In this lesson we’re going to look at building some strength and stamina in our slapping technique. Specifically our thumb.

So if you’re interesting in building a bit of beef in that slap, check out this riff!

This riff is is in E and we’ll be playing it exclusively using our thumb

The Riff!

Before you even play a single note, I recommend placing your hand in what I call ‘the home position’ (see any one of the many many slap videos I’ve previously released!) By getting your hand in this position, you’ll feel comfortable, and be in the best position to choke notes off effectively to get that great syncopated rhythmic feel. In fact, playing ghost notes is perhaps the most important skill to learn when playing slap bass – along with your thumb technique.

You’ll find it easiest to practice playing the distinctive ‘galloping’ rhythm on the open E string first to get a feel for the riff: play nice and slowly at first until it’s under your fingers before picking up speed. Once you’ve mastered that, simply repeat exactly the same pattern and rhythm on the F# and G.

The second section of the bass line has some hammer ons, and the third section has a technique called cross hammer – which basically means hammering on without plucking a note (i.e. the hammer itself plays the note). This adds extra colour to your playing, but is a mini skill in itself which will serve you well when it comes to playing faster lines!

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