Information on how to slap your bass guitar
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Free Slap Bass Guitar Quick Start Tutorial

Hi, this is Jim Lee. Below is a very-basic tutorial that will have you slappin' in no time. It doesn't matter what kind of bass guitar you have... you can slap it!

The Slap

The slap is probably the most fundamental element of the slap bass technique. Just like the name implies, this technique involves slapping your string... most often with your thumb. A common problem for people just starting is that they don't let their thumb bounce-off the string, which results in a choked sound. Have you ever seen the inside of a piano? Slapping is much like a piano mallet striking the strings. Look at the short, video-clips below to see what I mean:

The Slap - Notice how the wrist turns, like turning a door-knob
The Slap (Another View) - Slap the string against the fretboard & bounce off
The Slap (Slow Motion) - Keep your hand & wrist relaxed

The Pop

The pop is another fundamental element of slapping. The pop is just a fancy name for pluck... you just pluck the string. Just a slight pull on the string, so it smacks back on the fretboard with a popping sound. A common problem for beginners is that they'll yank the string really hard... if you're just starting, be prepared to break some stings.

The Pop - Use your 1st or 2nd finger to pluck
The Pop (Slow Motion) - Popping is fun

Slapping & Popping

Great. Now that you've got the slap and pop down, it's time to put them together. The basic idea is to make the slap-then-pop a smooth motion. You want to make sure that at the end of each motion, your hand is in a good position to do the next slap or pop.

Slap & Pop - I like to think of the slap as a kick drum, and the pop as a snare
Slap & Pop Octaves - It's common to slap the lower note & pop the higher
Slap & Pop Riff Example - Here's an example, visit for more riffs

What's next? Practice, play with drummers, slap-n-pop different rhythms & patterns. If you have questions, visit the slap bass answers page. Please check-out my Funkychops download if you're interested in learning some slap bass riffs (just do a search for Funkychops).

Best wishes,


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