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#1
So I've noticed that a lot of people seem to regard any bass player that can slap as "incredible", in the same way that many people regard guitarists who can swee pick as "incredible", regardless of their musical skill. I don't play bass, but a lot of the things i've seen people call "incredible" definitely would not take more than a few months to learn (assuming you're not like just starting out.) Anyone else annoyed by it?
#2
I sort of agree. It's nice to notice someone else thinks so. They both sound great in their own respect, but just because one can do it doesn't make them amazing. I'd rather listen to someone that provides a solid groove and a catchy bass line than someone who can slap a thousand miles per hour. I have to admit, I love the sound of sweep picking though. It's all opinion, in the end.
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#3
nah
its completely possible to sweep on bass
and completely possible to slap on guitar

but i do agree
not everybody that can slap or sweep is amazing
although it can sound cool when done properly
i play an 8 string
#4
yeah its not that great. i can slap bass pretty well, but im not very good. but i cant really sweep on guitar but i am good.
#5
I think sweeping is the sweeping of bass...

Not alot of people slap in music today, so usually people who slap are diversifying their sound and as opposed to mainstream music. Its not so much that slapping is incredible, but that incredible bassists tend to slap.
Just my two cents, though.
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#6
usually the only time sweeping or slapping sounds good is when guitarists throw a fast little lick into their playing once in a while
#7
Quote by bassmanjoe08
I think sweeping is the sweeping of bass...

Not alot of people slap in music today, so usually people who slap are diversifying their sound and as opposed to mainstream music. Its not so much that slapping is incredible, but that incredible bassists tend to slap.
Just my two cents, though.

I meant slapping on bass regarded in the same was as sweeping on guitar is. I thought i made that clear, but whatever.

and yeah, I do think both sweeping and slapping sound cool when used appropriately.
#8
Quote by 6touch6of.evil6
usually the only time sweeping or slapping sounds good is when guitarists throw a fast little lick into their playing once in a while


wrong.
listen to the solo to Selkies: The Endless Obsession by Between The Buried And Me
or Me And My Bass Guitar by victor wooten
then try and say that
i play an 8 string
#9
Quote by loganrocksabass
wrong.
listen to the solo to Selkies: The Endless Obsession by Between The Buried And Me
or Me And My Bass Guitar by victor wooten
then try and say that

I said "USUALLY"
#10
I always thought:

Tapping - Guitar
Slap - Bass

Instead of sweep-picking. But I agree with you. Just because you can do a LITTLE slap doesnt mean you're made of pure awesome
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#11
Quote by Molloy35
I always thought:

Tapping - Guitar
Slap - Bass

Instead of sweep-picking. But I agree with you. Just because you can do a LITTLE slap doesnt mean you're made of pure awesome


It doesn't?
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#12
Sure, they're cool to the uninitiated. Hell, they're even cool to the initiated. What's the point of this thread? Maybe I'll make one about how people are into F#. Or any other arbitrary thing.

Go ahead, "report" this. At least I've spoken my mind.
#13
This is a stupid thread. You can't make a song that's entirely sweep picking and doesn't sound like wank, but plenty of songs are slap all the way through and are quite laid back and nicely grooving songs. I think it's a dumb analogy, frankly.
#14
Sure, they're cool to the uninitiated. Hell, they're even cool to the initiated. What's the point of this thread? Maybe I'll make one about how people are into F#. Or any other arbitrary thing.

Since you apparently didn't read all of the post, I'll restate it. This topic is for people who are annoyed by people like that and for discussion. If you don't have anything to add, why post?


Quote by smb
This is a stupid thread. You can't make a song that's entirely sweep picking and doesn't sound like wank,

Uh..if you really think that, you haven't really tried. Many classical piano songs are just simply arpeggios up and down, and they sound great. Do the same thing on guitar with sweep picking would also sound great.
#15
no not even close.

Sweep picking is a guitar "trick" that people use to show off because its so hard to do, fast ect.

Slap bass is an entirely new way of playing.

You can be a bassist who plays slap all his life, without learning to fingerpick but you can only sweep pick with S*it loads of practice on everything else.
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#16
It's as valid a technique as slapping is. Some people use sweeping to show off, just as some people use slapping to show off. To say that everyone that sweeps does it to just show off is ridiculous.
#17
Quote by Spamwise
It's as valid a technique as slapping is. Some people use sweeping to show off, just as some people use slapping to show off. To say that everyone that sweeps does it to just show off is ridiculous.


Granted. I was just trying to say that sweep picking is a trick of sorts. Slap is a style.

It would be more accurate to compare it to finger picking on guitar.

A COMPLETLY DIFFERENT WAY OF PLAYING
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#19
I know what you mean about the slap that revolves around really fast muting....I see it in the same light as shredding. It's fast and impressive, but isn't good musically until there's actually alot of thought behind it (that goes for both slap and shredding)
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#20
Quote by sven_cliffy
no not even close.

Sweep picking is a guitar "trick" that people use to show off because its so hard to do, fast ect.

Slap bass is an entirely new way of playing.

You can be a bassist who plays slap all his life, without learning to fingerpick but you can only sweep pick with S*it loads of practice on everything else.

+1

Don't worry, threadstarter, I'm not going to flame you for making a statement that's a little off. I'll simply explain to you why other people are e-crucifying you.

You see, sweep picking is difficult to do. As sven_cliffy so aptly put it, it's a trick. Playing slap bass, in and of itself, is as difficult as smacking your thumb bone against the string. It's a style. Doing it well is impressive, just as playing clean finger is impressive. And sometimes, yes, it is blown out of proportion, but so can cleanfinger be. Though I absolutely love it, take Flea's Around the World intro for example. People think it's the ambrosia of distorted bass.

And, though it is feasible to make a song of nothing but swept arpeggios, such a song would be a little extreme, similar to Flight of the Bumblebee or Petrucci/Rudess' Bite of the Mosquito. It's kind of onesided. There is plenty of diversity and dynamic to be had in slap, on the other hand.

So basically, your analogy is off. Your point, however, is spot on. People do tend to overexalt simpler slap stuff; however, it's not analogous to sweep-picking. I hope this has been both enlightening and tactful.
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#21
Quote by smb
This is a stupid thread. You can't make a song that's entirely sweep picking and doesn't sound like wank, but plenty of songs are slap all the way through and are quite laid back and nicely grooving songs. I think it's a dumb analogy, frankly.


anyone else here think SMB is a complete tool?

hes not saying they're the same technique for a different instrument

he's referring to skill level, douche
Last edited by Paperback Hero at Mar 1, 2008,
#22
Quote by WhyLater
+1

Don't worry, threadstarter, I'm not going to flame you for making a statement that's a little off. I'll simply explain to you why other people are e-crucifying you.

You see, sweep picking is difficult to do. As sven_cliffy so aptly put it, it's a trick. Playing slap bass, in and of itself, is as difficult as smacking your thumb bone against the string. It's a style. Doing it well is impressive, just as playing clean finger is impressive. And sometimes, yes, it is blown out of proportion, but so can cleanfinger be. Though I absolutely love it, take Flea's Around the World intro for example. People think it's the ambrosia of distorted bass.

And, though it is feasible to make a song of nothing but swept arpeggios, such a song would be a little extreme, similar to Flight of the Bumblebee or Petrucci/Rudess' Bite of the Mosquito. It's kind of onesided. There is plenty of diversity and dynamic to be had in slap, on the other hand.

So basically, your analogy is off. Your point, however, is spot on. People do tend to overexalt simpler slap stuff; however, it's not analogous to sweep-picking. I hope this has been both enlightening and tactful.

Okay, well I'm sorry for the incorrect anologies. Thanks for being intelligent about it
#23
Quote by Paperback Hero
anyone else here think SMB is a complete tool?

hes not saying they're the same technique for a different instrument

he's referring to skill level, douche

Reported. I don't think you exactly realize the point that SMB is trying to make, and you didn't have to be an ass about it either way.
#24
Slap bass changes the role of a bass. The slapped bass is not just playing bass, it's like playing drums too. It's a completely different approach to the instrument. Sweep picking is just application of a combination of normal guitar skills.
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#25
i see your point. i know alot of people that see slapping/tapping and think it makes someone awesome. when really they are just one of may techniques that one should be good at to be awesome. sort of
#26
slap and sweeping both have become passe' to me. its more or less because everyone hears a bassist slap and goes "thats really cool" and has to learn it. you'll always hear most people slappng when you go into a music store. its just the same as sweep picking, which is simply rakeing across the strings in a scale instead of a chord.
#27
I gotta admit, slapping was pretty cool when I first heard it--now it's kind of tiring and gimmicky. It's kind of like hearing Eddie Van Halen do his hammer-on trills--after a while, it gets tiresome, as difficult as it may be to play.

What I appreciate as a bass player are ALL of the possible ways to play bass. Fingerstyle, thumb style, slap and pop, hammer-ons, touch bass, playing with a pick--they are all pretty cool and have their merits, as long as they fit the piece. You can't slap to an old school tune. Can you imagine being in a Beatles cover band and slapping the bassline?

"She Loves You, yeah yeah yeah"

"Pinka dinka bwappada bwappada thumpa thumpa dookata dookata..."

It might be cool, but the audience may throw empty beer bottles at your face.

Learn as much as you can about different styles--it will broaden your horizons as a bassist. A lot of bassists think that playing with a pick is the worst and the slowest, but a lot of great bassists play with a pick:

Tony Levin
Paul McCartney
Carol Kaye
Carles Benavent (look for his thread in here and see the vids, you will be amazed)

I personally play with salon-finished nails (gel set), since I double on flamenco guitar at my gigs. It's like playing with 5 picks sometimes! All the finger articulation, PLUS the loud transient pluck. And I play fretless--that's another story there.

Never limit the possibilites by poo-pooing a style and not trying it out. I don't like slap and pop too much (because it is overdone) but if it gets gigs and the audience digs it, it makes sense to have it as another tool in your toolbox.
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#28
^Well-articulated, good sir.

But I won't lie... I might have to try She Loves You in slap, since you've planted the idea in my head.
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Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#29
Quote by Molloy35
I always thought:

Tapping - Guitar
Slap - Bass

Instead of sweep-picking. But I agree with you. Just because you can do a LITTLE slap doesnt mean you're made of pure awesome



ummmmmmm i can tap better than ur average guitarist its called two handed tapping mate


around here its not wen someone can do something like sweeping that is regarded as incredible i saw a kid just wanking around ur basic minor scale box and EVERYONE was just hypnotized by it.
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#30
Quote by Paperback Hero
anyone else here think SMB is a complete tool?

hes not saying they're the same technique for a different instrument

he's referring to skill level, douche


referring to someone who's a regular as a tool and a douche when you've been a member less than a month is not a good way to make friends

and Slap really isnt that hard, u hit ur thumb against a string, utilising it is hard yes, but the technique itself isn't really, so in fact, you're more wrong than smb chap!

and TS, yeah people do seem to think slap makes you some kind of bass god, people have come up 2 me and said stuff like "OMG, ur so awesome" just becuase I've played a slap riff,and it really annoys me, becuase they dont know what they are talking about,and I know soo many better bassists than me who dont play slap.
So now I'm working on my finger style, which has improved loads, and keeps the n00bs from claiming me to be their messiah
but my mate who is primiarily a bassist, but is also proficent or just downright awesome on guitar, mandolin, ukulele, drums and diggaridoo and well as being a fully trained sound engineer/producer sat and listened to me play once, and after simply said, "yeah ur attack is great, ur tone's nice and ur left hand technique has really improved" and that meant more to me than being called an amazing bassist or a slap god or whatever by n00bs, cuz he knew what he was talking about...

but slap and stuff will always impress n00bs, becuase it sounds different and "cool"
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#31
^Haha, I like to be in the happy medium, where I am respected by those whose musical taste and knowledge I hold in high regard, and at the same time worshiped by the little people. Actually though, for me, people are more like "Oh man, Michael's showing off" whenever I do slap.

But what really gets them for me is when I play the Around the World intro. Even when I do it sloppily. No lie, I played it the other day upstairs at Church, without overdrive and with the chromatic steps pretty off, and one of the youth looks right at another one and says "Dude, Michael is freaking AMAZING at bass!" This was after I had been doing some two-handed tapping, some double hammer-on riffs, a couple of grace note riffs...

Then again, I do get plenty of "requests" for Higher Ground, so... here we are, full circle.
Les Claypool
Geddy Lee
Robert DeLeo
Flea

Weileder

...Coincidence? I think not.
#32
Quote by Spamwise
So I've noticed that a lot of people seem to regard any bass player that can slap as "incredible", in the same way that many people regard guitarists who can swee pick as "incredible", regardless of their musical skill. I don't play bass, but a lot of the things i've seen people call "incredible" definitely would not take more than a few months to learn (assuming you're not like just starting out.) Anyone else annoyed by it?


I think guitarists who can sweep are incredible. I've been playing guitar for 4 years and I can't really do it.

I don't think slap is that great. A bassist can learn to slap much quicker than a guitarist can learn to sweep. There is also different levels of slap. Some players can do amazing 1/16th slapping, while others are limited to slightly boring 1/4 speed slap.
#33
yeah, ive been here less than a month, and i havent had a great experience with smb...every time i ask a question he replys, not with an answer but with an insult, and everytime i see him post in another thrread its always with complete douche-ness
#34
Quote by Paperback Hero
yeah, ive been here less than a month, and i havent had a great experience with smb...every time i ask a question he replys, not with an answer but with an insult, and everytime i see him post in another thrread its always with complete douche-ness

You're not helping much by retorting with insults that are a lot more childish than anything he's said. I see a bannination in your future

I think sweeping can sound good in more places than slap can though. Slap works for funk and sometimes blues, but rarely in metal, rock, etc. Sweeping can be applied much more musically, in my opinion.
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#35
Quote by Paperback Hero
anyone else here think SMB is a complete tool?

hes not saying they're the same technique for a different instrument

he's referring to skill level, douche


here are your options: you can get warned, or you can never do this again.


he called the thread stupid, not the threadstarter. He merely disagrees with it. Someone disagreeing with you is not grounds to call them a douche or a tool.


Hence forth, grow up, or stop posting.
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#36
It seems only a few people got that this analogy is supposed to work one way, and not others. The only parallel the TS is trying to create is : Oh he/she can slap, he/she must be an awesome bass player! and: Oh he/she can sweep pick, he/she must be an awesome guitar player! That's how the analogy works and it doesn't matter if one is more useful than the other, one is a technique while one is a style, etc. I can see how you'd argue that bass players using one style are better than those using another (but I'll try my best to shoot down such a close minded argument) while guitar players using a "trick" aren't any better than those who don't, but I think the analogy still works just fine.

TS I think you are completely right in terms of mostly new and intermediate musicians. I've had a handful of aspiring bass players (and a few guitar players and drummers) tell me: oh yeah that's pretty cool, but you need to learn to slap so you can be awesome! It irritates me to no end.

I write slow songs where it would be difficult for me to properly incorportate engaging slap playing, I prefer emphasizing the midrange with my tone: the opposite of most people's go-to for slapping, I prefer bass that pushes a little into melodic territory, not doubly emphasizes the rhythmic, and lately I've found that I prefer playing my p bass to my jazz. I get really tired of those few musicians who completely ignore all context of my style and just assume I would be better if I slapped all the time.

Of course I'm not dumping on slapping, I'm trying to become a better slap player so I can use it when it's appropriate and to solidify my rhythm, I will not put all my energy into it because I don't see it contributing heavily to my style.

I'm just saying "absolute" thinkers are a little lower on the cognitive chain then "contextual" thinkers, and "absolute" players are a little lower on my musician chain then "contextual" players, even if they can razzle dazzle me with awesome sweep picking or wootenesque slap.

edit* this probably sounds more inflamatory than I intended, lot's of people have been getting it and really contributing, I just meant that a good few didn't seem to get what the TS was saying.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Mar 2, 2008,
#37
Slapping is a very, very easy fundamental concept. Pretty much any player can do it after a while. Sweep picking, on any instrument, requires some serious chops. I agree that double thumping speed slappers can be analogous to guitar shredders, but not the whole concept of slapping as a whole.

Speed slapping and speed picking both impress young teenagers, mainstream non-musicians, and people not good at the said instrument.
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#38
I like slapping on guitar but I can't get my fingers under the strings quick enough to pop yet......I can actually slap better on guitar better than bass and it sounds really cool...Sweeping is good if used in the right spot....
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#39
Well when I played bass for a few months I played a really simple slap lick but it didn't really sound good. Still, I was a bass king according to lots of people. I really want to see their faces when I slap in front of them now :P
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