#1
So i got my bass yesterday (an OLP MM2) and i am practicing slapping but my thumb is really f***** sore from where i have been slapping the strings. I am hitting the string at about the middle of my thumb and my thumb is just bouncing off and creating this slapping sound. From this, i presumed i was doing it right. But now my thumb is killing me and i'm starting to think i am doing something wrong. From playing guitar for 2 and a half years i know that you experience some pain when beginning, but this doesn't seem right. Can someone help me out and explain whether i am doing something wrong please.

God i must seem like a right noob posting a stupid question like this.

Cheers guys!!
#2
it's a reasonable question. we at the bass forum are laid back people.

are you hitting the string with your joint? that seems like what you should do, or that's what I do. id it keeps hurting a while after you finish playing, it may be bad technique.
#3
Yeah i am hitting on the joint the pain does settle a bit after playing, that should improve over time though right?
#5
I think it depends on how long you're playing. My thumb used to hurt in the beginning, but then I got over it.
#6
Maybe you're using too much power in your hand to slap. If this is the casem think of Bruce Lee and his one inch punch. You don't have to move your hand far and hard to get the desired effect.
Dave Tither
#7
i started out slapping like that, then i started using my ability to pop my thumb out of its socket to an advantage.

I had the same kind of pain when i started out slapping, so i don't think theres anything wrong, you're just getting used to it
#8
Ok cheers guys, i think i'm just gonna try and perfect my technique and take the pain hoping that i'll gain from it.
#10
You shouldn't have to. I've never experienced pail while slapping.
Dave Tither
#11
Quote by Dave2210
You shouldn't have to. I've never experienced pail while slapping.


Same here. If it hurts, you're not doing it right I think. However, I know one guy who's had lessons and has perfect technique (is a terrible bassist though, unfortunate to be honest) and he had thumb pain when he started slapping. Maybe you have bad thumbs?
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#12
mark king from level 42 used to put insulatin/electric tape round his thumb, for a new tone and to help with pain lol

give that a try
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#13
or you just keep on slappin til it starts hurting again.. as soon as it does you stop.. then you do the same the next day..
cause of your experience with guitar you should logically think that when you play the guitar you don't slap! thats why you slapping thumb isn't hardened yet..
when I first played slapping and popping i lost skinparts and sometimes I even started bleeding!!

but just to make sure you do it right..
slap with the part of the thumb where the nail ends..
but on the right side of the thumb of course..

and by thw way..
we on the bass forum (atleast I) don't care about if a question is stupid or not..
just fun to discuss something and help others =)
Last edited by Master KaKaN at Jul 6, 2006,
#14
yep, i find its better that way to not ridicule someone for asking a question...it just shows that they need a bullet in the head
#15
Quote by Felkara
Same here. If it hurts, you're not doing it right I think. However, I know one guy who's had lessons and has perfect technique (is a terrible bassist though, unfortunate to be honest) and he had thumb pain when he started slapping. Maybe you have bad thumbs?



Well i don't have bad thumbs but i can bend my thumb back into a right angle just by naturally bending my thumb at the joint (apparently its double jointed). When i slap, my thumb is bent back quite a bit, maybe i am leaving the joint too open and every time i hit the string its hitting right on the joint. Plus i do get a slight stinging sensation after slapping for a bit. Should i straighten my thumb out a little so i am hitting more with my digit and less with the joint?

Cheers for all suggestions so far guys and thanks for not takin the p***, really appreciate the help.
#16
Wouldn't hurt to try.

Well, it might actually...

I made a funny...
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#17
ur just hitting the strings way too hard. you don't need to hit em that hard at all to make the right sound.

Dave2210 got it nailed it right on.
#18
Ok so i left it for a while and i just got in from college and picked up my bass, however, the pain is still there slightly, i must be hitting the string with the wrong point of my thumb. Whereabouts on my thumb should i be hitting the string when slapping?
#19
I've always found slapping with the joint to be unnnecessarily painful and awkward... I recommend slapping with the top of your thumb. In my lesson I even said "just dont slap with your joint." Its not unproper, but it causes a lot more pain than necessary... the joint doesnt calluce as quickly, and its a friggen joint. Everytime you hit it your bones are going to regret it, its not solid bone like the end of your thumb, its a sensitive area between two bones that you should be careful with. Don't mess with joints man.
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#21
Quote by UtBDan
I've always found slapping with the joint to be unnnecessarily painful and awkward... I recommend slapping with the top of your thumb. In my lesson I even said "just dont slap with your joint." Its not unproper, but it causes a lot more pain than necessary... the joint doesnt calluce as quickly, and its a friggen joint. Everytime you hit it your bones are going to regret it, its not solid bone like the end of your thumb, its a sensitive area between two bones that you should be careful with. Don't mess with joints man.



I know what you mean, but my thumb just naturally bends back quite a bit and it feels natural to slap with that area of the thumb. I suppose i'll have to try and get used to straightening my thumb a little and hitting the string a little further up my thumb.
#22
When you slap, your hand should be in the same position as when you shake someones hand, only with the fingers bent inwards. Your hand should should be relaxed but strong, and the pop should end up being a part of the slap. What i mean by this is that it should not be two seperate movements, the pop should happen when your hand bounces back from the slap.

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#23
I started slapping very lightly... I think the first song I did was "Hilikus" by Incubus (I know its not slapped, but I didn't know any better at the time lol). I was slapping with a very light touch for months, and then when I got RHCP's Uplift Mofo Party Plan, I began slapping harder. I slap on the joint, and by that time I already had developed a callouse over the joint.

I find that the joint gives you a much more percussive attack... although it is a little bit hard to control for some. So, in conlclusion, try to lighten up a bit until you get harder skin over the joint.


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#24
i think its a combination of many things thats causing the problem. ive never experienced pain from slapping before, so im not 100% sure what would be causing it but i think it could be a combination of a number of things. i agree with many people here about hitting the strings too hard, you dont have to slam them as hard as you can to get the desired effect, it may actually sound better if you hit them a little softer actually. also i think it may help a little if you move the spot on your thumb at which you are hitting the string, i would try just above the joint if it hurts you there, like right in between your joint and your nail. also i think it also may just be from just starting out slapping. that area could be a little tender and after a while you might get a little bit of a calus or something and the pain will stop. but yeah, just try out all different things untill you find the ideal technique.
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Last edited by jbassman4 at Jul 7, 2006,
#25
Ok cheers for the tips guys, i'll take em into account and see which ones work best for me.
#26
i just got my bass today and i have been slapping on the joint of my thumb and i have no pain whatsoever. maybe your thumb is just different.


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