Free funk slap exercises and examples

Here I will show you some examples of essential elements, which are used in funk slap, practical examples with notes, tablatures and studio recorded mp3 audio tracks. All exercises are from Big Funk Text Book-Slap! e-book, where we start gradually, from basic to more advanced techniques.

Funk slap is popular with bass players of all ages and represents the ultimate level of training for any bassist!

So, let´s take a look at which elements of this bass guitar technique are indispensable in our practice!

The first one is THUMB (Slapping)

As already mentioned, an important step in playing funk slap style is the first slap with the right-hand thumb (marked with symbol T), a precise and accurate slapping of the string without the sound or any simultaneous playing to any of the adjacent strings with the right-hand thumb. This means a clear tone on only one of the strings, which we want to use for playing (G, D, A, E).

The most commonly used is the combination between THUMB – MUTE – HAMMER.

Listen to

 

Funk Slap Thumb Mute Hammer ExerciseThis combination consists of moving the left hand to a certain tone, to the next string. Moves go from above downwards to the next lower string. In the same manner, the left hand jumps downwards along the struck tone – THUMB. Exercises of this type are essential for playing funk slap and are mostly done in a speedy manner.

There are often two thumbs together, in a rather speedy rhythm.

Listen to

Funk Slap Two Thumbs Example

Here we are starting a combination of mute and hammer. So far, we have used hammering to connect only two notes at one time, while we are connecting three now and as much as four. We are using our right-hand thumb for this example.

Listen to

Funk Slap Mute Hammer Example

The next example is intended for achieving greater speed at playing the following notes, connected between the right-hand and the left-hand thumbs.

Listen to

Funk Slap Right Left Hand Thumb Example

SLIDE

In the connected tones section we will discuss the following: separate tones and tones, connected by arches – hammer. This is the so-called glissando (Italian), in funk slap it is called slide. It means sliding your left hand from the tone shown by a straight line towards the tone which we are sliding to, after a certain tone has been played.
(click on the picture to see an exercise example from the book)

Listen to

Funk Slap Slide ExampleAll exercises are avaliable in Big Funk Text Book-Slap! ebook  >>

PULL TECHNIQUE (Popping)

This is a pulled note (marked with symbol P), torn by the right-hand middle finger. The tone sounds without fretting.

Listen to

Funk Slap Pull Example

In addition to the P mark, there is another very similar mark – the PO = PULL OFF. PO is a mark used for notes that are connected with an arc from above downwards. Then it follows the PH mark. PH is a note which is pulled (torn) and is to be connected with the next (fret) note upwards. These are also the most used marks in the funk slap technique regarding the PULL group.

Listen to

Funk Slap Pull off Example

Listen to

Funk Slap Pull off Example

Combination between PULL – THUMB – HAMMER

Up to now, I have presented certain rules of funk slap playing, now we will start combining Pull – Thumb – Hammer techniques including the rhythm.

Listen to

Funk Slap Pull Thumb Hammer ExampleVIBRATO and SHAKE

In addition to symbols and marks accompanying the funk slap style, there are still two examples left to our discussion. These are VIBRATO and SHAKE.

They are used as a kind of effect when playing, to occasionally embellish the tones and are also used for general playing on the bass guitar. They can also be used with other string instruments. Let´s first look at shake.

Listen to

Funk Slap Shake Example

On the bass guitar, vibrato and shake are performed exclusively with the left hand or with the hand looking for tones on the fretboard of the bass guitar. And here is vibrato example.

Listen to

Funk Slap Vibrato ExampleAll exercises are avaliable in Big Funk Text Book-Slap! ebook  >>

LEFT HAND muted science

A very special meaning for playing funk slap has the left hand, which is marked as LEFT HAND or LH. Due to the density of notes it can sometimes be only an L. Without this important element we cannot say to play funk slap.

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Example

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Example

This LH symbol, or just L, belongs to a group of highly muted notes – MUTE.

Listen to

 Funk Slap Left Hand Muted Example

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Muted Example

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Muted Example

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Muted Example

The notes marked this way are never sounding. LH (L) notes are usually under this symbol. This notes are the most distinct on deep strings such as E string or A string. Rarely, it can be also used on the D string.

The individuals who play advanced funk slap techniques make exceptions here as well, but they are only a few. Let us start with the first exercise: in order to create the right (tone) MUTE with the left hand, always use the sounding note as a starting point, which is mostly an empty string.

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Muted One String

Listen to

Funk Slap Left Hand Muted One stringFORE NOTES

Fore note is usually a quickly played note of short duration before the sounding of the relatively longer-lasting note which immediately follows it. The most efficient are single fore notes, followed by two fore notes, a double and only rarely a fore note.

They can be either short or long and are there to embellish certain notes. They are always placed in front of the main note played. Here, only short fore notes will be shown since the long ones which are tied to the following note are called hammer.

Listen to

Funk Slap Fore NotesAll exercises are avaliable in Big Funk Text Book-Slap! ebook  >>

PLAYING FUNK-SLAP IN DIFFERENT TONALITIES

Listen to the following examples. They can be used also as a Funk slap  solo parts in practical meaning.

Listen to

Funk Slap Playing in Different Tanalities

Listen to

Funk Slap Playing in Different Tanalities

Listen to

Funk Slap Playing in Different Tanalities

The Blues

Listen to

Funk Slap Blues Example

Latin salsa

Listen to

Funk Slap Latin Salsa Example

NEAR FUTURE – solo funk example

Congratulations, you have made it through all of the exersices! At the end of this post, here is a funk slap solo example as used in modern practice. Notes for this song, as well as two other solos can be found in the Big Funk Text Book-Slap! e-book.
Near future funk slap bass example song

Enjoy!

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