Fret Hand Slap
The fret hand slap is a technique that's used often in slap bass playing to add an additional percussive element to the Bassline.
While it isn't very difficult to do, it requires that you learn to play rhythms with both hands, something that some people have trouble with.
To play this technique, you simply take your fretting hand and slap it against the strings. You want to muffle the strings rather than make them ring out. This gives the impression of a muffled slap rather than a full on ringing slap sound.
This effectively does a few things at once:
- It stops the strings from ringing all at once.
- It provides a bit of a rhythmic pulse.
- It creates a counter to the slap line being played, effectively evening out or adding to the line as the player sees fit.
One of the main things about doing this is that you have to try to keep your hand flat. If you have your fingers curved when you hit the strings, one of them may ring out above the others, causing a sound or tone you don't want.
The main thing that makes this technique difficult to do at first is the fact that the strings have a tendency to ring out after they are struck.
Take your time at first to try doing this slowly, practicing hitting the strings and muffling them at the same time. This takes practice but can be done easily after a while.
A player who does this often is Mark King of Level 42. A great example of this technique is in the tune "Love Games". Check it out to get an idea of how he uses this technique.
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