10 Songs That Taught Me SLAP (Easy to Effin’ Hard)

Learning slap bass is a long lonely road… here’s 10 songs that taught me how to slap, and how you can level up YOUR slap bass game.

When I started playing bass at age 13, nothing seemed cooler than slap bass. But frankly I sucked at it… for kind of a long time. That’s why all these slap bass lines were so crucial to get my technique to the next level.

Which slap lines, you ask? Well you’ll have to watch the video. You’ll learn things like:

  • The easy formula Stuart Zender (and everyone else) uses for funky slap
  • That yes, Flea bass lines will appear in almost every slap bass lesson ever
  • A trick Les Claypool uses to sound more melodic
  • Who the grandfaster of slap bass is
  • How impossible it is to slap the bass too hard (thanks Louis Johnson)
  • Nate Phillips sexy thumb-fingers hybrid technique
  • Marcus Miller slaps amazingly and once wore parachute pants
  • Stupid-sounding-but-fantastic advice from Mark King about slapping fast
  • Squarepusher is not a human and he slaps too fast
  • How Victor Wooten re-revolutionized slap bass

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, these riffs are on the brutally-hard end of the spectrum, and you should proceed with caution with anything beyond the first two songs. :warning: :exploding_head:

10 Songs That Taught Me Bass Spotify Playlist

Here’s the Spotify playlist from my original 10 Songs that Taught Me Bass (Easy to Effin’ Hard) video, with all these lovely slappy songs added -


All the slap bass tabs n sheet music

Your Thoughts on Slap?

Slap bass - the coolest thing ever, as per 13-year-old Josh’s tastes?

Or overrated / obnoxious / outdated / other adjectives beginning with ‘o’?


Great video! Since my slapping skills are essentially non-existent, it’s not that useful for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Love the new bass! At least I think it’s new, don’t remember having seen it before.


Thank you for confirming slap is not for me.
Great video though.


Yeah, it hasn’t made it in a video until this one! MIJ '62 reissue. Needed a little work but I’m loving it now.

Haha you’re welcome, glad to save you some blisters!


:+1: :+1:

Damn, Josh, that video production is ostentatious!

Major kudos to you and your editor. That was some serious visual jazz riffing.

I enjoy slapping, but I’m at about number 2.15217 on this scale. In fact, it’s still officially odious. But I’m gonna keep on injuring myself plugging away at it, though.

Thanks for this video. Great to see and hear how you and your video partner in tim(ing) are pushing the teach-a-thingie envelope.


Thanks Mike! Yeah, 2.15217 is a good place to get stuck on this scale, lol, hence the very official CONTENT WARNING. :stuck_out_tongue:


:+1: :adhesive_bandage:


I’d totally forgotten that Squarepusher played bass :rofl:


Good video, slap is like the thing I am worst at on bass


Loved the overview of the slap spectrum through songs! Learning to slap has been a grind, but making progress. If I can ever play “Get On The Floor” cleanly I’ll close my eyes and pretend I’ve reached the summit of slap.


So good to ‘see’ you again Josh! Great video. I burst out laughing around 9:30 :rofl:


Loving this slap bass series. Talk about pushing your limits. Love it.

1 Like

This is so damn excellent.
Kudos and Bravo and trophy awarded.


Thanks dude! Honestly, there should be some Toast Machine on this list, you were my teen slap bass idol!


Added 10 Songs That Taught Me SLAP (Easy to Effin’ Hard) to Module 13 of the BassBuzz YouTube Video Guide.

I thought this needed a caption since it gets in to a level of playing that is beyond Beginner to BadAss. First, I went with, “Does the student dare to test themself against the Master?” but settled on, “A simple guide :rofl: to becoming a slap master.”



For anyone trying to learn these riffs, I threw together a Noteflight with all the tabs and sheet music! (added to original post)