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Which bass next for slap?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by foxadn, Sep 14, 2017.


Next budget bass for slap?

Poll closed Sep 21, 2017.
  1. Ibanez SR700

  2. Yamaha RBX760A

  3. Sire M3

  1. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I've been playing for about 1.5 years and really like it. I started on a new LTD vintage 214 (PJ) then sold it and bought a used Cort A5 (5-str neck through).

    I did a lot if setup work on the A5 and it plays really nice now (no more fret buzz) but for the life of me I can't make it slap... (pop no pb ;))

    I replaced the strings and noticed improvements in sound consistency, nicer sound, better tension (went with slightly lighter gauge) but still no good slap. I tried different action heights (2.5 to 3.5mm) didn't seem to make a big difference.

    Last time I was at GC I grabbed any bass with a stupid bad setup and it would slap super easy... kind of frustrating :-/

    So now I'm thinking of adding a 4 stringer with bolt-on neck and I'm hesitating between the following models. Any recommendations?

    - Ibanez SR700 used like new - CL (local) $400
    Not a big fan if the "yellow wood" finish (too close to what I already have) but it looks like a lot if bass fir the price.
    Note: I really like Ibanez necks.

    - Yamaha RBX760A used - online $300
    I love the finish in these basses and heard only good things about Yamaha. Plus that's currently my cheapest option. No way to try before buy.

    - Sire M3 new - $450+
    Ideally I'd be tempted by the V7 but it's out of budget. The M3 looks so gorgeous (blue or red) I could be tempted but budget wise it's quite a stretch. Is it worth it?

    Thanks for any comments!
  2. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Not enough info... you'll need to elaborate us more on those statements: "can't make it slap... (pop no pb ;))", "still no good for slap", and "bass with a stupid bad setup and it would slap super easy"
  3. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Sure, appreciate your reply! Just didn't want to write too much, some ppl get annoyed reading ;)

    So when I slap on my A5 the string does hit the last fret but it barely produce the sound I expect: it sounds like the 2+ harmonics are more present than the fundamental... I tried all kinds of speed, strength, angle, no success at getting a clear tone out of the lower strings (mostly E, A). I put Lo-Riders 45-125.

    Popping is no problem, the D and G strings produce a nice sound when pulled and released.

    At GC I noticed the guitars I tried where I could easily get a nice tone slapping had like 4-5mm action. Seemed quite high to me. My preferred action is reasonably low (~2-2.5mm) and it's what Cort recommends.

    If setting up my bass for slap means setting the action much higher then I'd prefer getting a new one and dedicate each bass to different playing styles. The added advantage would be to get a 4-str which I feel is more straight forward for learning slap (on the 5er I'll admit I have a hard time muting the B str when slapping).
  4. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I vote Ibanez out of those 3. It is a lot of bass for the money. They tend to be voiced for slap too, big bottom, scooped mids, crisp top. That being said I just picked up a G&L Tribute L2500 and I really like it's tone for all playing styles including slap.
    TolerancEJ and foxadn like this.
  5. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Ok so seems like I exaggerated a bit in my description.
    Just tried again and the E string is not that bad. Maybe I had left too much mids, if I cut them a bit the E sounds clearer.

    However if I try the exercise below when I slap on the A string to do the hammer-on (D > E) I definitely get a very weak sound: the D is barely noticeable and has more harmonics than fundamentals. Unless I launch my thumb from 6in away... then I can get an ok sound, but very hard for consistency.

    From what I recall on other basses it required much less effort to make the slap sound like it should.
    Has anybody been through this kind of stuff? Or am I just sucking at the technique and need to keep doing that until I get better...?

    gebass6 likes this.
  6. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Fender Jazz?
  7. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestion, I don't think I've ever tried one so far, one reason for that is that the budget would be higher (Fender jazz used < $500 is pretty rare from what I've seen). I was tempted to add Squier Jazz VM but not sure enough.
  8. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Check out Michael Kelly. I bought a killer axe an Element 5Q for only $469. Excellent Slap Tone and the 4 banger is even cheaper.
    foxadn and Thumb n Fingers like this.
  9. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I would be looking at the Squier.
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  10. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Stingray. (Or the less expensive SUB series.)
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    Reedt2000, AztecViking and FugaziBomb like this.
  11. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Just curious, but given your price range have you checked out the ibanez ATK? Very similar sound to a stingray at much less expense. Nice bass all around.
    MobileHolmes and Element Zero like this.
  12. Lava


    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    It seems that a different bass shouldn't be the only solution. Have you tried EQing your bass and amp with less low end? Is your bass in Active or Passive mode? I've played some really un-slap friendly basses in a pinch and have have always been able to get some kind of slap tone.
  13. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Action will definitely effect the tone. For me, the lower the better. It requires a little less force to get a good tone also. May also just be something in your technique.

    Recently, I noticed something changing in my tone, strickly when I slap on the D string and to a lesser degree the G string. It's not as clean of an attack as it used to be, and the notes aren't ringing like they were. I spent a lot of time checking my technique for errors to see if I'd slipped into bad habits and couldn't find anything. The set up is the same on the bass as it's been (I fanatically check that and tweak if needed). The only thing that changed was that the callous on the side of my thumb has grown in size and shape, and gotten even harder than it was. So I tried something different... I twist my thumb inward (counterclockwise for righties) ever so slightly striking those higher strings with a little more meat of the thumb and less of the callous. Voila, problem solved. Actually seems to now be a superior tone to what I had going on before I noticed the decline.

    That said, the Michael Kelly or Squier options are solid for a bass to slap on. That Jazz style body is just ideal for slapping. You could probably find a MIM Fender Jazz also near your budget if you look a bit.

    Good luck!
    foxadn and gebass6 like this.
  14. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Its not the bass.. its something in the setup, the pickups, or your technique
    foxadn, MobileHolmes and gebass6 like this.
  15. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Wow, thank you so much everyone for the feedback!! Such a great community :thumbsup:
    Also thanks to the people who voted.

    I forgot to mention that I LOVE my A5 for the tone versatility, the way it plays and feels, and the fretboard extension that a 5 string provides. So I'm not selling it any time soon, even if I seem to complain about the fact that I can't slap well on it.
    Chances are that as my technique evolves (remember, I'm still at the beginning of my journey :laugh:) I may be more and more able to slap on this thing? Clearly I don't want to blame it on the gear, just trying to understand what I can improve.

    Thanks to y'all here is where I am right now:
    - I'll definitely check out more basses before jumping on one (ex. Squier Jazz, Fender Jazz, Ibanez ATK) to see how they feel
    - I still feel strongly that getting a 4 str will allow me to learn how to slap in an easier way (less strings to mute, larger spacing...
    - I have never adjusted the pickup height, is that something that could possibly matter here? I'll have to check how far the 2 MK-1's sit from the strings.

    @Lava: taking out some low-end? I am in active mode but I add a bit of highs, a bit of lows and remove most mids... not the right way to go? :D

    @phillybass101: hadn't heard about this brand, looks great will check it out!

    @Thumb n Fingers: great to hear that you can slap with low action. Personally I can't but at least I can take out of my mind that it's not possible.
  16. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    If you slap vigorously you might push the string into the pickups creating an unpleasant click. If that happens you can lower the pickups to compensate. Lower pickup heights give slightly lower output so it's usually a balancing act between playability, output, and sustain/intonation (pickups that are too close to the strings can affect those things with their magnetism). It takes some practice to get comfortable slapping with smaller string spacing. I'd advise you to maybe lighten up your attacks and focus on accuracy. Be sure to play lines and licks that make you slap on the A D & G strings. Finally mids can be your friend. They lend definition to your tone, helping hear the notes not just percussive sounds and rumbly bass. Good luck, hope you find the right bass :thumbsup:
    foxadn likes this.
  17. foxadn


    Mar 27, 2017
    Thanks much for these pointers!! I'll experiment with the pups and mids.
    I started this book from Jon Liebman for slap (Funk Bass: Bass Builders Series) and it does insist a lot on treating all strings equally and going for consistency as much as possible.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  18. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    Best bass I ever had for slappin was a G+L L2000E. That sucker really gave up the funk. Probably out of your price range though at the time I got it relatively cheap.
    foxadn and Reedt2000 like this.
  19. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Stingray or (Used Ray34 for that price range) are two more options.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  20. Have yet to meet a bass that can't be slapped, and I've played some awful ones.
    foxadn and Element Zero like this.

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