Bass Lick of the Week #7

This exercise is a slap bass groove that will allow you to focus on fretting hand slaps and popping double stops.

The opening phrase of this line is a continuous semiquaver rhythm which is to be performed by playing notes with each hand. After slapping the open E-string, the fretting hand will need to perform a ghost note slap. This in turn is followed by two further ghost notes, played with the thumb. Using the fretting hand to perform ghost notes in this way allows for long sequences of semiquaver-based rhythms, and is a technique often used by Mark King, Les Claypool and Stuart Hamm, among others. On the second beat of the bar, a double stop is played - a double stop is two notes played together. To perform this, you’ll need to pop the notes on the D and G-string simultaneously with the first and second fingers of your picking hand. Another semiquaver rhythm involving the fretting hand is played on the third beat, with another double stop coming at the end of the bar.

The second bar begins in the same way, but ends with a syncopated double stop phrase. I recommend fretting the two notes in this double stop with the first and second fingers. These double stops are each preceded with a ghost note played with the thumb, so the effect is of the thumb ‘bouncing’ between the popped double stops.

This line is meant to be played quite aggressively, so you can afford to really dig in here.

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