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Prague Owlmighty
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is going to sound pretty dumb, but I've been playing bass for about 9 years. I've played in plenty of bands, have written my own stuff, and am an overall pretty solid bass player. Just ask Leon. We've done a Metallica cover show together, and I even did an improv bass solo in the style of Cliff (No, I do not rip his style off when I play. It was for the sake of the show). Point is, I'm an experienced bass player.

However, I suck at slap. At this point, it's actually kind of embarrassing, being a bassist who sucks at slap. I've been checkin out Primus and some Chili Peppers, but anyone got any advice? Or even a song that would be fun to learn. I'd much rather take that because the problem is, I just can't decide what to practice with.
 

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Look into some ska music, most of my slap technique has come from playing along to Reel Big Fish songs ("Skatanic" and "Ban The Tube Top" are reasonably easy and fun), along with funkier rock stuff like RHCP, Incubus, and I Mother Earth (there's not as much there, but there's some). Victor Wooten gets a lot of praise for his slap playing, with good reason, he's a technique monster, but I find that I prefer listening to Les Claypool, Flea, and other guys who can really groove with it. I'm not exactly an amazing slap player myself, but I've started to get the feel for it so that I can get some fun grooves going, a lot of it comes from slapping/popping an open string and hammering on to the note that you want, that can add a lot and make it sound like you're doing more than you are :lol:

One of my favourite bass players is actually a lesser known guy, in an unsigned band that we played with in BC, really cool guy, and actually a couple years younger than me :rant: He's just got such an incredibly smooth groove and amazing phrasing, while putting on a killer show. His name's Tim Parent, and he's in the band Ninjaspy, and here's a couple videos where you can really see/hear what he's doing:

 

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I'd much rather take that because the problem is, I just can't decide what to practice with.
Take it from a bassist of over 15 years. Learning songs isn't really going to help here IMHO. The fundamental techniques are MUCH more important than learning some licks. What I would recommend is picking up Ed Friedland's DVD, "Slap Bass: The Ultimate Guide" if you want to build up your slapping chops from scratch.

If you've already got most of the bare basics down, then I'd recommend making the jump to Alexis Sklarevski's "The Slap Bass Program" DVD. It's a bit pricey, a bit antiquated (OK it's a LOT antiquated), but it's still the "holy grail" of slapping instructional vids.
 

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Prague Owlmighty
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1,770 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Slap guitar tips, anyone? :D
Honestly, that's another thing I'm going for. I figure I'll be much better at it on guitar once I improve on bass. Maybe I'll just try to learn a whole Ron Jarzombek song using only the slap technique. I'm sure my brain would explode.
 
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