How To Play Slap Bass: Part 2

Check this out first: How To Play Slap Bass: Part 1. So now that you know what slapping is, how do you do it?

Use the side of your thumb to strike the thickest string (E). Your thumb should make contact on the side of the knuckle and it should make a thumping noise. This takes lots of practice, just getting it to sound right.

Once you are comfortable with the E string, move up to the second-thickest string (A). I remember this part being very hard when I was initially learning slap bass. Don’t get discouraged, and continue practicing. After you can slap the E and A string, try the D and the G (G is the thinnest string).

Now, it’s time to build up your technique. Play the tab below and let the strings ring out. When you slap one string, it shouldn’t “mute” the others! It is important to establish dexterity and accuracy. No sloppy playing allowed.

slap bass guitar tab

Next, try this tab out. It uses octaves, like many popular slap bass riffs.

slap bass octaves riff

Awesome. Now, continue practicing and try learning some different songs that have slapping in them, or write your own material. You’re well on your way to becoming a well-rounded bass player. Keep practicing.

Any questions? Comments? Let me know below!

How To Play Slap Bass: Part 1

Arguably the most distinct and well-recognized method of bass playing is called “slap.” But what is slap?

I will explain the basic technique in the article but first you should hear what I’m talking about, so you have a reference for your slap practice.

Here is a really high quality video I found. If you want inspiration or ideas, just search ‘bass guitar slap’ on youtube.

The riff is pretty complicated but you can see his great technique and adds some “picking” (I will show you how to pick later). The word thump is what you want to describe your slap bass playing.

Here is a crazy video of Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers demonstrating his slapping abilities.

Listen to awesome bass music and watch some inspiring videos and get yourself pumped up to play slap bass. It is a long hard battle, and is never finished, so always be practicing and moving forward! Even the pros keep innovating and finding cool new ways to play slap bass.

In my next post, I’ll post the technique that I used when I first started out, and hopefully you’ll find it useful.