What kind of techniques does Flea use?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MrTeatime, May 10, 2002.

  1. I only just started listening to RHCP (don't kill me yet), I really like Parallel Universe but I get excited and play a bit fast sometimes.

    The other one I like is Around the World, but Flea's moves puzzle me a bit (I'm referring to the tab). I assume he slaps and pops pretty much the whole song (I've had my bass for 3 years but I've really only been playing solidly for a year or so and just started taking lessons to learn music theory) so forgive me if I misinterperate the sound. It sounds like slap and pop to me.

    How does Flea pop so fast? Does he use lots of hammer-ons and such, kinda like Vic Wooten? Or does his right hand just move at warp speed?

    Also in some parts he slaps notes on the E string and moves up to the A.. Does he slap the notes on the A aswell?

    Cheers in advance.
  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Around the world is fingerstyle, not slap&pop.

    And don´t worry, nobody´s gonna kill you for listening to RHCP :)

    They´re one of my fav bands!

    Check out the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album which came out in '91 or '92. Brilliant album!

    Bet ya a fiver that this post will be moved to technique very soon! :)
  3. I meant don't kill me for taking so long to listen to them :)
    I bought Californication recently and my sister has a few including Blook Sugar Sex magik. I've been playing Breaking the Girl and I have that one mastered so far. I've been surprised at how good I've been getting now that I've spent some quality time with my bass.

    I was also surprised that Around the World is fingerstyle. It sounded like some slap&pop to me. It sounds good to play it that way too :)

    thanks for the help!
  4. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    No problem, that´s what we´re here for ;)
  5. he plays parallel universe with a pick. the guy's fairly versatile.
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The good kind.

    One thing I've noticed is that Flea never does any left hand slapping. It's all right hand rhythms.
  7. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Flea played with a pick exclusively for several years when he was in punk bands, not necessarily by choice but none the less.
  8. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    i can not believe that i didnt know Flea played that song with a pic.. my bad!
  9. What is left hand slapping?
  10. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    Left hand slapping
    It´s really pretty simple, you hit down on the strings with your fretting hand and let them rest there for a moment..You should be getting a crisp, percussive sound. If you hear pitched notes, your fingers are coming down too hard.
  11. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Played it with a pick :confused:

    Oh well :)

    Just by listening to the song I narrowed it down to fingerstyle or pick, and by watching the video I narrowed it further down to fingerstyle.

    Oh well, I´ll learn as long as I´ll live :)
  12. actinglikeafreak

    actinglikeafreak Guest

    Apr 24, 2000
    Puerto Rico
    Bloodsugasexmagik is legendary!
    Buy Uplift Mofo Party plan, he mixes slap and punk.
    parallel universe was the first song ive mastered from them, i played it fingerstyle which is pretty easy.
  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    This should be in technique and not bassists as it is a technique related question.
  14. The first four albums (self titled, freaky styley, party plan, mothers milk) have some really cool bass parts on them - not complex, but fun.

    You can slap 'around the world' in the verses if you want, I do every now and then but turn down the distortion if u do.

    You could left slap in 'behind the sun' if u wanted to.

    if u wanna get ya right hand speed up play 'stone cold bush' (solo) and 'power of equality'.
  15. Carrillo


    Mar 29, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Have u heard the Flea Rare Bass solo? On Kazaa? Damn.. Ive been playing bass for 8 years now and only started playing slap for a few weeks now, and surprisingly i can already play, half of that solo
    Oh having a stingray helps :)
  16. I have a yamaha precision bass. My brother-in-law's cousin (who lives in the UK) is a pro player and he told me that slapping is harder on precision.
    I'm trying my best though!

    wanna donate me a stingray?
  17. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    That "Flea rare bass solo on Kazaa" wasn't actually done by Flea, it's a fake. However, it is quite good, and extremely useful for showing off meanlessly.

    In regard to Flea's technique, I find it pretty flawless. Not as in he never makes mistakes or anything, but in as much that he blends deep down n dirty punk rock with a bit of jazz influence and, of course, funk, and it comes out perfect.

    Flea is undoubtedly my biggest influence and I suppose I've copied his style big time - oh well, there's worse people to copy!

    Overall, the best way to get Flea's technique is to learn as many Chili Peppers songs as possible, good tracks on Californication to learn for a good example of how wide Flea's talent ranges are "Savior"; "This Velvet Glove" and "Get On Top". Songs off other albums that are great fun and good for improving are mainly tracks off bloodsugarsexmagik - I completely taught myself off that album.

    Flea is a legend:) :) :) :) :)
  18. I remember about '92-93, I was 17-18 yrs old, and had been fooling around slapping my bass for a few years. Had a lesson book and tape by Jonas Hellborg, and I listened to Mezzoforte and Marcus Miller and other more or less cheesy fusion-stuff, but I wanted to develope a somewhat more ROCKING slap-style. Then someone handed me "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". -I got home, hooked up my bass, and put on the CD. To my surprise, I knew, and was able to play along more or less accurately to all of the songs!! That kinda made me feel like king of the bass, and it inspired me to keep on funking and slapping... I remember I had some trouble getting the right sound on "Mellowship", because I thought he slapped it! -Then I tried to play it fingerstyle and: There it was !!
    My dad is a bassist to, and he has a Stingray... For a long period he hardly saw it. I have a '74 Jazz-bass (actually the same model that Marcus Miller developed his signature model from) and I found out that with the right setup, and new, good strings, it's not far from the Stingraysound...
  19. Fredric

    Fredric Guest

    May 17, 2002
    Australia, Melbourne
    Flea is one of my Fav bassists and i listen to RHCP a lot and i play the first 4 song's and the 6th on californication. i find that Flea gives the impretion of it being hard but when you learn how to play it it is not hard. like. californication in the verses it sounds hard but once i got it down after that i can play it 95% of the time.

    So don't think that is hard just think of it being longer ot learn and you can play it exactly like flea to!!!
  20. BTW, Flea recorded many parts with an Alembic bass and not his famed Stingray or new Modulus model.