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Mel Bay's Slappin': A Complete Study Of Slap Technique For Bass, by Marc Ensign. Book/CD $9.95, 31 pages, TAB/Standard notation. Mel Bay Value Line 1997.

With the beginning to advanced slapper in mind, NYC bassist Marc Ensign has put together a great method at a truly reasonable price. Basic thumping and slapping rudiments are shown, and within a few pages you're ready to hit some tasty 8th note and 16th note lines. Beginners shouldn't be intimidated by any of the hairy 16th note slap notation in the back of the book because Ensign does a great job of easing you into it. Advanced players that wish to expose themslves to reading complex slap notation will find this book very enlightening as well. If you heed the author's advice and play through the examples slowly and thoroughly, this book could be the source for hours of slap practice.

When it comes to giving a student some valuable info on slap at the precious per-hour lesson rate they are paying, it may be to their musical and financial benefit to show the basics from Slappin', and then send them on their way (to focus on other concepts during lesson time). This book has all of the basic info beginners need for a fraction of the cost of a private lesson, and your own slap prowess may be best suited to teaching them on as "as needed" basis. Ensign has personally researched and tested this book on his own students, and it shows. There is also a great slap discography in the back to provide the musical foundation on which this technique is built.

Slappin' is an excellent book for the beginning, intermediate, advanced slapper, or bass teacher. At $9.95 for the book/CD package, it is a must have for your musical library.

Slap example #64 (MP3)

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