Bass Lick of the Week #3

This exercise is a slap bass groove that is a nod to the great Marcus Miller.

This line requires you to bounce your thumb in between popped notes, a relatively simple but effective technique. As you’ll see in the first bar, after popping the F at the end of the first beat, you will pop two further notes on the G-string - the E and D - playing ghost notes on the D-string with the thumb before each one. When playing this phrase, I recommend fretting the first note - C - with the fourth finger of your fretting hand, then sliding this same finger up to the D. This will keep your other three fingers free to fret the E and D notes, and to perform the fretting hand slap (marked ‘lh’ in the slap guides) at the beginning of the third beat.

The fourth bar of this line features a tricky pull-off phrase: fret the F and G on beat three with the first and third fingers respectively. You will then have your fourth finger free to play the Ab at the beginning of beat four. After slapping this Ab, you’ll need to pull-off to sound the G, then again to sound the F, then once more to sound the open D-string - this is trickiest part of the exercise.

To download the backing track and PDF worksheet for this exercise, please visit the Free Stuff section of the website.