How to Play Slap Bass Guitar

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Slap bass on the electric bass can be overwhelming, but a beginner can start by using her thumb in a hammer-on and pull-off motion. Compliment the drums by playing slap bass with help from a professional upright and electric bass player in this free video on playing slap bass guitar.

Part of the Video Series: Bass Guitar
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Colin Truesdell, I am an electric and upright bass instructor in Miami, Florida. Today in this clip I am going to show you how to play a slap bass rhythm. Slap bass on the electric bass is a very, sometimes it can be very overwhelming, because you have people in basses like Victor Wooten or Marcus Miller who are major bass players that are just really, really good at doing the slap thing. So with that said a simple bass line, slap bass line I try to teach my students is just using the thumb, and then kind of you have this hammer on pull off motion. So if you think about it, I'm going to do it fast first, and then I am going to slow it down. So this is what it looks like. It is open E, open D, and open it is like photonic octave up. So what I am doing is I am slapping down on the E, then I am plucking the D, hammering onto the E, and then pulling off. So you have this constant motion. Basically you are complimenting the drums in a funk music or slap bass music. So you have the open E, and also your left hand is function as a percussive instrument where you are muting, and popping, and all that stuff. So if you can zoom in on my hand here you will see where I am slapping on, remember the hammer on pull off. Hammer on, pull off, open E, and then you can do all types of things when you get the E down you can go to F, you can go to G, and just try to apply that basic principle to all the different keys and everything. And that is pretty much the starter process of doing a slap bass line on the electric bass. Thank you very much, I am Colin Trusedell.

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