BOOG, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I appreciate everyone’s input on this but especially guitarists…

    DISCLAIMER: I don’t slap but I also don’t have anything against it aside from I prefer others not to do it on my equipment.

    My band has three guitarists and over a period of the past couple of years they’ve been curious about my bass’s or equipment so, during rehearsal sessions I have entertained the inquiries and offered my bass on separate occasions for them to check it out.

    It occurred to me that E V E R Y three times of doing this, they automatically make a novice attempt at slapping my bass. It got me wondering, what the hell goes through guitarists minds that they automatically want to and think that slapping is the way to play?

    Any theories, hypothesis or proof experiments out there?
  2. Snarf

    Snarf Suspended

    Jan 23, 2005
    Most guitarists are obsessed with Animals As Leaders. Could be the culprit.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Slap is "flashy" and "showy". It's often fast and "sounds cool", so, a lot of people gravitate to it.
    mikecd1, abarson, LoTone and 18 others like this.
  4. levis76

    levis76 Defender of the Low Ender Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    It’s not just guitarists. I’ve had folks over the years do the exact same thing. Only one person, in over 20yrs, ever picked up my bass and used their fingers to play a few notes, but he doesn’t count because he was another bassist.

    Everyone else just wants to, pardon my using this overly tired and over used saying, “slappa du byass”.
    SoCal80s, Lenny JG, Bassinga and 8 others like this.
  5. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I guess that might lean this conversation toward psychology and personality types, then? That kind of makes sense.
  6. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I have witnessed my dad sitting with it and only finger plucking but, he’s a clarinetist from the classical scene.
    MattZilla likes this.
  7. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It must have something to do with the mindset that notes have to be constantly played in order to be musical. The lessons of space and time applied are often more musical than cacophony and are what creates the head bobbing groove.
  8. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Further down this rabbit hole of thought, I have started wondering, “do they think my style is too simple”?

    personally, I don’t really care if that’s what they think and this is more about curiosity
    northbynorth and Mili like this.
  9. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    What is worse is when they slap it and then tell you that you should learn that riff insinuating you would then be a great bassist.
  10. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Maybe, they know they don't have the finger technique, so the only way to get any sound out of the instrument is to beat the snot out of it.:)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  11. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    yep, you’re probably right!
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I don’t think there’s an overwhelming number of guitarists that know about them. Yes, they have a substantial following, but they’re still kind of niche, not exactly household names.
    Rabidhamster, chaak, Lackey and 2 others like this.
  13. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I have just given up and worked on making my slap&pop flashier for last couple of months. When in Rome...
    I'll be using it like a secret weapon, just like females use their clevage when needed. Everyone knows it's there and it's tasteless to show it, but you still do and you get full effect.
  14. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    I used to work with two guitar players, great guys. One was a really good bassist, as in he played like a bassist and not a guitarist. The other guy didn’t play bass much, but damn if he wasn’t one of the best slap-style guys I’ve ever run across. I couldn’t do what he does.
    Outtaseezun, Basslice and BlueTalon like this.
  15. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Back in 2000 I was playing in a Prog band.
    While messing around,between songs,I started slapping this John Patitucci intro.

    The guitarist got wide eyed and paid attention.
    Maybe there was a little bit of admiration.:whistle:

    This was long before AAL.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
    FilterFunk, Tommy V, Paul New and 2 others like this.
  16. Raoul_Duke


    Jun 13, 2010
    In my experience, bass players turn their noses up at slap more than any other demographic.
  17. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I think slap is sort of the guitarist equivalent of tapping. I don't know. :wacky:
    Grunthor, OnederTone, teh-slb and 4 others like this.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    A guitar player picked up my bass once, after asking and starts playing this slap thing (always in E). He looks at me all proud and I just said, “What do you do for songs with more than one chord?”

    What can I say, I’m a people person. :D
  19. honeydorick


    Nov 1, 2017
    Livermore Calif. USA
    I like my bass to stay in tune longer,no slappin and popin here.LOL.I guess its showy for a guitarist.Maybe they have the wrong perception of what bass is supposed to be.Many different types of music out there though, and some do require the slap technic. I dont know. I like Jamerson,McCartney,melodic groove stuff.Just my oppinion.Though,the occasional pop slap in smooth jazz sounds kinda cool to me.But Im old LOL
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
    Mili and BOOG like this.
  20. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Those guitarists probably all just saw this scene and wanted to achieve the same level of cool: