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What have you got against slap bass?


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4 hours ago, NickD said:

The only thing I have against slap is the sound of it. Even in the hands of a master it just sounds like a novelty parlour trick to me.

I can't think of a piece of music that I love that has slap in it.

Could I tempt you ..... 

 

 

Probably not, but it gave me an excuse to listen to it. Slap at its very finest in my humble opinion. 

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1 minute ago, P-Belly Evans said:

Could I tempt you ..... 

 

 

Probably not, but it gave me an excuse to listen to it. Slap at its very finest in my humble opinion. 

That's one of the tunes that's always touted as an example of funky slap.... and it's alright, suits the song, etc.... It's just not my kind of groove. It's not funky like Flashlight funky, it's not funky like What is Hip? funky, it's not funky like Superstition funky.... It's just not my kind of funky.

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I personally like slap and quite enjoy playing it. Although playing slap live is something i do very rarely because the kind of music I usually play doesnt really involve any. I dont agree that slap is just for showing off, although it is often used for that reason.

Id say this is a good example of slap working with the song as opposed to just showing off

 

Edited by Tdw
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1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

All My Loving? Nope. Brown Sugar? Don't think so. Get It On? No chance. Addicted To Love? You're 'avin' a giraffe. Paradise City? Nah. Wonderwall? Forget it.

 

Get It On (slap part starts @ 2:11)

 

 

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I make no excuses, I do it way too much, I’ve used it in bands and it’s unfortunately like a default setting at times.

I absolutely can play other styles, and I do lots of that too.

I completely agree it’s done to death. But to me it’s just the same as a pick, finger style or using an ebow...a sound/style/technique.

There are quite a few YouTube/Instagram players who do it to an extent I find moderately offensive - only because it’s thrown at every song and is their “thing”.

It’s like chocolate. Nice to have every now and then, but will make you sick eventually if you binge on it.

I certainly don’t get the “slap is crap” mentality - just like I would never Deride a pick style player (Bobby Vega/Cody Wright?). And so on.

 

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A long time ago, I said this: "A gentleman is a man who can play slap bass. And doesn't."

I take some (negligible) pride in having seen that repeated, uncredited, elsewhere on several occasions. I don't hate slap, but I'm in a position - probably not a unique one - to appreciate that what I said is correct. I know this because I can't play slap (at least, not very well), but spent a lot of years in my 20s trying to shoehorn it into any & every available song, irrespective of whether it was appropriate or not. And given my musical bag's tended to be rock, metal & prog, it was largely very, very inappropriate.

Fortunately it was just a phase, one I think I got past when I spent a few years not playing in bands & concentrating on solo writing & recording, which I think (or hope!) helped me get some insight into what worked & what didn't. I haven't slapped a bass with any degree of seriousness in probably 25 years or so - apart, perhaps when that nice Mr Wooten's double thumbing technique became a thing. That was interesting to dissect and learn, up to a point, particularly to find it was largely just playing percussive up/down strokes (ooer Mrs) with the thumb, much like a meat plectrum.

One thing did serve as a reminder why I stopped slapping, and this helps keep me on the straight & narrow. About  10 or so years ago, my then band used to organise the live music at a local community festival. One of the bands we put on had sent in a good demo of well-written and competently performed indie pop - think somewhere between Coldplay & Travis, but maybe a bit less whiny. The demo gave no clue to the fact that live, their bassist crammed absolutely every 4-chord strummy ode to bedsit heartbreak with relentless, clattering, pokkata-pokkata-boinkity-boinkity-pokkata-pokkata-BOINK.

I was just thinking - bloody hell, that used to be me - and then he started doing that thing of launching the bass (a Stingray, naturally) so it spun around his back on its strap. If I'd had the presence of mind to record it & put it on Youtube, I swear it would still be getting hits & being shared on drumming forums to this day.

 

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3 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

I was just thinking - bloody hell, that used to be me - and then he started doing that thing of launching the bass (a Stingray, naturally) so it spun around his back on its strap. If I'd had the presence of mind to record it & put it on Youtube, I swear it would still be getting hits & being shared on drumming forums to this day.

 

And CUE

 

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8 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

I certainly don’t get the “slap is crap” mentality...

No different to the "punk rock" is crap mentality...

Or the "rock music in all its forms" is crap mentality.

Or the ...

Rock n roll is no longer about rebellion or energy or excitement. It's about doing everything in moderation. Don't hit me with your rhythm stick, please just let me use it to walk with.

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I love a bit of "slap and tickle" meself.. and slap Bass! tsshh.

I couldn't let this thread pass by without an honourable mention of Julian Crampton on "Jacob's Ladder" by Incognito. And here is the man himself, playing a version in London a litle while back: -

 

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For me I suppose it's the way it just pops up in all of the demos, but doesnt demonstrate anything to me as one slap sound is the same as all the others to me.

However fingerstyle, tone rolled fully on, tone rolled fully off, and then pick style (even though I dont play pick) tone on and off, gives me much much more of a demonstration of the range of emotions I can get from that bass (for my own purposes).

It's one of those things that doesnt compute to me - I've tried half heartedly to do slap and it's completely alien to me - I'm just terrible at it.

It must feel good when you do master it though, as those who can do it, seem to do it at every given opportunity.

It does sound cool though in the right place.

Edited by la bam
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7 hours ago, Barking Spiders said:

Of course there are other tunes where fingerstyle is the best method such as on Tower of Power's What Is Hip. Slap wouldn't work there at all.

May I refer the honourable gentleman to Juna Serita doing a proper slap version of What is Hip... Funky as!

 

Edited by Leonard Smalls
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10 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

The next topic will be entitled: "What have you got against bass players wearing shorts."

 

I'm not going to wear shorts whilst gigging.

Or learn how to slap.

image.jpeg

Edited by grandad
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52 minutes ago, NickD said:

That's one of the tunes that's always touted as an example of funky slap.... and it's alright, suits the song, etc.... It's just not my kind of groove. It's not funky like Flashlight funky, it's not funky like What is Hip? funky, it's not funky like Superstition funky.... It's just not my kind of funky.

We may not be on exactly the same fonk page, but we are reading from the same book😃.  Cordell Boogie Misson from Parliament is one of my fave bass players. Flashlight was mostly Bernie Worrell if I am not mistaken (have you heard Praxis?) . Stevie is just sublime Stevie. Love a bit of Rocco Prestia, but find Tower of Power a bit OTT sometimes. I saw them at Phoenix 95, with Parliament., Bootsys Rubber band, Public Enemy, Ice T, body count, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Freak power, Galliano amongst others... Think Weller too but could be mistaken. What a line up that was😳🎸

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9 hours ago, GeeJayW said:

Nothing, though I can only stand so much of Mark King at one time. Don't think I've ever managed to listen to a whole Level 42 album right through in one sitting. 

World Machine is a fine album - one of my go-to's when I listen to music on my hi-fi.

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2 hours ago, Frank Blank said:

I always rather liked John Wilson’s playing on the ‘pavement’ side of Penthouse and Pavement by Heaven 17, I wonder what happened to him?

 

Damn great stuff. It was the bassline on Fascist Groove Thing that got me into Heaven 17 and slap bass. Yeah, he disappeared after this though he was only around 19 when he played on this. On their P & P tour a few years ago it was Julian Crampton on the bass.

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2 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

Actually, I think all blokes over school age look ridiculous in shorts. 

I have a mate who wears them between March and November...

I only wear shorts when it’s sunny (so about 4 days a year in Manchester 😉)

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