Slap technique is one of the most popular ways to play the bass guitar. The distinctive rhythmic element, which the string acquires with a blow of the thumb and the impact of the fingerboard and frets, and the plucking tone, which resembles a hit to a snare drum, are very powerful weapons that move the sound of the bass guitar into funk and solo spheres. Yes, slap is inextricably linked to funk and all musical styles that can move your body or simply make your audience dance.
Slap is the essence of rhythm, the bass guitar basically becomes drums. The thumb tones are acting as a bass drum, plucking tones resemble snare drum and percussive tones are your hi-hat. Boom, and you have everything you need to start playing groove. All musicians know what that means to play in the pocket (or groove hard), and listeners immediately recognise when a musician or song hits that right flow aka groove. Suddenly everything feels in harmony with its natural rhythm, musical phrases follow each other easily and the music is in perfect symbiosis with the movement of the planets. Groove is our ultimate goal and the desired result of all that practise and effort we invest
into our playing.
In this book, you’ll learn how to apply five essential slap techniques - thumb, pluck/pop, percussive tones, hammerons and pull-offs using the left hand fingers. In order for all five of these elements to be of proper quality, it is also necessary to make extensive use of the inner surface of the fingers and palms for immaculate muting technique.
The aim of the book is to guide you through the practical and professional music application of the following 101 exercises. Over time you should be able to play all the exercises fluently. Your slap technique will therefore advance to a higher
level as you’ll learn a significant amount of rhythmic and melodic patterns, which will help you to easily and naturally apply them to any musical style and composition.
However, in the book you’ll not find any virtuoso techniques such as double-thumb, double-pluck, strumming, double-stops, tapping, etc.
Our goal is to lay down a solid foundation of slap technique, without which the abovementioned “icing on the cake”, so popular in the virtual world of viral. Coming from the background of professional touring and gigging musicians, I believe that slap technique needs a more down-to-earth approach which is more suitable for practical music applications in the songs of different genres.
Slap makes you stand out in the band mix, so you want to make sure that it is catchy, groovy and melodic in the same manner as your other bass lines playing with fingers or pick.
Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of slap as a technique that can enrich your means of expression and be a valid musical element for practical use in compositions of various musical styles. A tasteful slap bass line can elevate an ordinary sequence of chords to a potential hit, as well as ruin a solidly written song or the patience of
your band mates if used inappropriately.
The choice is always up to you, the future slap bass masters.
Bass Gym - 101 Odd Time Bass Grooves
Playing in odd time signatures can be sometimes very difficult to digest and could easily lead to even unpleasant music experience for beginners. All those weird rhythms and nothing in the familiar good four four quarter meter. There is simply nothing to hold on to.
In this new Bass Gym 101 book, we will explain and demonstrate how to learn to count and feel odd time signatures in 5/4, 7/8 or even in such a crazy meter as 13/8 or 15/16.
Initially, the biggest issue is understanding rhythmic phrases and finding navigating points.
In the book you’ll find grooves and exercises utilizing all possible variations of odd time signatures in the divisions of quarters, eighths or sixteenths (5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15) and also their mutual combinations or combinations with the familiar 4/4, 6/8 or 2/4 and 3/4 meters.
As always, when writing grooves and exercises, there is emphasized musical practice and use in the real world.
Odd time signatures are really a challenge for your creativity in the sense that it is not easy to create natural-sounding musical phrases. In our music culture, we are mostly used to 4/4, 2/4 and 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures, which are used for the majority of folk, classical and popular music ever composed. Odd time signatures are natural for the cultures of the Balkans or India, where there is also a very strong connection between the music metrum and dance steps.
Each exercise is written in standard notation with tablature and recommended fingerings for a four-string bass guitar in standard E, A, D and G tuning. Above the notation you will also find chord marks for some exercises to better understand harmonic contexts and a brief description of exercises or musical style.
You will practice playing in all positions of the fretboard and also in all twelve keys.
All exercises are available for download as mp3 files.
Number of pages: 57
Worldwide distribution via Bassline Publishing
As an aspirational young bass player, I’ve set my goals very high. My heroes have been Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorius, Flea, John Myung and Robert Trujillo. I’ve admired their incredible skills, grooves and creativity. At the same time, I’ve experienced immense feelings of frustration as I couldn’t achieve their level of playing. We all know 10.000 hours theory and it seems like a mountain we wouldn’t ever be able to climb. Never-ending aspirations, expectations and tons of hard work.
How to keep your mind on the goal? How to stay motivated?
I’ve found an answer in kaizen, Japanese technique for overcoming laziness. The idea behind it is very simple. Practice something for a single minute every day. Even the laziest person should find that one-minute task doable. It is one very small step towards greatness. The terrifying mountain is now enjoyable stroll in the garden. Little successes are more sustainable than big failures.
And this principle is in the core of Bass Gym 101 series of books for aspiring bass players.
In every book, you’ll find 101 exercises that will help to improve your finger strength and dexterity, as well as develop the independence of the four fingers of your fretting hand.
Each exercise is designed to challenge you and push you towards achieving better finger movement on the instrument. Whilst books focus on technique, all of the exercises are musical and enjoyable to play. Hopefully, you’ll also find them inspirational and will use the ideas to
create your own lines.
Working through the exercises methodically should produce great results in a relatively short period of time. Over time, you should discover that previously unplayable passages will have become easier to handle and that your overall movement around the fingerboard is smoother and quicker.
These short exercises (between one to four bars) are ideal as part of your warm-up routine. I recommend using them before rehearsals, gigs or recording sessions.
Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned professional you will find value in the exercises in this book. You’ll find that they are adaptable to five and six-string basses.
All of the exercises include tablature, recommended fingerings and MP3 files are available to download from the publisher’s website.
This book is especially recommended for bass players with limited practice time, but who still wish to develop a high level of technical skill on the instrument.
I love your work! Thank you for making these books. I've been always struggling to find exercises to go up the fretboard. like everyone else, i'm stuck with boxy patterns in one area of the fretboard. im just taking it one exercise at a time while learning theory. Hope you make videos in your channels in the future incorporating the exercises in the books musically. definitely referring these to my friends! I wish you won't get tired of sharing your talent, just to let you know that you have supporters on the other side of the planet.
So I haven’t even touched any other practice materials since getting your books. I finally started working with the warm up book.....man there are some killer exercises in that one. Wish I had these books 20 years ago....haha! Thx Again Marek
Great workout will draft improve skills. I hope more titles to come from the author. Maybe right hand skills. Loved it!