Slapping On Bass Guitar. Part 3 - Muting

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: bass lessons
rating: 7.9 / votes: 10 
Slapping on Bass Guitar Lesson #3 ================================ OK, you guys should be real good with the octave slap and pop, the pop and mute, and the slap, hammer, slap mute, so we'll get into some combinations today. First, let's talk some more about muting. (Did I mention that muting is about the most important thing in the slap and pop style? ) Last time, we did an octave slap and pop and let the notes ring. Let's clean up the sound now, by lifting the fretting finger after the slap or pop. You can either wait until just before playing the next note, thus holding the notes and making a long tone (legato) or you can stop the note quickly, making a short tone (staccato). Both sounds have their uses, but let's have you work on the staccato now. Play the same octave pattern we discussed last time (fifth fret of A string, seventh fret of G string), but instead of letting the notes ring, let up on the pressure almost immediately after you slap or pop, making each note a short tone. Just let up enough to stop the note from ringing. Don't actually take your finger off of the string. Again, set your metronome for a slow tempo, and make this sound good and clean.
     S = short tone                          O     O     O     O
                                            ---   ---   ---   ---
   S S S S S S S S              __
|----7---7---7---7----|     |--/--\------------------------------
|.-------------------.|     |  \   | .
|.-5---5---5---5-----.|     |------|-----------------------------
|---------------------|     |      / .
   S P S P S P S P          |-----/-------O-----O-----O-----O----
                            |    /
     S = Slap               |---/--------------------------------
     P = Pop                |
                            |------------------------------------
Once you feel comfortable with that, let's add in that slap, hammer, slap and mute pattern we learned in lesson one. Stay at the same position. Slap two octave patterns starting at the fifth fret on the A string then slap the A string and hammer on to the seventh fret. Slap the open E string, then mute. Start up your metronome again and play this pattern, with all slaps occurring on the beat, and the pops, hammers and mutes occurring in between. Remember, we're still using quiet mutes. We'll get into slap-mutes in the next lesson.

                 O     O
                ---   ---
    __
|--/--\------------------------------------------|
|  \   | .                                       |
|------|-----------------------------------------|
|      / .                   O                   |
|-----/-------O-----O-----O----------------------|
|    /                                           |
|---/--------------------------------------------|
|                                                |
|------------------------------------------------|
|                                                |
|                              -O-               |
|                                                |
|             S  S  S  S  L  L  L M              |  S = Short tone
|----------------7-----7-------------------------|  L = Long tone
|------------------------------------------------|  M = Mute
|-------------5-----5-----5--7-------------------|
|-------------------------------0----------------|
              S  P  S  P  S  H  S  M

              S = Slap
              P = Pop
              H = Hammer on
              M = Mute
Now, let's add a little movement to this line. Start the pattern on the fourth fret of the A string. Slap and pop one octave pattern, move up to the fifth fret of the A string, slap and pop an octave and then slap and hammer on the A string and slap and mute on the E string. Start slow and keep it clean!

                bO     O
                ---   ---
    __
|--/--\------------------------------------------|
|  \   | .                                       |
|------|-----------------------------------------|
|      / .                   O                   |
|-----/------bO------O-----O---------------------|
|    /                                           |
|---/--------------------------------------------|
|                                                |
|------------------------------------------------|
|                                                |
|                              -O-               |
|                                                |
|             S  S  S  S  L  L  L  M             |  S = Short tone
|----------------6-----7-------------------------|  L = Long tone
|------------------------------------------------|  M = Mute
|-------------4-----5-----5--7-------------------|
|-------------------------------0----------------|
              S  P  S  P  S  H  S  M

              S = Slap
              P = Pop
              H = Hammer on
              M = Mute
Once you feel comfortable with that, try holding the slapped and popped octave notes for the whole duration (eighth notes) and see how this legato style changes the "feel". The legato notes should almost seem to drag. Playing staccato keeps things moving. Then, try playing the slaps as long tones and the pops as short tones. (I think this sounds best of all. ) Also, try letting the last slap on the open E string ring. This sounds good at the end of a phrase or song. Experiment, and have fun. Lastly, here's a simple pattern for you to play. See if you recognize it. HINT: it's part of a theme for a TV comedy show
Staccato:
|------5---------|---------------------|
|----------------|---------------------|
|---3------------|----1--2--3--3--3----|
|----------------|---------------------|
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