Slapping at home

Hi all.
Since my slapping is kind of terrible (despite Josh’s effort to teach me via B2B) and for that very reason I have accurately tried to avoid the fact that I have to practice it in order to improve it, as for anything else, i have decided to swallow some pride and get into it seriously.
My problem is that i live in an apartment and since i work during the day i can mostly practice after dinner and so i usually practice without a real amp but plugging my bass into my PC’s AI and i hear myself by my headphones.
While for finger and pick’s styles i get an adequate response i seems not to be able to hear if my slapping is ok. I actually don’t hear the “slap” tone at all. My question is this: does anyone else practice slapping wiht headphones? Do you hear if your slapping is ok? Have you got my same problem and how did you resolve it?
Ty for help :slight_smile:


My honest advice here is to unplug the bass and see if you’re getting the slap tone without the Amp. You should be able to hear that ‘clack’ whether you’re pligged in or not.

If you can do it, plug your phones into an actual amp. I’m not sure why your computer wouldn’t be getting the slap tone except that it captures the strings hitting the frets without enough oomph. Make sure your computer amp is ‘scooped’, too – high treble, high bass, no mids.

And of course, as you start to figure things out, almost-slapping will render some muffled, near-slap tones, too. No shame if you just need to work on your technique or adjust your action a bit. If you’re almost hearing it, you’re on the right path!


A big +1 to @chordsykat 's response.
Playing slap unplugged should show you if you’re getting the combination of sound and string-on-fretboard ‘clack’ - and the headphones should be a very transparent way to hear anything your bass is up to.
Sounds like everything is on the right track, and it’s just going to be more of the floppy arms, relaxed right hand practice to get things happening.

And here’s the ultimate video for focusing in on that slap technique:


Ty all.
I’ll follow your advice.
Have a great time :-).

P.S. Had Josh been born when they aired Karate Kid…? I was about the age of Danny Boy back then and went to the cinema to watch it so i doubt he had … I mean Karate Kid not Cobra Kai (which is great btw…) :wink:

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Hmmm. That movie was out in '84, and I was three years old. I get the impression Josh is quite a bit younger than me, but even if he isn’t, it’d be close.

You’re never too young or old to appreciate the classics!


Wax on wax off! Truly a classic :ok_hand:


Agree… btw I was 15 in 1984… :grinning:

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I would try adding some compression. I’ve been in a rabbit hole the past week trying to understand tone and getting slaps and plucks in the same song to sound decent. It’s compression (and gain). My very novice understanding it is that it effectively reduces your bass’s volume to a smaller range. If your bass can go 0-11, compression makes it 0-8. Then you add gain to increase the base volume so you get 6-8. The quiet things are louder, but the loud things won’t blow out your speakers. So now the slaps and pops have volume and depth, and different tones emerge from your plucks.