How to “Pop” for Slap Bass

bass guitar close upThe other important part of slap bass is popping, or pulling on the string fairly hard. Please read my slap bass lesson before proceeding.

Put your index finger under the thinnest string (G) and pull it away from the bass. When you release you should hear a snapping sound along with the note.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about basic popping. Combine it with slapping and you’ve got yourself some funky bass!

Example 1 (S is for slap, P is for pop)

basic slap pop tab

Example 2, a slightly more advanced tab that will help you coordinate your left and right hand.

slapping and popping intermediate tab

And finally, another example, with a slightly harder rhythm.

cool slap bass riff

Keep trying different tabs and focus on writing your own material. A lot of slap bass has to do with using octaves on the bass guitar, start there.

Once you become a little more familiar with popping, try using you middle finger as a substitute on faster songs.

Practice until you’ve got it down, then take on more advanced songs like “Higher Ground” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Leave a comment below if you need help or guidance for bass guitar popping.