Is there any specific bass for tapping?

Hi. I am still new to bass. So please be gentle on me :slight_smile:
Some bass are specifically good for slapping, i.e Musicman Stingray.
I am wondering if there are any bass that are specifically good for tapping? I noticed on youtube many Dingwall bass players use it for tapping. Like these guys for example:

  1. 【ayumu】Davie 504 Jam Solo - YouTube
  2. Dingwall Combustion NG3 - Demo by Nathan Navarro - YouTube

Is it true that there are basses like Dingwalls that made it easier for players to do tapping or to get a bass for tapping is a matter of configuration? Wdyt folks?


I think you’ll find action and space between strings are key points. My Ibanez Gio has a wider neck than my Squier Jaguar’s jazz neck, so I find tapping easier despite my Jag being set up with a lower action for slapping.


Thanks @chordsykat . I didn’t think that space between strings is one of the consideration. For tapping, should I find a bass that has closer string gap OR further ? Your Ibanez Gio, what is the gap between the strings?


I have also wondered this. Haven’t found the formula. Seems easier on active basses or hotter pickups but could be wrong.


I don’t slap yet, but every review I have seen of the ESP GB 4 says its a slap monster. It has a push/pull volume knob that has an EQ preset specifically for slap

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I think Seymour Duncan produce an EQ/preamp with this feature too?

In fact the GB 4 has the Seymour Duncan STC 3M3 preamp and a set of Duncan pickups, so, yup

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Ah I see :crazy_face:
I’ve got that preamp in my 5 string but as I suck at slap I don’t see any difference

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Unless your action is very low already, you’re looking to get that string to strike the fret, so you’ll want to veer lower. If it’s already lowered, your attack might need adjusting. A good sound off of a tapped string comes from a swift and solid strike followed by a pull-off that’s moving slightly upwards. I forget who but I think it’s “Become a Bassist Luke” who recommends two fingers overlayed ontop of one another for that extra strength.

My Ibanez is stock(!) and not in this studio where I currently am, so I am afraid I can’t report how low it’s set. A buddy has said that if your bass strings are higher off the fingerboard than the width of a pencil, then they’re too high for slap. That’s a good place to start. My Jag’s are lower still. Eyeballing it, about 3/4 of a pencil could slide under there, I’d say, haha!


Interesting question. I’m calling on the teachers for this one.

What say you @JoshFossgreen @Gio ?

What are best for slapping and tapping when it comes to choosing a bass/electronics/setup/etc.?


I guess active eletronics will make it easier to tap.


We have more than one teacher? I thought there could only be one!


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I would think setup is probably the number one factor. Maybe hot or active pickups the second. But not exactly sure.

And just for the record, Nate Navarro is not human.

If I had to give a very short answer, I’d just say “no.” You can tap pretty much anything. It’s much more the player than the gear.

BUT for a slightly longer answer - it depends on what you’re trying to tap! You might want:

  • a 24 fret neck so you can tap more notes
  • roundwounds (very likely) so you get enough zing
  • more than 4 strings if you’re crazy

Action-wise, I don’t think super super low is necessarily the way to go - the volume you get from tapping comes largely from the velocity of the string colliding with the fret, so if it doesn’t have room to travel, it’s hard to get much juice, in my experience. I like a more “medium-low”, like a 3mm-ish clearance from E string to 12th fret wire.

But also, you can tap with lower or higher action - again, it’s mostly about the player and the technique. Although even Billy Sheehan wouldn’t sound so great tapping on my P bass with super high action and dead-ass 10 year old La Bella flatwounds and the tone knob rolled down. :slight_smile:


Very interesting. @jpartogi – I was “in town” and had a look at my Gio and it’s absolutely higher than my Jaguar’s setup. But since you’d piqued my curiosity, I tried a few taps and I definitely like the sound it produces as well as the feel, better than my Jaguar. Special note that my Jaguar is the single HB model with a humbucker set so low on the body it might as well be in another room, so it could be the pickups that I don’t prefer for this technique (the Gio is a typical PJ).

Oh – I also have the Gio in drop-d right now for some reason, which I totally forgot I did until I picked it up today. So there’s that. :slight_smile:

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listen to Josh, tapping is in the hands more than an instrument. If its not sounding good and your doing it right you probably just need a setup.


The thing that has thrown me off trying to tap is it sounds way different on the bass while you’re doing it than what’s getting recorded or amped. So clanky :slight_smile:


If your recording yourself and listening to your tone, your on the right path to get it figured out. Keep it up and most importantly have fun.


Oh I should mention it’s actually not really my thing, I’m not a huge fan of the style. It is fun though :slight_smile:

Good coordination practice too.


thats how I feel about slap…