Articulating Slap Dynamics
Articulating your Slap Dynamics is a skill that is important to have and easy to learn.
When you hear a bass player slapping, don't you get tired of hearing all of the notes coming out at you louder than they need to be?
It's like talking to someone who just yells at you every time you talk to them.
Eventually, you just want to throw something at them.
So, what can you do to make it so that you never play like that?
Simple. Practice playing slap bass at different dynamic levels.
I know this sounds redundant and just plain obvious, but most of the time that you watch people slap, they are playing loud and abrasive all of the time.
I know that the technique can be naturally abrasive, considering that you're literally snapping and bouncing the strings against the fretboard, but there are ways to practice making it so that your Bass lines come out more melodic and flowing.
First, practice playing Arpeggios and Scales with the Slap style, playing as softly as possible at first and then playing as you normally would. Eventually, you'll be able to play your lines with a lot more control.
As you go quieter, remember not to lose the intensity or your sense of time. It's easy to get less intense and slow down when you play quietly, so you have to practice getting the feel of the melodic slap style under your fingers.
Another great way to practice is by taking the melody of a song you like, such as any number of tunes out of the Real Book, and practice playing the lines over a backing track, remembering to play the lines as though you were the main melody instrument.
Doing this will make it so that your slapping naturally becomes more melodic and controlled over time.
A few great players who are masters of doing this are Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller. If you haven't already heard some of their music, you should really try to check them out.
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