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Yet another slap bass thread

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rocketrichard, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. rocketrichard


    Mar 11, 2004

    I bought Jon Liebman's Instructional Funk Bass book a few years back and never did get through very far into it. Crazy when I think of it, I really should have stuck to it but I had a problem.

    I have two basses, two cheap basses - both with incredible handicaps. I have a squier p bass that would be fine but its defretted and sounds horrible slapped and this horrible ashton 5 string bass with ubernarrow string spacing, terrible electronics. Don't get me wrong though, I got what I paid for them so I'm not complaining. The neck is bowed enough for the bass to be dead in spots after about the 8th fret. :|

    But this is what stuffed me up learning to slap, this horrible bass is driving me nuts. The string spacing is so narrow that in a pop situation I am tested to my limits just getting inbetween the strings to pop. There is so much ring aswell, it is a constant challenge to keep these strings muted.

    My question, maybe one of many but are these narrow string spaced basses much worse in terms of muting requirements? I plan to get a btb406 sometime later on this year so hopefully by then moving onto the btb will be heaven.

    I do occasionally slap my fretless and wow, the spacing makes it so much easier to get around.

    Has anyone else uses Jon Liebman's book? It seems to be very good.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I do agree that wider string spacing makes the 'pop' part of slap/pop much easier - for me, I just can't slap at all on basses with narrow spacing because of this.

    It's also easier to hit the wrong string when you start slapping with narrow string spacing...:meh:

    P basses are also not so good for slap - so it sounds like you were doomed to failure!! ;)
  3. rocketrichard


    Mar 11, 2004
    Heh, I think lots of things have changed since I last had a bash at it. Probably the most notable thing is I have decided to embrace invincibility, nothing can stop me! :)

    More seriously though, I initially thought it was impossible. But reasonably quickly I have discovered it is possible to use this narrow bass, in all honesty I am not super accurate at the strings but my left hand (fretting) muting skills are certainly increasing. Occasionally I do grab the fretless and slap it a bit because its amazing how easy it is to be accurate after slapping that

    I am still finding it hard to concieve palm muting though, I don't know that I can blame the narrow bass on that one though. Probably because palm muting gets me into trouble for popping.
  4. jonster


    Nov 12, 2008
    Yes, slapping on a bass with narrow spacing is definitely more challenging. Contact me if you have any other questions or concerns. Thanks for picking up my Funk Bass book!

    Jon Liebman
  5. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have a fretless 4 string and fretted 6 string, so I'm right there with ya. However, a few situations made me realize that those really weren't restrictions at all.

    For one, I left my fretless 4 at my friends apartment, because we always jam there. So when I'd want to play slap bass, I had no choice, and now I have fun slapping on the fretless, it has a very unique/untraditional sound. And just look at Les Claypool's 6 string fretless Rainbow bass, he slaps that thing all the time.

    As for the 6, I was originally extremely disheartened when I bought it because I couldnt slap on it at all comparison to the then-fretted 4 string. Like you said, popping was super hard to accurately and quickly get your finger under the correct string. And muting was hard with 6 strings total. However at this point (maybe...5, 6 months later?) I can slap on it just as good or better than the 4 string, and have gotten muting with my fretting hand down to a science. So its all in practice, I wouldnt consider yourself "doomed from the start" by a longshot.

    Except the one with the super high action. That might be impossible to slap on, or at least get a good sound out of. I've tried with friends' "punk" basses with 1/2" string height, just couldnt do it.

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