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This week I’m looking at the 3 biggest problems I see in players getting started with slap bass technique. Slapping can be really tough for beginner bass players that want to imitate their heroes like Flea, Marcus Miller or Mark King but some of the issues are easily fixed with some simple tips.
1) Buy some new strings! Slapping can sound really bad on old, dead strings. A lot of the slap sound comes from the zing of fresh new strings and when you’re getting started as a beginner bass player, you’re likely to get frustrated that it doesn’t sound like you want it to.
2) Watch Your Thumb! Lots of slap bass players have problems with striking the wrong string or hitting in the wrong place. This is easily fixed. Just watch your thumb! Pick a spot on the string and slap it!
3) The Fretting Hand! Bass players often assume that the thumb is responsible for the slap sound but the fretting hand is SO important. We use it for our note duration, we create ghost notes and percussive effects with it (like Mark King) and we also use it in slapping for cleaning up all the unwanted noise. In this lesson I introduce you to the ‘home position’ that could change your approach to slap bass and playing in general!
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