Slapping through the string

Here’s a short video from Scott about slapping “through” the string, rather than bouncing off it.

@JoshFossgreen, what do you think about this technique?


I am looking forward to getting to this part of the B2BA course, as I can’t slap if my life depended on it…not that I am interested in playing a lot of slap, but it still annoys me that I can’t “get” it. I always wind up with weird harmonics/overtones and can never really articulate a note other than open E or open A


Hmm… it doesn’t sounds as percussive this way, but I had noticed that with some players… I see as different techniques since , well it sounds different :man_shrugging:t4:

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Sigh… I strongly disagree with the premise. Calling a technique used by most pro slappers “the #1 mistake”… I don’t know what he’s going for here.

He played Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen as an example, which was originally played by Freddie Washington on the bass. Here’s Freddie… thumb bouncing, NOT striking through.

Slapping through is a fine technique, but calling it a “mistake” to do the bounce slap is just wildly inaccurate. I don’t think it’s a matter of opinion, there’s plenty of video evidence. If bouncing is a “mistake,” he’d better fire this video off to Marcus Miller and Mark King!

One of my favorite Marcus Miller solos, bouncing his thumb like a mofo. I’ve never heard anyone slap this fast with single strokes using the thumb through - the bounce really helps with the speed (when you’re good at it)

And Mark King

I usually agree with most of what Scott teaches, in principle, but I think he’s way off-base (off-bass) on this one.


I prefer that technique, it’s getting to be pretty common now. It’s more efficient and it’s a good start on the way to double thumbing. If you slap on the G string, you pretty much have to slap through if you want a good sound.

Use whatever technique works for you and gets you the sound you want.

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Off-base. …har! Har@

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30 years ago Markus Miller might have but he doesn’t slap like that most of the time now. :slight_smile: He’s pretty efficient with his movements, he doesn’t move his fingers/thumb very far from the strings and he doesn’t rotate his hand much. He does still go back to the conventional bounce slap sometimes when he’s slapping hard though. He uses a pretty wide variety of techniques when he plays.

Harmonics/overtones are affected by where/how you mute and where you slap. If you mute where there’s a harmonic eg 5th or 7th frets, it may make more noise. If you slap at a nodal point (multiples of 12 frets from where where you’re fretting) it’ll make noise. Fret a note and tap along the string and you’ll probably find where they are. Also, if you’re slow to get your thumb off the string, you may create a pinch/artificial harmonic.

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Yet another reason I dislike SBL.

Slapping through is probably how most people do it here, just because of double thumbing.

But then there’s Kiyoshi :slight_smile:

true S-tier master of the bass face :slight_smile:


Wojtek seems to use a combination of both, or am I barking up the wrong tonewood here?

SBL working the click bait! Say it isn’t so!


Thanks for the great examples, @JoshFossgreen . Would you say that “slap through” and “bounce off” are complementary techniques that are both worth learning?


Just like “3 reasons why you shouldn’t play a 5-string”, “10 reasons why you don’t need a P bass”, yadda yadda - it’s some kind of reverse psychology!


I got 1 Reason Why You Shouldn’t Bother with SBL…


SBL has fabulous contents. Heck, even those videos have some interesting bits in them (most of the time)… if they just weren’t so… click-baity :grimacing:

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It might, but my $179 was a pure waste of money.
I couldn’t stand how the info was presented, how it took every single instructor 1,347 words (repeated) to get a concept across that Josh or Mark Smith can explain in 10 seconds.

I’m sure SBL is helping others, as it wouldn’t be as big as it is if it weren’t, but for me, I’d rather watch Poppy all day than Scott :rofl:

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Now, that is harsh :joy:


I did the SBL trial recently but didn’t proceed with membership.

I found a few good courses that were well put together and convincingly presented that might have enticed me. But the core courses by Scott… I felt he could have communicated 80% of the content in 20% of the time.

I guess he just misinterpreted the Pareto principle. :wink:


Scott’s Bass Lessons. I had to learn a new English word for me, “obfuscation”, before I was able to describe how Scott’s content seems to me when discussing it with a friend of mine.