This is a lesson for bass players who want to get into slapping for the first time. I go over the basics of thumb technique and popping and also a little on how to get a slap tone.

Exercise 1: Different Note Durations

Practice a single open E string and experiment with different note durations. This will help with using the thumb and your choking technique.

Exercise 2: Different Note Durations On G

Apply the same choking practice to a fretted note, in this case we’re using a G.

Exercise 3: G-B-C-D Progression (first finger of fretting hand)

Practice moving around the neck a little more by using this simple progression of G-B-C-D. In this exercise we use only one finger of the fretting hand to play each note.

Exercise 4: G-B-C-D Progression (one position)

We can also bring our other fretting hand fingers into play while working through our progression (G-B-C-D)

Exercise 5: G Major Scale

Major scales are a simple way of practicing a technique across strings on the bass. Slap every note of this G Major scale using the fretting hand fingering shown.

Exercise 6: Staccato G Major Scale

For more note control we can practice the same G Major scale but with staccato notes.

Exercise 7: C Octave (different durations)

The pop is an important part of the slap bass technique. Octaves are probably the most common application of pops. The following exercises are good practice in developing that snappy pop technique.

Exercise 8: G Octave (different durations)

E to D string octaves can be tougher to play than A to G string octaves. This required the finger to quickly fall between the D and G string. Practice this technique until you can play it cleanly.

Exercise 9: Disco Riff On D

This popular disco riff is good practice at applying octaves in context

Play the riff with multiple durations:

  • All Full Duration
  • All Cut Short (staccato)
  • All Very Short (staccatisimo)
  • Only Pop Short

Exercise 10: Disco Riff On A

Once you’ve mastered the disco riff with root notes on the A string, you can then try with root notes on the E string. This is a little tougher.

Play the riff with multiple durations:

  • All Full Duration
  • All Cut Short (staccato)
  • All Very Short (staccatisimo)
  • Only Pop Short

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