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SteveXFR

I don't like slap

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8 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

There's definitely a place for it and I think a few musicians have perfected using it sparingly. Billy Gould is the best example I can think of, he mainly uses slap just when his part is more percussion with a little tone rather than melodic. Tim Commerford uses slap very sparingly but for some reason, I've seen bassists cover his bass lines with slap start to finish and it sounds terrible. 

I think we have quite similar tastes. I was put off slap towards the end of the 80's when seemingly every local rock player started thinking every song in their set needed wildly unsuitable slapping and popping. It was truly nauseating. Dark, dark days, they were. There were some notable exceptions, as you say. Billy Gould, Tim Commerford for sure and I'd add Denis Pepa's sterling work on the wonderful Act III as players who could utilise the technique in a way which was musical and interesting, rather than the usual "HEY YOU LOOK AT MEEEEEEE!!!!" 
 

Youtube has become a cesspit of gratuitous thumb abuse though, thankfully, many of the preview pictures show the thumb in position over the strings and one knows not to bother pressing play. For all the talk of using it tastefully, when left to their own devices, especially on supposed "gear demo" videos, many bassists cannot resist spending most of the time sticking their thumb in places it shouldn't be. Horrible, just horrible.

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I’m reminded of the various bass shows I’ve been to. Slappers everywhere!

The thing seemed to be plug in, turn up to 11 and beat the crap out of any instrument you could find. Even headphones couldn’t block out the wickety wickety, or quiet periods come to that lol

in context within a song it can be amazing, but unaccompanied - it’s a definite no from me 😳

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3 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

 

Youtube has become a cesspit of gratuitous thumb abuse though, thankfully, many of the preview pictures show the thumb in position over the strings and one knows not to bother pressing play. For all the talk of using it tastefully, when left to their own devices, especially on supposed "gear demo" videos, many bassists cannot resist spending most of the time sticking their thumb in places it shouldn't be. Horrible, just horrible.

Davie 504 has a lot to answer for 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hutton said:

I don’t like the overuse of slap on demos on YouTube. Sometimes there is just too much especially at the beginning of the vid. If a vid starts with slapping I immediately move on to the next video. 

This is me in a nutshell 😁

The only bit of slap I've ever liked was in RATM's Take the Power Back and a couple of songs from the Chilli's Blood Sugar Sex Magic record -  If I hear the faintest bit of slap and pop watching a bass vid I'm off.

Edited by Bassybert
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I really enjoy playing slap, and would consider myself moderately proficient,  but almost never use it in a band context. Funny enough I often don't enjoy listening to it, which often makes me pause before deciding to inflict it on unwitting listeners! For me a big part of whether I will enjoy listening to it is the bass tone (which impacts how the style sits in the mix, I prefer a thicker, more even tone) and of course the line itself. I hasten to say taste as it's so subjective, but there are certain approaches to the style I find more palatable.  I could listen to Bobby Vega play slap  all day,  for example (granted that's hardly what he's renowned for).  But then I guess the same could be said of any technique -  as been repeated on here many times before - it's not what you've got,  it's how you choose to use it.

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Tbh I don’t really notice much of a difference between digging in and slapping. When I get really comfortable with an instrument and a bassline my hand moves around and I’ll slap some notes and use all the expression I can muster - in the mix that doesn’t always sound like ‘slap bass’ per se. I think ultimately when it feels natural it sounds natural. 

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The Mrs is partial to a bit of slap.

Sorry, wrong thread. 

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I dislike slap, to me it's just not very musical and just noise, very annoying noise !!, reviews with a lot of slap in them are rubbish IMHO as you don't actually hear what the bass or amp can do just the incessant slapping and popping !!, just my opinion of course ;) 😛 

 

John 😎 

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Posted (edited)

In all seriousness, I do like a bit of slap when it’s well done, it can sound very impressive.

I used to not be a fan of slapping, but that was when I couldn’t slap. 
I’m still not very good at it, but I do appreciate the skill to make it sound good.

Slap is more a rhythmic style than melodic, but there’s many examples of good melodic slapping. 

Edited by xgsjx
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

I fixed it for you.

Cool. 

Edited by Doddy

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1 hour ago, SteveXFR said:

Davie 504 has a lot to answer for 

Agreed. Can't stand that gurning idiot.

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I love slap - the two main players who made me want to take up bass are Flea and Mark King. But I can't slap for toffee. 

There are a lot of players who leave me cold when they start whacking the stings - Victor Wooten being one of them. Slap is great when it's in the context of a song, think of all the great classic funk tunes that incorporate it. But slap solos are generally naff (as are most solos actually), especially when they just descend into a load of tuneless clicking (see Wooten).

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41 minutes ago, madshadows said:

I dislike slap, to me it's just not very musical and just noise, very annoying noise !!, reviews with a lot of slap in them are rubbish IMHO as you don't actually hear what the bass or amp can do just the incessant slapping and popping !!, just my opinion of course ;) 😛 

 

John 😎 

I agree - looking for instrument demos and reviews on YouTube can be frustrating. Demoing a bass by playing a load of slap and some chordal stuff up the dusty end is not showing me what I want from bass. It's just showing off.

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9 minutes ago, Grassie said:

I love slap - the two main players who made me want to take up bass are Flea and Mark King. But I can't slap for toffee. 

There are a lot of players who leave me cold when they start whacking the stings - Victor Wooten being one of them. Slap is great when it's in the context of a song, think of all the great classic funk tunes that incorporate it. But slap solos are generally naff (as are most solos actually), especially when they just descend into a load of tuneless clicking (see Wooten).

I think you need to give Victor Wooten a good listen - Mark King is far more guilty of tuneless clicking (and I do really like Mark King and Level 42) than Wooten - there's a lot more harmonic and melodic interest in what Wooten plays, although I admit that the fact a lot of it is solo bass without a band may put people off.

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i'd rather get slapped in the testiculars than listen to some self apointed "bass god" hamering away on the fingerboard with his thumb at 200bpm with a self satisfied smug "I am sUCH a great player" face. +1 on gear demo's on Youtube - fine... play some slap.. but it is not the pinnacle of aspirations for the majority of bass guitarists to play what I define as "flex" slap. Rant over.

 

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22 minutes ago, Belka said:

 there's a lot more harmonic and melodic interest in what Wooten plays, although I admit that the fact a lot of it is solo bass without a band may put people off.

To be fair to Victor, if you listen to his albums or see him live, he's playing with a band pretty much all the time. 

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As a fan of 70s/early 80s funk I'm a big fan of slap in funk but tone is everything. Slap with a clanky tone and it sounds shyte. My fave slap players are Larry Graham, Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller and no one's done it better than them IMO. I've no time for these professional YT fretwinkers like Davie 504 and Charles Berthoud however technically proficient they are. Slap in rock generally sounds bollix unless done like Bill Gould or Tim C. I've heard it on played on several metal songs and it sounds just plain bad though that's probably more because 99% of metal sucks.

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15 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

Am I the only person who plays bass and generally hates slap? 

I think it can sound good when used sparingly (like Billy Gould or Tim Commerford) but I hate songs which are just slaps and pops all the way through. I really dislike songs which weren't slapped covered by a bassist who plays slap all the way through. I don't even like Primus. 

Am I on my own with this? 

Entirely agree

I gave up bass playing and devoted my time to raising a family, building a business and windsurfing as soon as I heard Mark King and Level 42

I returned to bass decades later when relative normality had returned to the bass playing world 

As a music listener during these non bass playing decades I bought and listened to three Level 42 albums in attempt to try and “get it”

Ask me today if I can remember, whistle or hum any of those tracks and the answer is no

Slap is like rap and grime - interesting but absolutely nothing to do with creative music making

 

 

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1 hour ago, Grassie said:

There are a lot of players who leave me cold when they start whacking the stings - Victor Wooten being one of them.

As much as I like slap, I don’t know why but I really struggle to watch him , I’ve tried but I have to click off him

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1 hour ago, xgsjx said:

The Mrs is partial to a bit of slap.

Sorry, wrong thread. 

and tickle? Or just the slap?

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6 minutes ago, gareth said:

Slap is like rap and grime - interesting but absolutely nothing to do with creative music making

Grime doesn’t appeal much but rap is highly creative music, especially artists  like Public Enemy , they were way ahead of their time 

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56 minutes ago, gareth said:

Slap is like rap and grime - interesting but absolutely nothing to do with creative music making

 

I don't find any of that at all interesting ... but each to their own

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1 hour ago, gareth said:

Slap is like rap and grime - interesting but absolutely nothing to do with creative music making

So music you don't like doesn't count as creative music making?

Next it'll be "there's been no decent music since 19whenIwereateenager" or "kids nowadays don't know what good music is" or "it's just a racket now". Just the sort of thing old folks have said to their younglings since time immemorial!

You can imagine old Granny Bach saying to Johann Sebastian "you don't want to bother with all that polyphony and harmony rubbish, what you want is some proper music like Gregorian Chants!"

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3 minutes ago, Leonard Smalls said:

So music you don't like doesn't count as creative music making?

Next it'll be "there's been no decent music since 19whenIwereateenager" or "kids nowadays don't know what good music is" or "it's just a racket now". Just the sort of thing old folks have said to their younglings since time immemorial!

You can imagine old Granny Bach saying to Johann Sebastian "you don't want to bother with all that polyphony and harmony rubbish, what you want is some proper music like Gregorian Chants!"

Nicely put. Back when it was a new thing few genres were as inventive as hip hop. I mean just check out the production on the first few Public Enemy and  NWA/Ice Cube albums. Cant abide the current vogue for mumble rap but I digress.

I'm surprised to find such antipathy among BCers towards slap. I'm all for trying different ways a bass can be played rather than just sticking to pick or standard fingerstyle.  By writing off slap 'n pop as a method  aren't people limiting themselves?

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Have just taken a look at a couple of Davie 504's videos on YouTube. Safe to say that will be the last time.

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