Slap and Pop Grooving

by Bogdan Radovic

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  • Hi GMCs, welcome to my first Bass lesson! We'll start our friendship here with a slap'n'pop bass lesson.. Slap style is what everyone likes and wants to do when they start playing bass. Everything started with Larry Graham playing in a band along side with his mother on piano and vocals, and for not having a drummer in a band he improvised the sound of bass drum by hitting strings with his thumb and for the sound of snare, he used to pluck the strings with his fingers. So the Thumpin' and Pluckin' was born! Nowadays these bass players are famous for using that technique: Les Claypool, Bootsy Collins, Louis Johnson, Mark King, Flea, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke etc...

    In this lesson I will show you the basic slap techniques and some of the more advanced ones like slapping triplets, that I used in playing this groove.

    The groove is a funky one played in 120 bpm with a tight bond with the drums so you need to be precise as much as you can.. And if you feel it right, it won't be any problem at all! I hope you'll have as much fun practicing it, as I had composing it.. From my experience song's bass line that features slap playing, in rock/funk/alternative music with vocals, doesen't need to be ultra fast or something to get the right emotion from the audience. So when you learn this groove and techniques used, you'll be already able to start making slap bass driven songs that will get people dancing and having fun... I have seen it many times - simple is just better!

    I used mainly E mixolydian scale for composing this groove, with addition of note G for added flavor.

    Last but not least - equipment I used for getting this sound was: Peavey Cirrus bass with active soapbar pickups, equal mix of both of them with slightly added bass and treble on the on board eq - then going to the nemesis(eden) amp with a 1x15" and also slightly added bass and treble there (at 1 o'clock position)..That's it!

    Don't forget to send feedback and ask questions!


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