Bass Lick of the Week #52

This final exercise in the Bass Lick of the Week series is a slap and pop groove that also makes use of some strummed chords.

This line opens with a B power chord, which is strummed with the fingers of the picking hand. To strum this chord, flick downwards forcefully, allowing the fingernails to strike the strings - it is the sound of the nails striking the strings that gives strumming its powerful attack. With this chord still ringing, play the simple slap and pop figure that comprises the remainder of beat one, and beat two. In the second half of the bar, you’ll be using two fingers of the picking hand to pop notes: after slapping the open A-string, pop the E on the D-string with the first finger and the B on the G-string with the second. This B should still be held in place from the first two beats of the bar.

In the second bar, similar figures are played with G and E bass notes. When playing these bars, try to allow the notes to ring into one another where possible - don’t worry too much about muting on this occasion. This will enhance the chordal nature of the line and will sound effective.

In the fourth and final bar, the B on the G-string and the E on the D-string continue to ring whilst the bass note changes to the C on the A-string. This creates a Cmaj7 chord. In the second half of the bar a simple slap and pop figure is played on a D, leading into a repeat of the line.

This exercise was performed on a Zon Sonus bass, strung with new stainless steel Rotosounds strings, for a bright tone.

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