Barely slapping but getting slapped hard?

As I continue to struggle with slapping, I saw this recently and it makes me even more confused:

At the 4:43-ish mark when he starts slapping, it barely looks like he’s touching the string at all compared to the sound he’s getting out of it.

When I slappa da bass, I’m having to wind up and nail the string where Ian seems like he’s just touching it lightly with his thumb but he’s getting even more of a thump than I do.

What gives?


Accuracy and his volume. He also has the Wooten’s style so it’s less movement on his wrist rotation but more timing on thumb joint rotation and a little bit of forearm. This is the bass version of Bruce Lee’s “One inch Punch”. No winding up just forward motion but every thing move together a tiny bit forward. Very effective but different.



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Yes to this.

I never get tired of linking to this video, which I still think is the best thing I’ve seen that goes into the minutia of the thumb attack:

Josh really exaggerates the wind-up of the forearm, but in practice just a little bit will work wonders to get that thumb slamming against the strings.
But keep it loose!!
The looseness is what lets it bounce off and get that sweet, bouncy tone.