So I have been working on my technique for slapping(started about a month and a half ago) it just seems like I cannot get it down.
I have watched many many hours of videos on different techniques on how to slap. My biggest problem is that when I go to Slap say any string other then my low B (I have a 5 string, just love the low growl of it) it seems like I hit whatever string is under it I just don’t know if its as simple as more practice… ive been having this issue for about a month and half… just looking for advice and tips thank you :slight_smile:


@Aldwinn88 Welcome to the BassBuzz forum!

Module 13 of the Beginner to BadAss course is all about playing slap bass and Josh has these videos posted.

Idiot-Proof Beginner Slap Bass (Every F**king Detail You Need to Get Started)

How to Slap & Pop Faster (Bad vs. Good Bass Technique)

7 Reasons Flea is Awesome (with Bass Lesson Tips)

I don’t know enough about slap to be much help other than that.

Also, if you can post a video, there are others here that can help diagnose any technique problems.


ive watched all them at least 10x… I think its something wrong with my technique…


If you video yourself playing for a minute or 2 with slap style, we could offer suggestions, if that’s what you’re interested in? It can be helpful to see things in action to give comment.


Practice, practice, practice makes still not so perfect for me still, but a hell of a lot better.

I would like to offer a suggestion @Aldwinn88.
Learn Rage Against The Machine
Take the power back.

This is not the hardest slap song in the world, as a matter of fact, other then timing on some f the fills, it’s actually pretty easy to play.

I can say it has done wonders for my slap technique, and I have been slapping for less then a month, since doing the slap module of B2B back in mid April of this year.

Here is a Tutorial from none other then our beloved @JoshFossgreen that I just found while looking for a cover video of the same song.
I didnt know he broke this down, and am super excited to use this video to help me perfect the fills and play the song complete.

I can’t say why, but playing this riff over and over has helped me with my technique Nd muting emensely. I went from a zero to probably a 35 to 40 out of 100. Like I said, not perfect, but no bass player will ever claim perfection, and up 35-40 points from zero is huge IMO

Anyway, if you want to give it a try, heck, if anybody wants to give it a try, It May work for you too.
It is drop D tuning, and slaps the Drop D and A, and pops the D and G strings, so you get them all.

For 5 string, Idk if you wanna alt tune it to use your 4 low strings, or skip your B and use the four high (standard) strings? You will have to see what’s most comfortable for you.

Anyway, HTH


Hey Josh,
I just started Module 13 and I can 't get the note to ring out when I’m fretting. I get a good percussive + note sound when slapping on an open string but the farther I go up the neck, the more I just get percussive but no note. 12th fret, forget it! I can actually get a better sound by striking my thumb right over the 20th fret instead of between fret board and first pickup. And if I hit a little harder, I get a click-dead sound similar to what it sounds like when you pull the cable plug out of the amp when its on. I measured and the E string is 4mm above the 24th fret. But here’s where the problem might be: The string is only 5mm above the first pickup and 4mm above the second pickup. Are the pickups too high? Should I take my bass to a luthier? It’s a Yamaha TRBX204 and I’ve attached some photos that hopefully will help. Thanks!


@mickeyflorio Welcome to the BassBuzz forum!

To get Josh’s attention you need to use his tag. Like this… @JoshFossgreen. I will also add @Gio since he helps a lot with these kinds of questions.

When you have time, join us on the Introduce Yourself! thread.


Hail @mickeyflorio!
Thanks @eric.kiser for the heads up.

It sounds like a combination of:
Pickups are close to the strings & possibly needing to smooth out some RH slap technique things.
Any chance you could post a video of you playing open E, then (trying to let them ring) 3rd fret, 5th fret, 7th fret and then 12th fret of the E? Bonus if you do it on the A and D also!

Videos are always easiest for specific diagnosis of an issue.

If you like the sound of the bass with the PUs set at the height they’re at, there are some workarounds.
The loud terrible crack sound is the pickup magnet slamming against the string. I’ve seen some people cover the magnetic poles with electrical tape/duct tape? (black, of course) to try and alleviate this.

Holler if this is helpful, or if I can do more to clarify.
That may work?


Does this change the sound any?


I don’t know - I’ve never done it myself.
I imagine it would change the sound? A teensy bit? Minutely?
This is a question for the pickup folk - the @terb’s and the @Korrigan’s?


It’s a really good question. I was gonna assume it would make no difference (like, there are plenty of covered pickups) but you never know. Now I’m curious too.


@terb @Korrigan @Jamietashi

@Gio Your tags didn’t work so reposted them here to get their attention.


no it won’t change the sound, as long as you use non-metallic tape.

the metal covers change the sound compared to no cover at all, but it all depends on the metal used : it doesn’t behave the same as they can interact with the pickup magnetic field.

but electrical/duct tape is obviously not metallic and not magnetic :grin:


I can see electric tape, but with duct tape, getting the tape off, the residue would be a bitch if left in place for any length of time, I can imagine.


I agree with @terb, tape is magnetically transparent. But if you need to use tape to deaden the clink of your strings hitting your pickups then your pickups are too high or your string tension is really low. Your pickup height looks fine in your pics though and unless you are down-tuned or using a very light gauge set of strings your tension is probably fine too.

Could it be that you just have to work on your technique? I’m no slapmaster by any means but I found that I had a misconception of the mechanics of slap when I started. I thought it took a lot more force and speed than it actually does. I was basically trying to put my thumb through the string… and getting just a click or a very muted note. What needs to happen though is your thumb needs to just barely touch the string before it reverses direction and travels away from the string. If you are familiar with hammered dulcimer, it’s like that, your thumb is the hammer. To understand what I mean, sit down with your bass in your lap and take a pen (or pencil, screw driver, chopstick, etc), hold it loosely at one end and let the other end fall on your E string. See how it hits the string, immediately bounces away and you hear the note? That’s what your thumb needs to do.

(And I want to know how many of you immediately tried the pen experiment. :smiley:)


@Korrigan chopstick :rofl:


Just starting to learn slapping. Can you help? Thanks @joshfosgreen


I was 100% sure this link was going to link to porn


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


That was pretty good for starting out.

I am no slap expert, but I can do a little, sample below.

If I were to offer any suggestions it would be to
1 - keep your wrist and thumb stiffer, don’t want them moving around on their own. you can make a loose fist at first, which will help later when you start to pop strings because you keep your fingers IN to do this
2 - do all the motion by moving / twisting your whole arm at the elbow.

to change the string you are slapping on, like moving from E to A, it is good to move your whole arm down into position, rather than changing the angle of your thumb.