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Slap Bass Chronicles 1: Slap With The Bone of Your Finger

stringpopphotoEarly on, players looking to delve into the world of slap bass can experience a number of pitfalls along the way with their slap bass technique. For one, players might not be slapping with the best part of their right thumb.

Often times, I’ve seen beginning players slap with the meaty part of their thumb or even as twisted down as the thumb pad.

Not to say this is wrong if it is not providing you any problems, but there is a better, more optimal place to slap with on the right hand:

Bone, Meet Metal

The best part to get the perfect slap and really capitalizing on good slap bass technique would be using the bone on the right thumb.

Where is that bone?

Give yourself the thumbs up for a minute. Squeeze both sides of your thumb knuckle on the width and you should be feeling a noticeably more bony protrusion on the sides of that area of your thumb.

That, my fellow bass player, is the optimal area to slap in.


1. When you strike the string with that part of the thumb, you’re striking on a tough, deadened area. As a result, the possibility of developing a rips on soft skin areas is significantly reduced.

2. When you slap now, you’re going to be experiencing the sound of bone against metal against metal. The bone of your thumb against the metal of the string against the metal of the frets. This is what gets you that rich, thumpy, full slap tone with just a bit of edge to it.

Try out slapping with this part of the thumb with one of my funk jam tracks: