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Slap question


davio

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Am I the only person that has trouble poping any string lower than the G string?

 

I have no problem with the G (other than sucking) but I can't seem to get comfortable with getting my finger under the D without tearing up my cuticle.

 

I learned my basic slap technique from a friend in high school who (after seeing part of an old Victor video years ago) I realized plays more or less Victor-style.

 

Is there any advice you guys can give me or should I just buy some videos?

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I dunno. I play a 5 string with very narrow spacing, and I can slap ok. ;)

 

Maybe you need a new bass. :D

 

I think it's more of a practice thing, you just get better at it the more you do it.

 

Seriously, start slowly, and work up to speed. I'm sure you'll get it.

 

Also, try the Alex Sklarevski and Ed Friedland (Hi, Ed!) books/vids.

 

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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I play a Six with very small spaceing also, but then again, I do practice it for like an hour at a time each night, so yeh just practice a lot. I am working on double and triplets on the slaping,thumping,and Plucking,add them together with a few hammers and you get a nice blend of notes.
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Now that i think about it...there is a good deal of contact between my cuticle and the string above it...it's never been a problem for me.

 

you could just keep doing it until it doesn't hurt anymore. your body should naturally compensate for your abusing it.

 

A good friend of mine developed a callous on his right index finger because of how he holds his drumsticks when doing particlar rolls or due to fatigue. it hurt when he first started...and he got sore, but in time, that area just calloused up.

 

Nothing unsightly at all.

 

you could always consider a bass with wider spacing for slap. it'd be a good excuse for buying a new bass.

 

jason

2cor5:21

Soli Deo Gloria

 

"it's the beauty of a community. it takes a village to raise a[n] [LLroomtempJ]." -robb

 

My YouTube Channel

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I would probably play that as the 5th fret on the A string, although open would work too. It depends on how the transition sounds from a muted slap on the D string to an open D.

 

Or I would play that muted slap on the E or A strings and play an open D.

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There's basically two extremes for holding your hand while slapping. One is where the axis of your arm (as defined by your index finger when pointing straight out) is perpendicular to the axis of your bass (defined by the neck)--like Flea. The other extreme is where the axis of your arm is parallel to the axis of your bass--like Stu Hamm.

 

I tend toward the second extreme (this is helped by wearing your bass a bit higher.) The advantage of this is that the fingers slide between the strings and popping is facilitated by simply rolling the wrist. You can also easly get your middle finger under the next higher string. Another advantage is prevents exactly what you describe--I pop with the side of my finger, which means the other side of the finger comes into contact with the other string. Another advantage is you can do some palm muting to keep all the strings from ringing--helpful on a six.

 

So reconsider your arm positioning, and see if that helps.

Oliver Sampson

http://www.oliversampson.com

 

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Oliver, thanks for the info. My current (slap) playing style has my arm at about a 25-30 degree angle from the strings. I wear my bass at about a medium height.

 

Maybe I need to find a bass guitar teacher. I have one on upright but he doesn't play electric. As of now I don't know any really good bass guitarists in my area. Any suggestions as to where to look for a teacher?

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A teacher, regardless of your level, is always a good idea--but especially in the beginning stages. The first place I'd go to the local music store, and ask around. You might have some bass dudes in the music department (if you have a music dept.) at your university. Or go to some gigs, jam sessions, and so on. Ask around.

Oliver Sampson

http://www.oliversampson.com

 

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To avoid hitting your cuticle try to come at the popping string more from the side. If your finger is coming straight at the string, you'll "ride" the fingernail down to the cuticle. If you pop on the side of your finger, you won't go near it. See if you can get your knuckles to aim down the neck, and pop with the side of the tip of your finger. Hard to describe in words, but you can always buy my DVD ;)

 

Also, try using the 2nd finger to pop the D string and the 1st for the G.

 

These moves greatly help develop speed and accuracy in popping, but if you've played the other way for a while, it'll drive you nuts to change it. Ultimately, it's worth it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by davio:

Perfect example:

http://www.basslobster.com/lessons/lesson2/SLAPEX2/2_6.gif

Would you slappers actually play this line this way? I mean, OK, you probably want to P the accented note and T the others. Fine. But from a speed/ease point of view, wouldn't it go better to P the first note and T the next two? After a P my thumb is "locked and loaded", ready to fire. But after a T, I have to "recock" my thumb. Add to that the wrist and/or elbow movement to jump strings -- have wide spacing like davio -- and I'd probably end up playing 8th 16h 16th instead of the rhythm written.

 

Sure, I suck at slap and my Ric is probably the last bass you'd want to slap on. And I'm more of a "perpendicular" player in Oliver Sampson's terms. But I can still do some short-burst flurries with my thumb ... as long as it doesn't have to jump strings.

 

Oh, and I don't normally pop on the same string I just thumped. Did I say I suck at this already? :D

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Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Would you slappers actually play this line this way?

I wouldn't. Maybe my technique isn't good enough but I can't get that line happening going TTP. However, I can do PTP, but PTT is easiest.

 

Personally, I've given up on slap pyrotechnics as they're rarely useful in a musical environment, better to just be able to really lay down old skool slap groove a la Larry. It's more about the T than the P.

 

Alex

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