Slap Bass Riff! – June InstaJamm 1

Improve your funky bass playing with slap technique!

Our Insta Jamm series is serving up a fresh slice of bass action this week as Siobhan takes us into the world of funky slap bass with and awesome little riff to add to your playing!

Slap has become a popular and ever present technique in the funk genre, but can be used across multi genre and is in essence just another way to hit the string and produce a sound/note!

Slap bass technique has 2 elements you need to master, theres the “slap” and then theres the “pop”. The slap comes from using the side of the knuckle on your thumb on your picking hand to hit the string close to the neck of the bass. Whereas the pop is played by the fingers on the picking hand by pulling the string away from the bass and letting it twang against the fret board. It’s a little bit like a hammer on and pull off of the bass world.

This iconic bass technique was created by Larry Graham as he tried to fill the them drumless void in Sly and the Family Stone. However slap had also been a heavy feature in double bass playing since the 1920’s with rockabilly styles.

The first ever recording of this technique appeared on Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank you” and is essential listening when learning about this technique.

For further listening check out these top 10 slap virtuoso’s!

Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone), Flea (RHCP), Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Les Claypool, Mark king (Level 42), Stanley Clark, Bootsy Collins, Geddy Lee (Rush), Fieldy (KoRn).

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