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The art of a good slap

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:18 pm
by guy.murray
I wonder if someone could advise an aging classical guitarist how to do a decent slap?

Buying some of Gordon's scores a year or two ago led me to buy one of those new fangled steel stringed instruments, and I've had great fun with it. Working my way through Shady Tales, though, it quickly became apparent that my slaps where less than impressive, downright pathetic in fact!

Am I right in thinking that the sound is produced by the strings hitting the fretboard?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, bearing in mind I still use a classical right hand technique when playing steel string.



Re: The art of a good slap

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:04 am
Hello Guy.

I usually slap the strings with the back of my right hand whilst playing, so the RH is already in the playing positon.Also I occassionally slap with the left hand, Dublin Day is a good example of this. This percussive or "slapping" technique is more of a natural thing and for me,and has evolved over the years without me thinking about it.

You as a classical player would have no need for this tecnique as it is primarily the domain of the steel string player.Try gently tapping the strings with the RH as if you were knocking on a door. It will come eventually I'm sure. Hope the above has helped. Its probably added more to the confusion. :(

Be Well.


Re: The art of a good slap

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:30 pm
by guy.murray
Thanks for that.

One thing I have found since I posted that it works much better If I clout the bass strings preferentially as the trebles just produce a faint ping. I was basically bunching my RH fingers together and banging them down, end on, which tends to favour the top strings.

I'm now doing it more with the side of my RH thumb which is producing a more satisfying purcussive sound, whilest not departing too much from the classical RH position (which I still use when playing steelstring). I'll give your "knocking on the door" techinique a try as well though and see how it compares.

I haven't looked at Dublin Day for a while, I think I was just getting my head round the rhythm last time I tried it! Next time I'll investigate the LH slapping technique you refer to.