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How do you do a left-handed slap?

Question by Matt H.

I'm going to assume that the person who asked this question is curious about making slapping tones with the left, fretting hand (as opposed to a left-handed person asking how to slap). One of the best things about slappin' is that it's so percussive... and often, people associate that sound with the smacking & plucking, slap-n-pop, of the right hand. What beginners usually don't realize is that the left hand is equally important to creating funky, syncopated sounds.

For example: imagine you're a drummer playing a beat on the bass, you'd use both of your hands right? Probably. That's what left handed slapping is all about... adding additional rhythms to the stuff you do with your right hand.

Below is a really basic idea of how to do a left-handed slap and how to incorporate it in your bass technique. Let's say you're slapping the E-string with your right-hand thumb... you first slap with the right, and then you'd smack the strings with your left hand to create another thump. Adding the extra percussive sounds with your left hand allows you to create more complicated sounds & rhythms.

Because slapping is always evolving, there's no correct way to do it. You can use one finger or all of them... you can press hard or soft. The whole idea is to make another sound entirely with your left hand only. Thinking this way will free-up your mind & right-hand from the traditional idea of "I fret the note with my left hand and I make the sound with my right."

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