UG Weekend Bass Riff: Part 6

Ultimate Guitar


Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers. Time for some slap this week with the main riff from Can't Stop as played by the one and only Flea.


As this line is slapped I'm going to include a very brief lesson on how to slap for those who might not know how to at the moment, if you can slap then ignore the rest of this section. Slapping normally is done with a combination of thumb slaps and pops, to slap you should aim to hit the string with the knuckle of your thumb and make the string hit the fretboard, you should aim to hit the string at about the 24th fret but its really personal preference, this is usually done on the thicker strings. To pop you hook your finger under the string then pull it away which will cause the string to snap back onto the fretboard. This doesn't explain how to slap too well so if you are still unsure try some of the lessons on this site.

The riff is mainly based around octaves with a lot of muted notes to give it a funky sound. The riff starts with an E on the A string which is slapped and last for an eighth note then moves onto a D on the G string then the octave, both these notes are popped and are also staccatoed so don't let them ring for the full eighth note. He then plays another E on the A string which is an eighth note then he plays another which only lasts for a 16th. He then pops a D which is followed by a muted slap on the A string then he starts popping the octave and doing the muted slaps on the A as well. He ends the bar with a slapped E on the A string which lasts for an eighth. The rhythm and the pattern of slaps and pops is the same in each bar, only the notes played changes.

The next bar is fairly similar to the first except all the Es on the A string are now a D except for the last note in the bar which is an A. The next bar moves down to a B and instead of changing the notes played on the G string they are all the octave so only a B is played in that bar. The next is the same but all the notes are now a C. If you are new to slapping this can be a very tricky riff to play. To get a nice sound for slap you should try an amp setting with the treble fairly high and a medium setting for the bass and the mids.

Gear Info:

Flea plays his signature Modulus Bass most of the time as well as Musicman Stingrays and Fender Jazz and Precision Basses. He uses Gallien-Krueger Heads and Mesa/Boogie Cabinets and also has a wide range of effects including Boss Bass Overdrive, Boss Auto-wah, and a Dunlop Crybaby wah-wah.

Audio & Tab:


    E e e E S S S S S S E   E e e E S S S S S S E ||----7-9-----7---9---9---|---7-9-----7---9---9---| ||o-----------------------|-----------------------| ||o-7-----7-7---x---x---7-|-5-----5-5---x---x---0-| ||------------------------|-----------------------|

  E e e E S S S S S S E   E e e E S S S S S S E |---4-4-----4---4---4---|---5-5-----5---5---5-------|| |-----------------------|--------------------------o|| |-2-----2-2---x---x---2-|-3-----3-3---x---x---3----o|| |-----------------------|---------------------------|| Click here to get a midi file of the tab above.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The last two bars of the tab don't seem right to me. Yeah, they play right, but its not how it's done.. generally.. If you get me? I'm sure that he just moves on to the E string for the third and fourth bars: at least I do with the guitar part, and my bassist does with the bassline..
    JooSHie P.
    i play the last two measures on the E and D string too.. it just sounds a lil better that way
    ^i love soul to squeeze the minute i heard that song on the radio i went and got the tabs for it and learndeded it...
    hmm...ive always played the bass part the same way the guitar part goes, but i just slapped the bass notes and popped the melody of the D and E.
    I keep getting disappointed in the riffs that go here... I'll have to do one.
    i agree with ###.., the audio wasnt there when i came to look at first but its there now
    guitarman, you know, it is possible that that audio wasnt present when they posted, and that the article was edited and the audio file added in after they posted. gosh i hate noobs with ignorance who dont KNOW BASIC INFORMATION.
    shifto and natansh you both are idiots it says click here to get a midi file. gosh i hate people with ignorance and cant SEE OBVIOUS STUFF
    i do believe that flea plays those last two bars on E and D, not A and G. however, its a lot smoother this way when i try it