Re: Paraddidles and left hand slapping


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Posted by Stinko Stanko on August 01, 2000 at 09:01:28:

In Reply to: Paraddidles and left hand slapping posted by Alfonso on July 31, 2000 at 17:39:32:

: I've read an article about one clinic taught by Abe Laboriel and it mentioned paraddidles and left hand slappin. Could you tell me what the hell are them?. I'd like to incorporate it to my technique. Tnx!!

--------------------------------------

Yo, bro… Ok, as far as I've got it, a paradiddle is a sort of rhythmic pattern that lays the accent on different places in a melody. Pardon my swedish, it is better illustrated with a tab:

G:-----7--7-----7--7-----7--7-----7--7-----7-----7------
D:------------------------------------------------------
A:--5--------5--------5--------5--------5-----5---------
E:------------------------------------------------------
(1) (2) (3) (4)

This is a bar in 4/4. The numbers under the tab is the pulse, and apparently the notes in the tab is 16th's. Try accenting the d's on the A-string.

You can also use paradiddles lying on just one note. In the example above, just replace the A5's with G7's, and accent them just as before. Hope it's understandable. Shout at me if ya can't get it, and I'll try to explain it a bit clearer…

Vic Wooten often uses paradiddles in his solos. This is an, quite simplified, excerpt from his bass solo on Flecktones "Live Art":

E-string: slap
D-string: pop index finger
G-string: pop middle finger

G:-----8--8-----8--8--8--8--8-----8--8--8-----8--8------
D:-----7--7-----7--7--7--7--7-----7--7--7-----7--7------
A:------------------------------------------------------
E:--8--------8-----------------8-----------8------------
(1) (2) (3) (4)

Experiment, try playing paradiddles in various styles. For example, giving it a kinda jazz swing feel can give you cool results.

As for your other question, left-hand-slapping, I'm not precisely sure what the word indicates, but there is a couple of techniques I can think of that fits in on the term.

The first one is using your lefthand to go down on/mute all strings on your bass. You don't need your righthand at all. Use all 4 fingers to go down on the strings, similar to as if you were hitting a bongo drum, and make sure all fingers hit the strings at the same time. When the hand has hit the strings, it should stay a bit to mute the strings (a tip: try muting the strings with your left hand and slap with your thumb on the A string. A left-hand-slap, using no slapping thumb at all, should sound almost like this). It may sound easy, but it will take some time to get the hang. The most difficult part for me was to build up the strength I needed in my left hand to make a powerful sound, the same time trying to make the fingers hit the strings at the same time. And remember: the point is the muting, trying to keep the strings from not ringing.

The other one is a technique used by amongst others Marcus Miller and Vic Wooten. If you've seen any of them them live, you've probably noticed how they start hurling their left hand over the bass to strike a note from above, producing a slapesque tone. Marcus Miller says he started using this technique to lighten up the audiences attention, when he played his solos. It's a cool trick to pick up from your sleeve live.

Ok, to the point. You don't need your right hand here either, other than to mute the strings. The slap can (due to my knowledge) be done in two ways. The first one (the Miller one): Take a look at your palm. There is two parts of the palm that can be used to best produce the slap: the part under your knuckles, right where the fingers begin, and the part right before the thumb (bend your thumb in an upward motion. The part that is the highest should be used). Hell, let's just make a simple drawing shall we?

Your left hand:

0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 The X-marked spots is where you should try to slap…
0 0 0 0 0 Figure out what works best, I kinda stick to the part
00 XX00000 right under the fingers…
00 0000000
0XXX00000
XXXX000
00000

Now, lift your hand ABOVE the neck and come down on the E string, on any note, with the selected part of your palm. The theory is the same as tapping, make a sound only by fretting the note. The difficult thing is to hit exactly the right note, without making the other strings ring too much. After some practice, this technique should produce a kinda slappy sound. Figure it out. When you have hit the strings with the left hand, you can try muting the strings with your right hand. The cool thing is when you can alternate between ordinary fretting and this kind of slap, it makes for a good visual show when the hands start to hurl allover the bass… Takes a hell of a practice, though. Extra study: Try doing this technique using your left thumb as a slapping thumb!

The other one is not really a slap, when I think about it, it's just another kind of fretting technique. But, what the hell. Here goes… When you play ordinary, your thumb should rest on the back of the neck, the fingers bent under the neck with the fingertips on the frettingboard… Pretty basical. Now, keep your thumb on the neck, but rotate yor hand 180 degrees, so that the fingers attack the frettingboard from above. Try playing a bassline you're familiar with. It's like playing a new instrument! Some guitarists use this technique. However, I see no point using this technique, other than the visual aspect of it.

Damned… This letter is too long… Well, hope you can use my advice… And once again, pardon my swedish… If anything is not clear, if you have other thoughts or ideas on the left hand slap, or if you have some good advice, let us all know…

Keep the beat

Stinko Stanko



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