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Two things i have trouble wiith. Ghost notes and Slap bass.

johnny880
Posts: 392
7 months ago
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Every now and then I come across a song that I want to play with ghost notes. I don't get them. Why not just play the notes instead of muting them or skip them all together and not even put them in the song. They don't sound good to begin with ? I also have a problem with slap bass. Any tips ? I have been playing awhile now as you guys know. But when you are self taught without lessons some things are confusing. And I want to understand this. Those are two of my pet peeves I want to conquer. I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks ahead of time…
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1884
Ghost notes are more about dynamics than anything. Muted notes are almost always about drive and rhythm, whereas ghost notes are more like adding punctuation marks into a run-on sentence.

I've always thought “slap” bass was a misnomer. “Slap” implies force, but it's not about force, it's about technique. You don't have to hit hard at all. You're just dropping your thumb against the string and then quickly bouncing it off the instant it makes contact. It just takes practice. Keep at it.
2nick3
Posts: 508
I'm OK with Slap, it's the Pop part that I struggle with. For the slap part I just sat and hit my thumb against the open E string for about 30 minutes until I had the feel down. For me it was one of those things that was easier to learn the less I concentrated on it and just let my fingers do the work.
johnny880
Posts: 392
Hey Loudlon. Thanks for your explanation of ghost notes. It makes sense to me. I get it. Slap bass is a whole other story. It feels like I am trying to learn bass all over again with this style. In a way I guess I am. I appreciate your info and Nick thanks to you as well. I will just keep plugging along.
The Pop is my challenge too, I find if I curl my index finger and hook the string to get that nice popping sound. The slap part is more like a thunking of your thumb like LoudLon said. Just like everything else with the bass, it takes practice and patience.
Toby
Posts: 1
I was the same at the beginning, having never tried it. I started with Lenny Kravitz Fly Away.
It really is just practice, but I did find it easier hitting the string with my thumb nearer the base of the neck, rather than down by the pickups.
IamMark
Posts: 1103
I can't slap. I even took lessons from Beaver Felton (one of the best in slap), and I just can't do it. I love listening to it when it's done well. It truly reminds you how percussive the bass is. But it's a technique that I just can't figure out. The hardest part I have is the palm muting. I can slap and pop root-octave all day long. But that's about it.
wisley
Posts: 1
All, take a listen to Larry Graham. He's considered the inventor of pop and slap. If I remember the story, Larry and his mother were a band. She played piano and he played bass. Instead of hiring a drummer, Larry invented the pop and slap technique to compensate for the drums. Remember, the drummer and bass player a tightly joined because they both are the backbone of the band. Many drummers learn to play bass (like myself) and vise versa. Check out this youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVRV3qhMPcY. Also, check out Bootsy Collins and Louis Johnson (a.k.a. Thunder Thumbs).
johnny880
Posts: 392
Hey Loudlon. I have been messing around with ghost notes. Just making up some riffs. I was wondering if you could suggest a song or two with tabs thats not to crazy for me to screw around with to get the hang of playing them in a song ? I will tackle slap bass in about ten years time.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1884
Suck My Kiss by RHCP has some ghost note stuff. I'll Never Turn My Back On You, by Terence Trent D'arby. I'm actually drawing a bit of a blank at the moment as far as songs we actually have tabs for.

Typically, whenever I think of ghost notes, my mind immediately goes to funk and R&B. Strawberry Letter 23 by The Brothers Johnson, Down in Mexico by The Coasters, Across 110th Street by Bobby Womack, stuff like that. I'm not sure if we have tabs for any of those, though.

I would tab more stuff like that myself but while I enjoy playing it, tabbing tons of ghost notes can be a chore, even for a pedantic like me.
johnny880
Posts: 392
Quote:
Suck My Kiss by RHCP has some ghost note stuff. I'll Never Turn My Back On You, by Terence Trent D'arby. I'm actually drawing a bit of a blank at the moment as far as songs we actually have tabs for.Typically, whenever I think of ghost notes, my mind immediately goes to funk and R&B. Strawberry Letter 23 by The Brothers Johnson, Down in Mexico by The Coasters, Across 110th Street by Bobby Womack, stuff like that. I'm not sure if we have tabs for any of those, though. I would tab more stuff like that myself but while I enjoy playing it, tabbing tons of ghost notes can be a chore, even for a pedantic like me.
YES Roundabout has some really good bass with ghost notes. I find it a challenge to play that song. In fact i find it really frigging difficult. It really pisses me off actually. I want to play it. I want to get to that level of playing. Some day perhaps. Thanks Loudlon. Just messing with things. Learning new things is good. Not playing your bass is bad.

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