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Lyle Ronglien >> Slap Bass for Beginners >>

Slap Bass - Lesson 1

Thumb Slap Exercises

Lyle: I'm going to walk you through a bunch of basic exercises and riffs that will teach you how to get that cool thump sound known as Slap Bass. First you need to get your thumb happening.

Lyle: Use the hard edge of your thumb, in the first segment of it, to hit the strings with. Here's a video example:

Lyle: Now try playing this first exercise using quarter note beats on the E string:

Lyle: Mute the other three strings with your left hand and thumb away on the E string.

Lyle: Quarter notes are typically every beat. There are 4 quarter notes in one measure of 4/4 time. Watch video:

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track of a basic drum beat in 4/4 time:

Lyle: Try playing right along with the looping jam track, just like I did in the video.

Lyle: One of the toughest things to get used to is muting the strings that you're not playing. In this next exercise you'll get to practice playing and muting all the strings:

Lyle: Watch video clip to help you with muting:

bboy: Am I supposed to mute the remaining 3 strings when I play?

Lyle: Yes, as best you can.

Lyle: Muting the strings you're not playing in exercise 2 is hard to do. Trying slowing the tempo on the TAB or the Jam Track and just keep at it. Teach your fingers how to do it without you having to think about it.....much.

Lyle: Next I want you to play 8th notes with your thumb. You'll hit each open string twice per beat:

Lyle: Next you play 3 - 8th notes per beat, resulting in what's called triplets:

bboy: When you play the lower strings, do you mute the upper strings with your palm?

Lyle: Yes, and also your fretting hand thumb can reach over the neck to help mute the E string.

Lyle: Next you'll try some of the same exercises but this time using a fretted note instead of an open string.

Lyle: Be sure to practice each exercise along to the looping jam track

Lyle: The next exercise has you changing notes along the A string:

Lyle: Practice with the jam track!

Lyle: The next exercise uses the triplet rhythm and changing notes. Very tricky at first. Remember, you can slow down the Tempo of the TAB and/or the jam track.

Lyle: The next exercise has what I call the " Disco" beat. You'll use roots and octaves:

Lyle: Here's another exercise using the disco beat:

Lyle: Remember to work on muting the unplayed strings.

Lyle: That's all the this first lesson. Next lesson you'll learn some basic riffs to practice the thumb slap with.

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