Slapping On Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by zohaib, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. zohaib

    zohaib Shredder

    We'll start with some real basics, and progress from there. The first
    thing to decide is how to hold the bass for slapping. There are two
    extremes. The first, which I call the Tony Oppenheim style, uses a
    low positioning of the bass. This results in the arm being straighter
    and the fingers of the slapping hand being perpendicular to the strings.
    The other extreme, practiced by Stu Hamm, is to have the bass higher
    which results in the forearm being perpendicular to the strings and
    the elbow resting almost directly above the bridge. I suggest that
    you try both styles and see which one is more comfortable. If you
    hang your bass low, try the Oppenheim method. If you are more of a
    "jazzer" and have your bass up high, then the Stu Hamm method will
    be easier. I think I'm a jazzer, so I wear my bass up as high as
    my strap will go. :)

    One of the most important things in slapping is developing good speed.
    The best way to be fast is to learn to relax as much as possible. It
    is especially important to relax the slapping hand. Let your hand hang
    down naturally by your side. Now, without changing the position of
    your fingers, bend your arm and hold your hand over the strings right
    at the end of the fretboard. This is very close to the position you
    want your hand to remain in.

    Mute the strings with your fretting hand. Keep your thumb down behind
    the neck, with the contact point about half way down. Your thumb should
    be pointing almost straight up. Rest your fingers lightly on the
    fretboard, just enough to keep the strings quiet. Try to keep your
    fingers as straight as possible.

    Keep your slapping hand at the end of the fretboard, with your thumb
    hanging over the last frets and your first finger between the end of
    the fretboard and your pickup. Now, twist your slapping arm so that
    your thumb moves away from the bass. The arm itself should remain
    stationary and just rotate. You only have to twist enough so that
    your thumb is at most 3 inches (75 mm) away from the strings. Rotate
    the arm back towards the bass, let your thumb hit the E string, then
    bounce back. Do this almost as lightly as possible, just enough to
    hear a "click". Repeat this motion several times, always hitting the
    E string. Once you feel comfortable with this, move to the A string
    and continue until you feel comfortable with that. Then alternate
    slaps on the E and A strings.

    Now for some noise! Lift your fretting fingers off of the strings,
    and try some slaps. Slap once and then lightly mute the strings
    again. Repeat this until you get a nice consistant sound and can
    dampen the strings quietly. (We'll get into left hand slaps in
    a future lesson.) If you have a metronome, set it to somewhere
    between 40 and 50 beats per minute, and slap and mute one note
    per beat. Start slow and strive for consistancy. You want a
    nice steady beat and a smooth mute.

    OK, OK, I know you guys are itching to go on, so I'll give you
    one more tidbit before signing off until the next lesson. Another
    important element of slapping is hammer ons. A hammer on is when
    you play a note with your fretting hand, usually right after you have
    played one with your picking hand. To demonstrate, place the first
    finger of your fretting hand on the fifth fret of the A string, and
    slap the A string. Now firmly place your pinky finger of your fretting
    hand down onto the seventh fret, sounding a higher note. Cool, huh?
    Start up the metronome again, and setting it to between 40 and 50,
    practice this slap and hammer on until it is smooth. Don't bother
    muting this, let the notes ring. Slap the note on the beat, and then
    hammer on half way in between the beats. Go for smooth and steady!

    |-----------------| |--/--\--------------------
    |-----------------| | \ | .
    |--5----7---------| |---@--|-------------------
    |-----------------| | / . O
    S H |-----/-------O------------
    | /

    Once you get that down, let's combine a slap and hammer on with a slap
    and mute. Start with your first finger on the fifth fret of the A
    string. Slap the A string, then hammer on to the seventh fret. Now
    slap the open E string, then mute. Release enough pressure on the
    A string to stop the note just as you slap the E string. Keep the
    muting as noiseless as possible. TAB for this looks like:

    q q q q
    S H S M

    Work this up by starting slowly (40-50 beats per minute) and then
    moving up. Make it smooth and relaxed now and it will be lightning
    fast later. So, work on this and we'll add to it next time.
  2. JUDAS_666

    JUDAS_666 New Member

    where did u find this article? I think i've read the same thing some time ago. and which slapping style do u use?
  3. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    Nice article, i always wondered how slapping was done on a bass:) Good thread Zohaib!
  4. JUDAS_666

    JUDAS_666 New Member

    The article u've posted is incomplete one dude. I mean it was great of you to post it but it would be more good if u gave the url where all 5 lessons can be accessed. IT's in\misc. wisdom\classic internet lessons.

Share This Page