Slapping and popping might be techniques more readily associated with the electric bass, but when applied to the guitar they yield a wealth of new riff ideas, harmonic textures and rhythmic possibilities. That’s the premise of Solo Slap Guitar, a recent entry in Hal Leonard’s Musicians Institute Master Class series, written by guitarist, educator and longtime Guitar Player contributor and editor Jude Gold. In expert but lucid prose supported by images, online videos and notation with tablature, Gold covers everything from subdivisions and rhythmic groupings to full-contact harmonics. In this excerpt, he introduces guitarists to the key wrist motion behind the slap.
Readying Your Wrist Rocket
If you have ever sat behind a drum kit, you know it is fairly easy to produce an authentic bass-drum sound—just stomp on the kick pedal. Similarly, if you grab a drumstick and take a swing at the snare drum or the closed hi-hat, it’s not difficult to get a convincing sound out of those two pieces either. However, putting those three sounds together to produce a convincing beat is much more challenging.