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Slap Bass Setup/Technique Questions

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Posted by Kevbo on July 19, 2001 at 16:02:56:

All I wanna do is funk up da place...

I just starting out playing bass, been teaching myself how to read music and practicing as much as possible, not enough though.
My main ambition for bass is to be able to play some funky, slap bass type basslines. I've been learning the bass part from "Higher
Ground" by Stevie/RHCP and I think I must be doing something wrong. To get any sound out of my bass I have to beat the hell out of
it and it still doesn't sound right. I live in Chicago and I go see live performers as much as possible. I particularly watch the bass
players to see how they work and when someone is playing slap bass and jammin all over the place with sixteenth notes it looks like
the he/she is hardly working! Their thumbs barely seem to move and I'm slamming my hand all over the place.

I have a Warwick Corvette Standard, passive, 4 string, stock strings. I just set it up to lower the action (2.5mm from low E to 12th
fret as manufactured recomends) and that helped a little.

I plug into to an Ampeg B-50R, plenty loud for my apartment and I can't really turn it up without risking pissing off my neihbors so
this could be part of the problem


1. What do I do with my slapping hand? Should I keep it off the body or plant my palm on the body?
2. Where should I slap the string with my thumb? I read that I should do this on last fret on the neck (24th) but I've seen pro's hit
strings at different places.
3. Is slapping easier with different types of strings? Like flatwounds?
4. Is it there any advantage to using the bridge or neck pickup more?
5. Anyone know a good slapping excercise to help improve my speed and precision?

Thanks, beam me up Bootsie


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