Tenths – compound major and minor thirds – are an important part of the bass player’s toolkit, regardless of which playing style you are using. When it comes to the slap technique, tenths are often employed as an alternative to popped octave notes, bringing the added benefit of greater harmonic clarity to a line.

There are two kinds of tenths – major and minor. Each is essentially just a major or minor third interval but played more than an octave above the root note. Tenths allow bass players to suggest or reinforce harmony and occur often in slap bass lines. Tenths can also be played using open strings, something bassists such as Stanley Clarke and Mark King often do in their playing.

If you require additional help with any of the techniques used here, the following courses (all included in the monthly subscription cost) should prove useful:

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