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Barking Spiders

What have you got against slap bass?

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16 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

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 😉)

Andy clearly resides in the sunny and warm southwest part of town.  Up here in Lancs it's more like 2.7 days/year :)

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11 minutes ago, jacko said:

I've seen bass players slapping at their soundchecks at showcase events then not slapping at all during their set (and consequently sounding stinky poo for their set). 

Ive never understood that either. Soundchecking a song, using a different style of playing... utter nonsense.

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3 hours ago, Leonard Smalls said:

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

 

Well I thought that was great and I don't really care!

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12 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

The 'sound in my head' is the sound of bass as played while I was growing up, which encompasses everything from Elvis to Yes and incorporates LOTS of Beatles and Stones, Motown and glam.

So that's double bass, Hofner Violin and Rickenbacker, and loads of Fender. Keyboard bass doesn't work for me, synth bass is an abomination, and slap bass is pretty much a joke, a party trick that got out of hand.

To my ears, slap isn't bass playing and never will be. It's part of the rhythm section, yes, but it's a part that I try to avoid. It's in the same category as too much cowbell or obsessive use of claves.

Hey ... you asked me, OK? :D

If I'd been borm in 1966 rather than 1956 then who knows, maybe I'd see (and hear) things differently.

I was born in 57 and as far as I remember most of the top chart tunes from say 76 to 85 had slap bass lines in them. The technique was the ultimate coolness of Bass playing back then, in that vein I actually love the sound of slap Bass, but sadly I was never that good at playing it, which at the time cost me a place in a very well-known band who I sharnt mention. 

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1 minute ago, Mickyk said:

... which at the time cost me a place in a very well-known band who I sharnt mention. 

Go on, go on, go on, go on.

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The Band was Prefab Sprout who I had met in Scarborough in 77. They were a couple of lads from Durham who were brothers Paddy and Martin Mcaloon. 

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14 minutes ago, Mickyk said:

The Band was Prefab Sprout who I had met in Scarborough in 77. They were a couple of lads from Durham who were brothers Paddy and Martin Mcaloon. 

That would have been a nice gig. The guy they did hire didn't seem very slappy either.

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18 minutes ago, Ricky 4000 said:

That would have been a nice gig. The guy they did hire didn't seem very slappy either.

Maybe he was Oblivious.

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15 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

Again, nothing.

I won't speak for all bass players but it's the way slapping is used to 'test' a bass in a shop or at a guitar show. The whole look at me, I can slap really fast. It's not an accurate demonstration of what the bass can really do. 

This is my reason as well. That and YT videos. I’d love to be able to do it well, but if I’m honest i have no need to play it, so I’d also be one to use it just to show off. 

I also find a lot of it quite repetitive. 

Nothing against hearing it in the right context though. 

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20 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

Again, nothing.

I won't speak for all bass players but it's the way slapping is used to 'test' a bass in a shop or at a guitar show. The whole look at me, I can slap really fast. It's not an accurate demonstration of what the bass can really do. 

It's kicking tyres in a car lot.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Ricky 4000 said:

I think that was Aztec Camera. :scratch_one-s_head:

Oh yeah - I always confused those two!

Now you've pointed it out, it's obvious...

Edited by prowla

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21 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

I think it is nice as an accent, or in a song, but it is harsh and tiring to listen to when used all the time. Pretty much like talking in capitals would be!

I agree. Slap - as any other technique - is wonderful if used at the right time but IMHO not all the time. And especially not if it's only to impress other people...

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8 hours ago, Mickyk said:

I was born in 57 and as far as I remember most of the top chart tunes from say 76 to 85 had slap bass lines in them. 

By '76 I had been working for a living for two years, I had other things on my mind (e.g. punk!), and my formative years were pretty much behind me. 

I doubt that I could have articulated it then, but at 19 I had a pretty clear idea in my head of what a bass sounded like. The first time I saw Mark King on TOTP I just sat there thinking "what a Godawful racket". The first time I heard Lovely Day by Bill Withers I was in heaven.

 

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2 hours ago, grandad said:

It's kicking tyres in a car lot.

Slapped basses all sound very similar to me if they have the same pickup configuration and string type. That is what makes demos frustrating if they are mostly slap.

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14 minutes ago, nilebodgers said:

Slapped basses all sound very similar to me if they have the same pickup configuration and string type. That is what makes demos frustrating if they are mostly slap.

 

1351902E-7286-41FF-89A4-4003562A4BDF.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Ricky 4000 said:

That would have been a nice gig. The guy they did hire didn't seem very slappy either.

He was better looking than me. I'd moved from Nottingham in 76 with me mam n Dad to Scarboro. Me dad had been made redundant from the Pit so he bought me a Bass with his spare cash. I was very much still a rookie when I met them, they was just a couple of normal guys. Ah well the rest is history. 

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Any of these aesthetic decisions are the same- it's an ingredient or flavouring. Me personally, I can't stand vinegar by itself, but my wife is an excellent cook, we must have 7 or 8 varieties in the kitchen and I eat it all the time. But she's very good at getting the balance right or cooking it off etc. Bass guitar shows and demo videos are like pickle fairs to me, too much of one flavour I don't like. But Forget Me Nots, a lot of Dr John stuff, Cory Wong's guy whoever, ace. Marcus Miller on Just the Two of Us- ugh. 

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It doesn't come up in the majority of music I play or listen to but there have been a couple of recordings over the years where I have used the technique. It seems crazy to ridicule any technique (the pick vs fingers debate always makes my eyes roll!) when you are better off having more skills to make you a better player.

I do wonder if a lot of it stems from when we first learnt to play. I recall going into music shops, having semi mastered the most rudiment of Ramones bass lines to try some budget bass, only to be "treated" to a slap masterclass by the shop assistant just prior to handing me the bass, whilst simultaneously looking down his nose at me - usually before I had even plucked my first string! Not a fair reflection on the technique but I was probably scarred by that for a fair while.

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11 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

I recall going into music shops, having semi mastered the most rudiment of Ramones bass lines to try some budget bass, only to be "treated" to a slap masterclass by the shop assistant just prior to handing me the bass, whilst simultaneously looking down his nose at me - usually before I had even plucked my first string! Not a fair reflection on the technique but I was probably scarred by that for a fair while.

A story which neatly encapsulates much of what is 'wrong' with slap. :)

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44 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

A story which neatly encapsulates much of what is 'wrong' with slap. :)

Or more what used to be (and luckily I don't think as much) wrong with music shops.

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Stomp by Brothers Johnson is a good example of me liking slap. Just enough to make the song chug along, but not overdoing it

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1 minute ago, timmo said:

Stomp by Brothers Johnson is a good example of me liking slap. Just enough to make the song chug along, but not overdoing it

Good call.

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