Bored With Your Bass Playing? Try These 5 Techniques!
As bass players we tend to stay in a bubble of just playing the notes that correspond with a song without adding some flair and grooviness to it. Getting outside of the box can be uncomfortable but by adding technique, you can comfortably play how you want by adding some awesome technique to it.
Here are my top favorite techniques:
Slap/Pop: I absolutely love slap/pop! For a long time, I didn’t like slap/pop because I wasn’t very good at it. This technique when executed correctly can add a funky groove to any song. However, when I first started playing it (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) it sounded more like loud noises. I remember my bass teacher and the teacher in the next room making a comment about the loudness that made me feel insecure.
I have a piece of advice: If someone makes you feel insecure about something that you’re playing, just practice harder!
When that happened I gave up and didn’t practice slap/pop for a few years. Then I decided I wanted to conquer it and become a more well-rounded bass player. With lots of time and practice I conquered my fears of playing slap/pop and have incorporated throughout my solo and band playing.
Slap/Pop Reference Video: Best of Slap Bass
Tapping: This is a great technique to incorporate into a song if your fingering hand is getting tired and you want to give it a little break. This is also perfect if you are playing a beautiful intricate bass line or a super fast metal line. Either way, tapping is beautiful to add in addition to other techniques in a song.
Tapping References: EM & em7 Bass Tapping
Strumming: Les Claypool of course is a virtuoso bass player that performs many techniques. This is one technique that I noticed that he plays and I have dabbled with it. This is a great addition to a song if you want to add maybe a chord or a flamenco style feel to the music.
I especially love to use this technique when I play power chords!
Sweeping: This technique is great to add when you know what key you are playing in. Because it is a fast moving technique it can be difficult to incorporate all the time but can add a nice touch when you can.
Chords: I guess this is not really a technique but a form of playing that I love to incorporate into playing. My favorite chords are power chords which consist of a root, 5th and octave.
I do a chords even if its quick and not throughout the whole song.
Chord Video Reference: Minor Pentatonic Scale Mash-Up “Paranoid” “Money”
Try out some of these techniques and let me know if you have incorporated any of them in your playing!