Conflicting slap setup advice

Ha I think that’s nuts! My definition of “high” starts at 5mm. Anything in the medium or low range is slappable. Above that sucks, it takes way too much force to get contact on the frets for the * smack *, and popping is unpleasant too.


Can you be set up “too low to slap”?

I am just under 2.5 at the 12th fret and have the problem that I am not getting note articulation. (Yes, I watched your slap video). I can get a decent tone on the open E string if I am very aggressive towards the bridge, but fretted notes are muffled, cut, and usually have annoying harmonics/overtones (which seems to happen regardless of where I am hitting the string)–but much worse when I try and slap by the fingerboard.


There was a guy a little while ago complaining on some forum, can’t recall which one but he said he had to return his new bass because he couldn’t get get it to play well with the action under 3/32in (which is just under 2.4mm) :laughing:

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There’s probably a limit where the strings won’t do anything but rattle, but I’ve never experienced that. I find I can actually get away with lower action for slapping than for plucking. (not that I’d set up a bass that way)

Yeah, I don’t really get it, I know some people like it super low, but IMO it just doesn’t give you enough room for dynamics and versatile playing styles, which is what I like to do.


For me? And keep in mind that I don’t slap a whole lot, but when I do it sounds good to my ear, I stack these two picks on top of each other and set the action so that they slide right under the string cleanly at the 24th fret.

Technically that’s 2.14mm, but I figure that there’s some play in there with with pick sizes and under the string, so I figure it’s close enough to 2.5mm. And I like how it plays.

I would use a ruler but… truth be told, I can’t see the markings on the ruler underneath the strings. There’s a reason I wear glasses, lol. So… I improvised. :smiley:

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Wow that’s super low

Is it? It doesn’t feel that low, and if I have it much higher I feel like I have to pull my finger (lol) way off the fretboard to move to a different string.


I can’t see shit either, so I use a digital caliper to measure the distance from the top of the string to the top of the fret, and then I subtract the string diameter from that reading.

Or you could buy one of these:

My PJ is set up for 1.9 - 1.4 mm at the 12th fret


Where do you find all these schematics? Was looking for one for my Berg B Amp and unable to find.
Is it hit and miss by mfg?

Fender nicely puts it in their manual. Not everyone does.

It’s not, that’s how I like it too :slight_smile:

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Yeah. Often you can also google the service manuals. That’s where I have found them.


Mine is about 2.25-2.5mm at the 12th. I adjust it a lot by feel up and down from there, based on style, though - and it needs to be a little higher for picking, say 2.5-3mm. I don’t go higher than 3mm.

If I were interested in tapping I think I would actually lower it :slight_smile:

Hmm, my P-bass is just a hair under 3mm on the E at the 12th fret. Maybe it’s not as high as I thought.

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This to me is on the “high side” but ok

Think I’m even in the 3-4mm range and slap is still not a problem. :slight_smile: