Slap & Pop on strings close together

So I try to do everything Josh tells me to regarding slap.
I’m not entirely sure If I get the 11 o’ clock thing right. It often feels more like parallel. I’m not sure if that’s gonna become a problem since I pretty much hit the string I want to. All that is not the reason for this thread though.

I try to just use the forearm rotation and with slap & pop I’m not sure which is the right coordination of movements.

So on the A and G string popping feels quite natural. It might just be that it fits my hand size, but with that I have no problem whatsoever. (except that I just recently started slapping and still need to get the tone right, have problems with dynamics and no tough skin on my right index finger yet)
But trying slap/pop on two strings so close together I always lose it. At least one part of it I fumble. I realized that I tend to move my thumb down for that because I want my thumb and index finger to be as close together as the strings I’m slapping and popping and while trying to analyze the problem to fix it I stumbled upon the question what the right movement for that hand would be.

It might not be as important, but “just sneak your finger under the string” is honestly not enough information for me at this point. I see two possible options of finger/hand movement and I’m not sure which would be the right one to practice:

Keep Hand Position:

  • slap rotation down
  • move whole hand to hook index under string
  • pop rotation up

Keep Thumb Position:

  • slap rotation down
  • keep thumb where it is for the next slap and try to reach with index - just moving the finger(s)
  • pop rotation up

Is one of these two considered the “correct” technique?
And of course any feedback, tips and similiar experiences you had are welcome.


After reviewing the Pop & Slap youtube video and watching Joshs hand movements more closely for what I was looking for I want to say… keep hand position at least mainly. Thinking about it it also makes more sense. I just haven’t thought of how to reach other strings yet, but that would be almost impossible trying to move mainly the finger.

Josh bends his index finger a little bit more inward before a pop but I’m not sure if it’s intentional. In the demonstration to get the finger into position it’s the whole hand.

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I’m having a hard time following what you mean. This would be a good one for @JoshFossgreen or @Gio.

Yes, it is a little hard to understand what exactly is the issue, @juli0r, but I understand this is also extremely hard to describe in words. Perhaps some photos or even a video or two might help here!?!

I am also struggling with slap&pop and what I do is “play around with it” every now and then (“playfully” trying out different approaches) and then let it go again for a little while, pick it up again a day or two later and so on. I don’t stress or rush it, but I notice that I start getting ever so slightly better at it.

Of course, it will never be my main approach to bass, and so it is easy for me to take my sweet time with it :grin:


Thanks for the feedback.
I’ll see if I can make some pictures or a video to make clearer what I’m talking about.

I think I got it right now. It often just helps me to talk about it when I’m stuck. As said I reviewed all the Slap videos from Josh…


I think I said this before, but I will say it again.
Watch @JoshFossgreen cover play thru AND tutorial with sheet and tabs of RATM’s “Take the Piwer Back”

Learn the main fiff in the song, and play it over and over. It’s not that hard to learn. It is catchy as all hell, so you never get tired of playing it (seriously, I grab my bass and just Slap / Pop it over and over while watching TV, talking to friends, talking on speaker phone, FaceTime, while on a zoom meeting, really anytime I have my bass in my hand and I am not dedicating time to practice or a specific thing) and just slap the $h!¥ out of it til your fingers bleed.

Try this over the next week, and come back and tell me you are still no good at slap.

I bet it raises your slap / pop game 1000%

It’s a challenge, cuz I know it will yield results.

Sorry I didn’t really answer your question, or talk about the specific thing you are posting about, but I did offer a solution, for you and everybody else.

@T_dub I assume you mean well but honestly it doesn’t help. It doesn’t matter which song I practice when I’m not sure about how to hold my hand. Also I don’t have a problem finding songs to practice.
It’s not even my type of song. I’m more of a Jamiroquai guy soooo to me it seems you found a workout that works perfectly. Perfectly for you and you wanna share that experience, but I don’t think it means it works perfectly for others.

It’s about getting the details right before practicing so afterwards I don’t have to painfully correct bad habits. I know a lot of people have the approach “just play”, but so far the diligent approach to get it right first and practice then worked for me although I sometimes get stuck especially for a new right hand technique. Standing still is in my opinion better than running into a dead-end street where I have to run out of again.
That being said I feel like I still don’t get the thumb position right and should work on that.

So I recorded two videos in which I tried to execute the two “options” which I see as purely as I could manage.

So here’s move the whole hand

My thoughts: This feels possible, but drastically reduces the seesaw technique effectiveness because it’s not just “rotate in / rotate out” but “rotate in / lift hand / rotate out”

And here I try to do the thing with mainly moving the fingers and keeping the hand & thumb where it is.

My thoughts: Executed correctly this might be the right approach. I just tend to also move my thumb downwards instead of just the index finger upwards.

Hey @juli0r, thanks for the videos, that helped me figure out what you meant. Definitely the approach from the second “movefinger” video. Depending on how far apart your slapped string and popped string are, your hand shape will change, with the thumb and finger being further or closer depending.

E string slap, G string pop:

A string slap, G string pop:

D string slap, G string pop:

When I slap and pop the same string, they’re stacked right over one another:

So the hand shape changes, but the mechanics / type of motion don’t need to. Does that help?


Yes! Perfectly. That sentence would have been enough for me I think. With the pictures it becomes perfectly clear. Thank you very much.
Now I just have to get my hand to do it.

I should have recorded a video immediately like last time.


That helped me too. Thanks.


Yeah. I would not mind those pictures below the lesson as FAQ.

Slap is really hard when starting it. I expected as much. I was equal parts excited and intimidated when finally reaching the slap module and now I have spent longer on this module than on any other module and feel like I’m still at the beginning.
Josh often says in those videos that I’m off to a good start but that really learning slap can take years of practice and I understand that. I will probably come back to the module after finishing the course and do the exercises in even slower speeds. For someone who already played slap a lot it probably seems extremely slow but for the pop/slap parts I did not feel that I had the time to get it right even in the slow workouts. Slap alone was fine.
I also understand that pop is something you do in combination with slap but I still feel like I have to practice at a lower speed than even the slow workouts of the lessons.

I moved on to the next module now and in good news it seems that I have a pretty good internal sense of time keeping in mind that I haven’t trained it specifically. It’s not that I hit everything perfect all the time but even in the longer silences in the hard workouts I had it at least sometimes right. Improvising anything does not work for me but as long as I’m relaxed and chill and don’t need to think about playing it works quite good. It felt quite good to have a positive experience after those quite honestly frustrating and painful lessons in the slap module. It’s not that I haven’t got any better since I started but nothing I do sounds actually good yet because I miss strings or have not relaxed my thumb enough so it was quite uplifting to groove in the lessons again with something resulting in a good sound.

In other words: WOAH! I feel good!


That’s great