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Slapping and popping


g bone

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Brand new stainless steel roundwound strings work the best.

Try DR High Beams or DR Fatbeams (the Marcus Miller model).

I think that depends on if you want a modern slap sound or an old school Larry Graham sound.

 

Practice a lot. Work on bouncing your thumb off the strings and don't forget the left hand muting.

Practice is key! But I generally subscribe to the school of slap in which you slap through the string instead of bouncing off of it.

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Larry Graham did use flatwound strings.

Bobby Vega gives a great demonstration at clinics bringing two Jazz basses with different kinds of strings and showing how he sounds when slapping on both of them. I don't know if he's got that on BPTV.

 

Just found the videos. OMG. he's slapping on black tape-wound strings.

 

Bobby is such a great player, fingers, slap, pick, you name it.

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I get frustrated when I try slapping and popping. slap sounds soooo wrong, popping sounds good. Does it make much difference between active and passive? how about low and high action?

 

As you can tell I don't know much about slapping and popping, can't find any good basics video, just expert level which is too fast for my old eyes to pick up on.

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Larry Graham did use flatwound strings.

Bobby Vega gives a great demonstration at clinics bringing two Jazz basses with different kinds of strings and showing how he sounds when slapping on both of them. I don't know if he's got that on BPTV.

 

Just found the videos. OMG. he's slapping on black tape-wound strings.

 

Bobby is such a great player, fingers, slap, pick, you name it.

 

+10 :thu:

 

 

 

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Slapping is just one of those things that take time.

 

I'm no expert, but my experience is that good slap sound depends on a lot of factors- including setup, string selection, and technique.

 

Low action, EQ set to favor mids and highs and fresh strings are what work best for me the gear side. Technique is the hard part to learn. The art of slapping is getting the string to bounce off the fretboard. The string thuds out usually because the thumb gets in the way. The key is to keep your thumb loose and hit the string light. It takes a little time to get the muscle control down to keep the thumb loose and use your wrist for the motion, kind of like cracking a whip. Your thumb needs to be able to get out of the way so the string can bounce. This is where high action works against things, because in order for the string to be hit hard enough to get to the frets, there is too much force in your thumb for it to get out of the way- or the string never gets to the frets, either scenario resulting in a 'thud'. The most common place to slap is right near the end of the fretboard at the neck/ body joint, over the 20-something frets. This location usually gives the best sound, especially as a beginner. As your skill grows, you can try different places, but they will give a different sound. At least this is what I have found.

 

It just takes practice and patience. With good technique and the right bass setup, slapping can be a lot of fun- then you figure out only about 5% of the songs you play it actually sounds good on....

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Not that I'm anything close to an expert in slapping but I find I can slap much better if I just relax and stay loose. 5 String Mike made mention of trying not to pound too hard on the strings which is what I tend to do and that's when the thudding starts. Usually it's because I don't think it is cutting through as well as when I pluck. Let the amp do the work and turn up your bass a little when you slap. Or learn to pluck softer to balance out the sound between the two which is something I'm trying to work out.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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The art of slapping is getting the string to bounce off the fretboard.....(snip).....and hit the string light.

 

 

I am no slapmaster, but couldn't agree more with this. Unplugged is a great way to practice this technique.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I'm not good at this technique. But for what it's worth, and some of you may laugh, but I think the best sound I get with this is on my Acoustic (Michael Kelly 4-String). Granted, Technique-wise, it's harder to do - sloppier, and takes some practice, but it just seems to sound so much better for some reason. Although I have noticed, amp settings make a HUGE difference, especially when it comes to compression and EQ.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I appreciate this thread since I've never been able to achieve a decent slap sound either. It's not something I work that hard enough on and I don't care much for the hard core stuff, but I've seen the technique used judiciously to add life to all kinds of music.

 

I watch the guys who do it best and they seem to share some of the advice given here. Steel rounds for the most part, and the movement of the thumb is not exagerated, as someone suggested, it seems to hit the string and keep going, not bounce off. Usually.

And then there is the muting. I think the other half of the secret lies there. Letting your hand fall back quick and light on the strings and still keep the motion and the rhythm. For me that's the hardest part.

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... it seems to hit the string and keep going, not bounce off. Usually.

And then there is the muting. I think the other half of the secret lies there. Letting your hand fall back quick and light on the strings and still keep the motion and the rhythm. For me that's the hardest part.

 

That is true. Muting styles add a lot of flavor.

 

As far as the thumb keeping going as opposed to bouncing, that is probably a more accurate picture. I used 'bounce' in a loose sense. A more accurate description would be my thumb glancing off the string. Vic Wooten is on video with a similar technique of glancing off the string, then using the thumb to sort of pluck the string on the way up, which gives him a double-slap type of sound.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Slap is more about technique than equipment.

 

I have not developed my slap technique (i.e. I pretty much suck at it) and the exact same bass I struggle to slap on another guy (with good technique) can pick up and slap like a monster on.

 

Having said that, though, I remember reading Les Claypool say that he wasn't much of a slapper until he picked up a Carl Thompson bass.

 

So maybe there is such a thing as basses that are easier to slap on than others. But even so I feel technique trumps equipment.

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