Slap bass is one of the most popular styles of playing bass. It is fun, dynamic, and over all it just sounds plain cool. Slap bass can fit into almost any style, from jazz to metal. No matter where it is, the roots are always in the same place; funk.
If you want to learn slap bass, the easiest way to learn is to try out some simple grooves that will allow you to get a feel for the playing style.
In this article, we will give you some easy bass slap lines to learn so that you can start off learning funk the fun way.
Our first slap groove is from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ cover of Higher Ground. Chances are, if you have ever been at a music store, every single bass player was playing this line. It is simple, fun, and extremely catchy. The best way to approach it though is to listen to the song first to get an idea of where to slap and where to pop. Once you know your timing and note placement, start off slowly and build your way up to average speed with a metronome.
This riff is all about feel, just like all funk playing, so keep that in mind while you are learning it. Don’t rush yourself and try to play it at light speed to impress anyone; play it at normal speed and play it well.
Next up is a classic funk song, Sly and the Family Stone’s Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again). Sly and the Family Stone is the epitome of funk. Not only are they the grooviest of their time, but they have brought countless classics to the table.
Thank You is an extremely basic bass line, but it is well written and has undeniable flow. The important part, just like with Higher Ground, is to allow this bass slap line to flow right through you into your fingertips. Start off slowly and get a feel for the note placement, and when you are comfortable, play along to the song.
Our final song is The Commodores’ Brick House. Yet another classic, this song is all about feeling good and having fun. One of the most famous funk songs of the seventies, Brick House has an undeniable appeal thanks to its simplicity and extremely catchy feel.
Just like all of our other easy bass slap lines, start off slowly and allow yourself to develop a feel for the groove of this line. Remember, there’s no rush; groove is all about flow, and you can’t flow if you’re all uptight.
Now that you have some easy funk slap lines the next step, and final, is to learn them. Practice and allow yourself to find the groove and feel of each piece. This will allow your to see what makes a groove line successful. Good luck!
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