When I started playing, the setup on my bass was such that the strings were very close together and it was hard to hit just one string with my thumb. Time passed and GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) kicked in and I made sure I got a bass that had the appropriate spacing, the pickup power it needed and that lent itself to make it all work with the slapping and popping I wanted to develop.
Working with my teacher, the main approach to slapping was simply to repeat the movement needed for this technique, so I did it until my thumb was sore. What is not to love about this? As you can imagine I kind of let it go and focused on the stuff I liked better.
Anyway, when I got Brian’s DVD, Slaplicious Bass Licks in 31 Flavors, I was ready to try it and see If I had found the path to “Slap” enlightenment.
Brian’s instructional DVD takes a lighthearted approach to slap technique and he gives you 31 “Licks” to add to your tool box. Now, I am sure you will notice the similarities to a certain ice cream franchise, but this DVD isn’t for kids (OK, it could be if the kid already is a really good player).
Included in the DVD is the PDF information so you can print out the tabs for the 31 licks to play along.
Starting with the first lick, “Chunky Monkey,” Brian gives you the bits of theory (the chord and mode) that goes with the respective lick. He plays the lick first at full speed, then breaks it down slowly so you can get the details. I found even the first exercise to be somewhat challenging and a little discouraging. You can imagine my reaction when I decided to try the next one,”Key Lime Pie,” and he announced that this one was going to be harder. So, I went online to have a closer look at the description of this course, only to find out that it is intended to be for intermediate slap bass players. Well, that explains it!
All-in-all I don’t think this method will be the answer to my “Slap” woes but if you are an intermediate player with some “Slap” foundation this DVD can give you some good material to work on.
If you are looking to grow your “Slap” vocabulary give this DVD a whirl. If you do, please feel free to leave your feedback below so the rest of our readers can benefit from your insight and decide if they are going to give it a try!
Slaplicious Bass Licks in 31 Flavors Available at Amazon.com