Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

who invented slapping? bill johnson or larry graham?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by AZNBassist, May 3, 2004.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. AZNBassist

    AZNBassist

    Jan 14, 2004
    Denton
    well, this thread actually belongs in both BG and DB forums, but wutever...

    when i first began slapping, it wuz on electric and i always thot it wuz larry graham who invented it on BG, and i thought he was right, since slapping an upright doesnt have quite the same effect that it does on an electric...

    but recently, ive heard some claims that during the Early New Orleans period, Bill Johnson was the guy who invented slapping on upright...

    so who REALLY invented slapping?

    and if bill johnson actually invented slapping, then did larry graham copy him? or did he rediscover it?
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    They aren't the same thing.
     
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Questions like this are unanswerable. Most likely a lot of people "invented" slapping independantly over a period of time but had only local, or no, exposure. A better question would be "Who popularized slapping?"
     
  4. CJK84

    CJK84

    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I have read that Larry Graham "invented" slapping on the electric bass as a teenager.

    He and his mother, an organist, played in a trio with a drummer. When the drummer quit, leaving only Larry and his mother to carry on, Larry began slapping to add a percussive element to the sound.

    I would guess that others had slapped before, but Larry apparently went on to be the first to popularize it, creating memorable grooves with Sly and the Family Stone.
     
  5. AZNBassist

    AZNBassist

    Jan 14, 2004
    Denton
    hey thx guys...but...

    pacman, wut do u mean by they arent the same thing?
     
  6. prophecy

    prophecy

    Dec 26, 2003
    Earth
    hey man, it was larry g who popularised it for bass. spot on CJK84!
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    They are different!! ;)

    So - the point is when people say "slapping" in reference to bass guitar - they mean something very different to what is known as "slapping" on Double Bass!!

    So - BG slapping, includes the "popping" element which is unique to BG and facilitates 16th note funk lines, syncopating funk.

    Also - BG slapping doesn't have to be hard - it can be a light sideways movement of the thumb with a light touch for popping, with the fingers. So - it is more about timing and rhythmic placement/syncopation in the bar - effectively, almost playing two lines at once, to fill out the sound as Larry Graham did with his mother - low rumbling slapped notes and tight, bright percussive popped notes.

    This is not what happens on Doube Bass slapping -which was earlier -but was really just hitting the strings harder - but playing more or less what you would have done anyway, but getting a more percussive sound.

    Larry Graham's slapping was very different from what had gone before on DB and cannot be compared really!

    In fact I'm not sure at the time, that people even called it slapping -...:meh: Although the term has now come into common usage in the BG world.
     
  8. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    It used to be called "thumpin' '"
     
  9. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    uUUUGgggggggGGGgGGggggggggguugugugu!

    {Kicks desk}
     
  10. AZNBassist

    AZNBassist

    Jan 14, 2004
    Denton
    o i see, ok thx

    but...then how exactly does the slap on an upright work?
     
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That should be asked in the DB forum.
     



Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.