Got slapped upside the head!

I am definitely not a slapper. I got good roundwound strings for my LTD. Adjusted the action way down low, and got real excited to finally get to the slap bass lessons…and I sucked canal water. However, after I finished one of the lessons, towards the end, I noticed my slaps and pops were starting to sound the way they were supposed to. They were slow but the sound was there. I also found out, flats are not good for slapping. But the fact that the more I tried it the better they (slaps and pops) sounded got me quite excited. I think I am going to put a lot more time into making my slap technique better. It was fun and I felt towards the end that I was getting it. Small victories, you know!



I tried with flats. They don’t respond well to slapping. I read that good new rounds are best. So I took the Fender flats off the LTD P/J and put on D’Addario rounds. I did get a little better towards the end of last night. My new little wife thought I had dropped the bass on the floor because it sounded so bad at first. My biggest problems slapping are the D and G strings. I slap them and it sounds like a popcorn fart…pffft!


My slapped upside the head story: 18 years ago my younger son had a baseball tournament with a game Sunday morning. We went to Saturday Mass that had a guitar praise group. They had no bass player, but could have used one. During Mass something kept nagging me to ask if they needed a bassist. At the time I wasn’t a “joiner” and had no time to commit to playing in a praise band. Plus, I fancied myself as a jazz bassist. Despite that, I was strangely motivated to talk to the praise leader after Mass to ask if they needed a bassist. To my surprise, yes they needed a bassist because their regular bassist could not commit time due to taking care of his father who was suffering dementia. The praise leader told me to bring my gear to their next rehearsal and take it from there. I met their bassist and he was actually relieved that I wanted take over for him because he felt bad he couldn’t commit to the group anymore due to taking care of his father with dementia. Talk about the Holy Spirit intervening for the praise and glory of the Lord!!! I spent the next 15 years being the bassist for Grace On Fire for a parish in Michigan. A wonderful 15 years! If you Google Bill Richart, Grace On Fire (called “friends”) was on two of his praise CDs. “Here Am I To Worship” and “In His Presence”.
So, absolutely nothing to do with slap bass, but when I was slapped upside the head by the Holy Spirit to serve the Lord with the talent He gave to me.


So I’m a lefty but started learning learning bass right-handed. As it was a whole new skill for me I didn’t feel too much on the back foot for it, and at least my dominant hand was able to work the fretting more easily, but when I started attempting slap I realised that my right arm was not at all ready… like on a scale of 1-10 it was a -5 :joy:

So what I did over the course of the next year was continuously practise the slap technique (holding the thumb out loosely, the arm twist) on my body, desk, steering wheel… :eyes: The more I did it the less I felt the burn of tired untrained muscles. Eventually got the confidence to go back to the slap module and also try out a couple slap riffs from songs I know… I’m not still not great at it but I CAN SLAP :sweat_smile:

It’s a tough thing to start, let alone improve at, but when you get it right it feels so good!


Looks like our friend Scott from SBL got slapped upside the head as well… Apparently he’s been practicing and teaching slap bass incorrectly all this time. Haven’t watched the video myself yet, but here it is:


Clickbait title from Scott, shocking I know.

Proper title: There Are Three Slap Techniques And I Like Double-Thumbing The Best Now


Thanks for that, saves me the trouble of having to watch it :rofl:


Worth watching for Ida :slight_smile:

scott is a great player, a pretty good teacher and just sorta unlikeable IMO. doesn’t seem like a bad guy but he annoys me.


The two blocks of promotional spiel for the same course he was hawking didn’t help.

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p.s. I don’t like Scott lol

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not a huge fan of scott’s, but ironically this YT vid was posted yesterday from a woodworker i subscribe to about the realities of clickbait titles & thumbnails for YT videos - was not aware of this but it kind of sounds like a necessary evil:

I’m neutral towards Scott’s videos, but I really like his bass of
Doom! At least before he swapped out the neck.

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The torture hasn’t stopped. Just finished Module 13 and thought maybe slapping was over and then Module 14 starts and it is more slapping. God, I am so bad at it. I think I am going to take the DaAddario flats off the Stingray and put Ernie Ball Rounds that it came with back on and see if the Ray is the slap bass king that Low End Lobster makes it sound like. With it’s wider string spacing compared to my LTD, that might be the recipe to allow me to be a slap funk meister. We will see, but I gotta say, at this point I HATE SLAP (apologies to Davie504)

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Well, I changed the Ray back over to EB Rounds, set the action a little lower, and slapped the hell out of it. Now, it has the proper sound, I just gotta get better. String muting while slapping is a bitch, I found out.