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Slap pop video

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(@maliciant)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Topic starter  

I'm trying to find a video that shows in painstaking detail how to do slap pop, I just don't get the sound I want out of it. Maybe my action is higher than is ideal for it or something, but I just think that I'm doing something wrong.


   
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(@demoetc)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Could be the bass, could be the setup.

I had a Rickenbacker 4001 that to me just didn't seem to be designed for slapping. Tried everything, thumbslap over the frets, over the pups.

Then I got a Squier P-Bass Special and I hardly had to do anything to get a good slap sound out of it, even though, as it turns out, I'm not into slapping anyhow. For the slap, try striking the strings about an inch or two in over the fretboard where it joins the body; sort of over those last 2-4 frets.

The popping: don't curl your popping finger too much; sort of let it slip off the side of the string. Some guys use the index, some the middle.


   
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(@slejhamer)
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The most frequently recommended book/CD I've seen for slap is Tony Oppenheim's "SlapIt!" which now has an online version, but no videos AFAIK:

http://www.slapit.com/

I can not get a good slap sound from my short-scale Mustang; my teacher even tried and, while he sounded much better than I do, he still said there's "something missing." I was able to get better a slap sound out of his fretless Musicman with 1/2-round strings. :cry:

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@demoetc)
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Speaking of scale-length, yes. My Turser Beatle doesn't do slap or pop that well. It comes out sorta Dop-dup.

Maybe at least 34" scale with roundwounds.


   
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(@maliciant)
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Topic starter  

I've been able to get closer to getting it right, I'm using a Peavey G-Bass which probably isn't an ideal slap bass, but I'm pretty sure I can at least get the basic sound going. I think I have less of an issue with the pop side than the slap side, I think my palm tends to be mutting the string.

I hate the idea of thinking that one bass just won't work for something, it just makes me think about guitars and how people feel to sound better they need to buy better gear, which for the most part isn't true, after having some minor maint work done on my guitar watching him play a short little lick drove home the point, it sounded truly incredible, making it clear that it was up to me to get the guitar to sound like that (and maybe it already does when others hear me play but the recordings I make don't say that yet).

Anyway, I'll have to keep working at it, a video that covers the do's and don'ts/common mistakes would go a long way, like with slapping, is it a downward motion (seems like if I hit directly on the string I get no sound even once I noticed the palm thing and cut that out). Do I simply have to master bouncin that thumb back off of the string faster... similar to touch harmonics with the left hand?

Edit: I'm not sure I'm interested in reading a whole book explaining the things I already have read 10 different ways. I do have new strings that I bought but haven't put on, and they might help a great deal (I'm pretty sure the ones that are on it are old but then when I'm planning to change them they just seem to gleam and sparkle like they are new... they fear the change....)


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Check out Bunny Brunel's site; lessons 6 and 7 are on slap technique.

http://www.cyberschoolofbass.com/index.html

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@maliciant)
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Topic starter  

Thanks slejhamer, that's pretty much exactly what I needed... and the first paragraph of lesson 6 probably told me the answer to my biggest mistake... I wasn't using the right angle at all for how to strike the string, the video is a big help too.


   
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(@maliciant)
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Topic starter  

I finally put the new strings I bought for my bass on, between the site posted and the string change it's coming along much better, I'm not sure I'll be able to get a real distinct slap pop sound out of this guitar, but I am getting much closer. Changing the strings was a relative nightmare, once I got the old strings off (and actually a bit before that) I noticed my tuning peg for the D string was real loose, surprised the thing didn't just fall out while playing it or something, nothing in my socket set seemed to fit it well, though I had my trusty adjustable wrench and that worked fine, seems like that wasn't the only issue but compared to switching out the strings on my guitar this was somehow more difficult.

I think my number one slap pop problem now is, my pointer finger is gettin pretty shredded up at the cuticle of the finger nail from rubbin on the strings when I'm poppin. Is the cure for this a matter of getting more accurate and not hitting those strings with my fingers, building up a callous on the finger nail side of my finger (not sure that's even possible), or is the cure usually the use of flat wounds? I know that they are generally preferred for slap pop but I thought it was more for the difference in tone, is it actually more a matter of it's less vicious for your fingers?


   
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(@slejhamer)
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I'm not clear what you're doing with your popping technique. I just dig in with the fleshy part of my index finger and snap the string. No nails, no cuticles involved.

As to strings, I don't think flats are the ticket, unless you're going for an old-school Motown funk sound. Stainless roundwounds seem to be the most popular for slap, though regular nickel rounds should also work well and will be somewhat warmer.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@maliciant)
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Topic starter  

The fingernail involvement isn't part of the popping motion, at least, it's not part of the required popping motion, it's just that I'm putting my fingers under the string a little to pull them up and as I do that my fingernail rubs the bottom string.

I'm gettin the sound I want (or at least I'm getting the distinct slap pop sound that says I'm doing something right), so I'm pretty enthusiastic, I'll have to play around now and see how necessary it is for me to put my fingers through the strings, hopefully I'm still just doing some stuff really wrong and this fingernail cuticle issue will be gone. Here's to finding new ways to keep doing it wrong (but so close to doing it right I think).


   
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