Slap Bass Lesson Breaking the Mould! L83
Hey. How you doing Scott from Scott’s Bass Lessons here, hope you’re well. If you haven’t been to ScottsBassLessons yet, make sure you do so straight after this lesson because you’re going to find hours and hours of free tutorials, bass lessons, on there. And if you subscribe as well, I’ll also send you exclusive content that only my subscribers get and you’ll also get free other goodies as well. Today we’re going to be talking about slap bass. It’s something that I’ve got a little bit of an issue with teaching sometimes because so many people.
Get stuck in what I call the ‘slap void’. It’s because it sounds so cool, slap does sound cool. But you’ve got to make sure that whatever you’re playing relates to your knowledge on the fret board and it isn’t just something that sounds cool. You should be always looking into why it sounds cool and what chord tones are being used within that groove and that kind of thing. I do teach a lot of clinics where there’ll be a lot of guys playing slap bass and all the riffs they’re playing are in the key of E. I’m sure you.
Know what you mean. I’m sure you know a slap riff and I’m sure it will be in the key of E probably. And it’s really important that you learn how to play in different keys. For instance, when I’m doing these clinics, if I can shout out over the din to everybody, over the noise, ‘Can you play any slap riff in the key of B flatminor or Cminor’ for instance. Everybody just stops because nobody can actually play any of the slap riffs in any other keys. They can only use that open Estring. So today we’re going to.
Be looking at a slap riff, specifically in the key of Cminor. Now before I show you the riff, I just want to look at some Cminor arpeggio notes or chord tones, whatever. It’s the same thing. So the position we’re going to be using within the riff is going to be around here. It’s the fifth to the eighth fret, okay One, two, three, four, oops, five, six, seven, eight. It’s around this area. So we need to familiarise ourselves with the chord tones in this area before we start playing the.
Groove. So here’s the arpeggio really slowly, okay So we’ve got a C with our little finger. An E flat with our second finger. A G with our first finger. A B flat with our little finger and then finally a C with our first finger. So just once more, C, E flat, G, B flat, C, and also we can use this B flat down here because, that’s the B flat there we can use this one down there. Then there’s the C and we can also use this E flat here. Okay.
Now the riff, I’m going to play it without the backing track first so you can hear it in its entirety, okay So one, two, three, four. So there you can see I’m kind of using all of the chord tones that are under my fingers and I’m even sneaking over here as well sometimes and that’s because we’ve got a Cminor arpeggio here, which is C, E flat, G, B flat, C and then it just starts repeating itself, C, E flat. But within that riff that I’m playing I’m actually playing a D as well, but we’re going to get to that in.
A minute. So let’s break that riff down into small sections so you can see what’s going on. And there’s something you should really take into consideration as well, techniquewise when you’re playing slap, it’s the right arm motion that’s really important. You don’t want to be doing this. It’s not sort of an up and down motion like this. The motion comes from the elbow and is more of a twisting, like this. Imagine you’re sort of like grabbing a doorknob and twisting it like that. It’s that kind of movement that I’m.
Making. It’s obviously not as big as that. It’s like really, really small movements like that. But that’s the movement. So if I play here, you can see the rotation of the arm. It’s not this. It’s a rotation. So you want to make sure that you’re rotating like that. And all I’m using is the thumb and I’m using the index finger for this particular riff. Sometimes I do use the middle finger, but for this particular riff, I’m just using the thumb and the index finger. And also something to take into consideration.
Is, imagine an acoustic guitar player strumming. He’s always got that strumming motion in his right arm and this is exactly the same as what I’m doing when I’m slapping. My arm is almost constantly going and then I’m just picking up the notes that I want to play. I’m not going to go and, thumbthumbpluckpluckthumbthumbpluck. It’s constantly moving like this. I’m going to play the riff really slow before I break it down even slower for you, but here it is really slow and I want you to concentrate on my.
Movement of my right arm and how it’s constantly like this, okay Two, three, four. See how it’s constantly moving Okay Constantly moving. Now, let’s break this riff down into learnable sections. That’s really important, when you’re learning something like this, don’t just jump in and attack it, trying to do it all at once. Try to break it down into learnable sections. By doing that you’re going to have so much more, you know, such a better chance of getting it clean. The way you play, it’s going to be nice.
And clean. If you just jump in and try to do it all the time, generally it will be a little bit messy, a little bit rough around the edges. So let’s break this down into nice little learnable pieces. Okay. So the first bit is a hammeron from the B flat to the C. Now in relation to C minor, that’s the flatseven to the root. With the right hand, all I’m doing is thumb, hammer, thumb. Okay Thumb, hammer, thumb. And then we’ve got. and I’m plucking and holding the B flat down with my little finger.
And that’s kind of the first bit of the riff. Like, I’m cutting these short and you can do that. I can leave them long or I could cut them short. I kinda like them short. When you’re trying to learn a riff like this, sometimes it really helps just to loop a little section of it around. So let’s try that. Now the next section is a slide, now remember we’ve got to think about what the riff is in relation to the tonality that we’re playing over, which is C.
Minor, okay So we’re kind of sliding into the minor third, remember Here’s the arpeggio. I’m sliding in to the minor third and then plucking the octave. So here we go again. And that slide’s a really big part of the riff. So thumb, slide, thumb, pluck. First part, and if you listen to that, them two sections, there’s a little bit of some ghost notes in between that as well. Hear that Remember I talked about that constant movement That’s why it’s there so I can pick out the ghost notes in between the actual.
Riff. Now the next part is really similar to this part. All it is, is second finger and hammering on with the third and then I’m plucking that B flat under there as well. Yeah So really slowly through the entire thing. First section. Second section. Third section. And again first section. First, second, third. Now there’s a cool little riff I did as well and it’s like a little fill and I’m going to put that in right now just so you can hear it and then we’ll slow that down as well, okay So here’s the riff in its.
Entirety and I’ll put that little fill in as well. Okay Now remember I talked about this Cminor arpeggio here and that’s where this is coming from. So it’s the flatseven of the Cminor, thumb, hammer, thumb and then I’m plucking on the E flat and then sliding down to the D. And that D is that, you know, real sexy note, the ninth. And then I’m sliding up from the 13th of the Cminor, we’re getting complicated. Now the 13th, you could think of it as the 13th or just a sliding, a passing note,.
To the 7th of the Cminor. Okay So that little riff there is. really slow and it fits into the riff like this. And again. So let’s hear the full riff up to speed. So now, let’s take a listen to this groove with the actual backing track. Now if you want to download this backing track, if you’re watching this on YouTube, hit the link below. It will take you to a page. On that page will be a tutorial and right underneath the tutorial, it will say something like,.
‘Download backing track’. If you’re watching this on Scott’s Bass Lessons, just look there below the tutorial and there’s a little link you can download this from. Download it straight away and you can get a little PDF on there as well, which will take you through part of the riff. Let’s take a listen to the riff. So now you need to get the information I’ve given you and put it into your own playing. A great idea is just to get a normal slap riff that you normally play and try to transpose that into a different key. That’s a.
Great way to get started. Although sometimes, they just don’t lend themselves to it because you’re using the open string and then you’re playing up here. So, you know, you’d be jumping around like a crazy man. But, you know, go through your riffs, see if there’s anything that will transpose and give it a go. With this specific riff that we’ve done today. That can transpose as well. This is the great thing about bass. If you learn one thing in one area, you can just shift it around. You know, we’ve got it in Cminor here. I could.
Do it in B flat. D. E flat. You know, you can just shift it around. That’s what the best thing about guitar and bass is, the transposing is so easy. So next time you’re in a situation, you’re playing with a band maybe in the key of E flat minor, you play and you think, ‘Oh God, it’s be great to do sort of like a slap kind of riff on this kind of thing.’ You know, try to use the chordal tones to figure out where you can actually, you know, if.
You can put a slap riff into the song you’re playing. Some of this does need a little bit of practice. It’s something I had to work on when I was younger. I was one of them guys, you know, I could just play in E and then one day I just thought, ‘Wow. I really want to play in’, it was a tune, I think in Gminor or something. I really wanted to play a slap riff on that and that’s when I realised that I needed to do a little bit of work and.
Work out how to play slap bass across the entire instrument and not just in the key of E or Eminor. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this lesson. If you have done, which I hope you have, click the ‘like’ button below. It really helps spread the word about my lessons. And don’t forget, the backing track is downloadable. If you’re watching this on YouTube, click the link straight below this tutorial. It will take you to my website. You’ll be able to download it from there. If you’re watching it on my website, it is right underneath this tutorial. And other.