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Slap Bass Archives

Ask Damian Erskine

What’s the Trick to Slap Bass?

This week’s “Ask Damian” column focuses on the subject of slap bass - in two parts. First, the basics, and second, the rhythm patterns. Damian expands on this to explore learning all styles in this new column.

Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with “String Ring” While Slapping

Damian answers this question in this new “Ask” column this week: “I got a 6-string not too long ago and I’ve been having a hard time with string ring... Is there anything I can do about that?”

Ask Damian Erskine

Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

Q: I have seen a lot of Slap Pop tutorials, but none of them cover which pick up on the bass to use or tonal settings on the bass or amp. I am still working on proper striking technique, but I am wondering if part of getting the proper sound might be that I am not using the right pick...

Sheet Music & Instruction

Enrico Galetta Debuts as Bass Instruction Author with “Grooving with Hybrid Techniques”

Bass player, composer and educator Enrico Galetta (known for his jazz work and the album 48 Hour Odyssey) is imparting his bass wisdom in his first book, Grooving with Hybrid Techniques for Bass. Featuring 100 exercises and 72 audio samples (available with the paper copy and the e-book), the book aims to teach a variety of techniques, including flamenco slap,...

Ask Damian Erskine

A Discussion on Slap Bass Tone and Technique

I get a an insurmountable number of emailed questions asking about slap tone and technique. While I have mentioned dozens of times in various columns that I never really explored the slap side of bass, I have fiddled with it enough, in addition to knowing quite a few fantastic slappers. I know how to get the tone, I just never...


Bass Transcription: Wojtek Pilichowski’s “Cowboy from Prague”

This month’s transcription is “Cowboy from Prague,” a short piece by Polish slap bass wizard Wojtek Pilichowski, recorded at the Aguilar Artist Loft earlier in 2014. Wojtek has made a name for himself in recent years with his hard-hitting and energetic slap technique. True to form, he packs a lot of ideas into this short piece. Wojtek takes influences from...

Ask Damian Erskine

Exploring the Value of Slap Bass

Q: I get so excited with seeing and hearing amazing slap bass playing. However, I’m wondering how many eggs to put the “slap basket.” I have tried a couple of different books and videos and have finally settled on Louis Johnson’s DVD from 1984. I am still working on the first lick and able to play it, but not at...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Funky Slap Bass with Cross-String Hammer-Ons

Here’s a new slap bass lesson for you to try out to incorporate cross-string hammer-ons into your playing. We’ll practice this with a line I put together in the key of E. In the video below, I play the line at full tempo, followed by half speed and finally super slow speed. Follow along with the video and this transcription...

Bass Lessons

Funky Slap Bass Lesson

Today we’re going to dive in to some more intermediate level slap bass techniques. This lesson builds upon topics we’ve covered in the past, including beginning slap bass patterns and techniques, the double thumb technique and shakes. Follow along with the video and the transcription – standard notation and tab included. For the gear heads, I’m playing my Sandberg MarloweDK...

Ask Damian Erskine

Overcoming Tone Loss When Switching from Finger-Style to Slap Bass

Q: I have a question regarding when switching between finger-style and slap. I set my amp up predominantly for finger-style playing, but when I switch to slap – particularly mid-song – or if I throw in a slap embellishment, the slap gets buried underneath everything else and is barely audible, consequently losing the momentum and presence of the tune/bass part....

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Funky Slap Bass with Open Strings

Here’s a simple slap pattern based on open strings and octaves. As I demonstrate in the video, I’m playing a pattern, first in A, and then switching to E (same line). Before switching back to the A, there’s an octave line to bring us back. The line uses hammer-ons and pull-offs. Around the 3 minute mark of the video, I...

Bass Videos

Alejandro Masafret: Bass Improv #2

Alejandro Masafret sent me this video of him performing what he calls “fragments of several improvisations” on bass. His slap skills are quite impressive, as you’ll see. But then after he lays down some loops, he switches to soloing over top of it all in an equally impressive way. Then he changes it up yet again. And again.