In the last episode of this series, we are going to talk about using different techniques to create basslines.
I was going to make one big article and video with a bunch of techniques but realized that dedicating multiple articles with one or two types of techniques made more sense.
In the first part of the techniques lesson, we are going to talk about slap/pop!
Slap/pop is a really fun technique to incorporate into a song that will add extra rhythm, deep bass tone, and a funky feel!
WHAT IS SLAP/POP
Slap/pop is a technique that consists of creating a percussive sound on your bass using the side of your thumb ‘slapping’ the string and your pointer or middle finger ‘popping’ the string. The slapping and popping generally alternates but depending the rhythm and there could be different variations.
HISTORY OF SLAP/POP
This technique was first developed using the double bass in the 1900s. It became a more popular technique in the 1960s when Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone was actively using it. He has been credited with developing this technique.
This technique has been throughout many genres of music including (but not limited to): funk, soul, R&B, disco, rock, country, jazz, and many more!
SOME SONGS THAT UTILIZE SLAP/POP:
There are many songs that utilize this technique but here are just a few to get you started:
- Take The Power Back – Rage Against the Machine
- Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- U Can’t Hold No Groove (If You Ain’t Got No Pocket) – Victor Wooten
- Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly and the Family Stone
- New York New York – Grandmaster Flash
- Got the Life – Korn
EXERCISES TO PRACTICE
A couple things to consider when adding slap/pop to your bassline creation:
Record Yourself: Figure out how you want to play the technique and then record yourself playing it. This is often a technique I do to see if adding slap/pop to a song will clash or add a nice deep bass tone.
Practice: When adding in techniques, make sure that you are practicing them effectively and often to get down the right rhythm, timing, and sound.