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What are some different techniques in slapping the bass? Riff exercises?

Question by Gawa

Well, as I mentioned before, I think slapping is constantly evolving.. so there are always different ways to approach it. New things are being developed each day... and who knows, perhaps you'll be the next person to introduce a new & funky technique.

Two things that I like to focus on when developing my technique are sound & efficiency. I use the sound I'm making to guide my technique... if I like it, I try to repeat & figure-out what I'm doing to make that sound. If I don't like it, I try not to repeat those "mistakes." Also, when I am making a tone I like, I try to develop a motion that's efficient... meaning that it requires the least amount of effort. Sometimes a little adjustment in the angle can make a huge difference.

With the above being said, and considering the popular approach of slapping with your thumb and popping with your finger - I'll mention some different techniques I've seen people use: People have slapped with an open hand or palm, the tips of their fingers. There are techniques where people pull the string out with their thumb. Some slap near the neck, others near the bridge. Some people have techniques that are focused around slapping with minimal popping... and others get a robust sound by entirely plucking. Most people pop with one or two fingers, though using all of the fingers can be great for thumping chords. I've even seen people who flick their finger (fingernail) at the strings to get a neat sound.

I think the possibilities are numerous... but ultimately, I believe it's about making sound - the sound You want. As for riff exercises, my favorite suggestion is to imitate the drums. Whatever techniques you're developing, it always helps to think of drum beats... if you want to break it down even more, try imitating the feel of the kick drum, snare & hi-hat. I think that's the best thing about slapping, we get to be a drummer and we Also get to use melody. Hooray for bass.

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