I hope that you all started slowly, like I suggested, and have gotten
to the point of having a nice clean clear sound. Work on the sound
now and we'll worry about the speed later. You'll be surprised at
how soon it will happen.
Now that you've started to get comfortable with slapping, let's add
popping to our bag of tricks. To "pop" a string, place your first
(index) finger of your slapping hand part way under the string
(just enough to grab it), pull the string out lightly and then let it
pop back against the fretboard. Keep your hand in the same relaxed
position we talked about last time. Keep your first finger just stiff
enough to pull the string out. Try popping the G string now.
As with slapping, do it as lightly as you can. You want to play with
as little energy as possible. Remember, speed will come from relaxation.
Pull just enough to get a good solid "crack" sound. This sound will be
quite percussive and if you're like me, the first time you get a good
pop with the amp turned up, it will make you jump! Go for it.
Now turn on your metronome and set it to between 40 and 50. Practice
popping the G string on each beat, and mute with your fretting hand
half way in between beats. Hold your fretting hand as before, with
your thumb about half way down behind the neck, and keep your fingers
straight. When you pop, leave the tips of your fingers touching the
E, A and D strings and lift just the base of your fingers off of the
G string by moving your hand forward, pivoting your wrist slightly.
After the pop, you can mute by moving your hand back. You should be
able to keep the E, A and D strings muted the whole time.
Once you feel comfortable with this pop - mute process, let's pop with
a slap. A very common technique is to slap and pop notes one octave
apart. Place the first finger of your fretting hand on the fifth fret
of the A string, and the fourth finger of your fretting hand on the
seventh fret of the G string. Start up your metronome again (it's
still on 50 isn't it?) and practice a slap on the A string and a
pop on the G string. Slap on the beat and pop in between. Don't
move your fretting hand or worry about muting, just let the notes ring.
Now, you may accidentally touch the E or D strings, so let's talk more
about muting. We're already using the first and fourth fingers for
fretting notes. Rest your second (middle) finger lightly on the E
string to mute it. You'll have to keep the second finger almost
straight, and bend your first and fourth fingers to do it.
Here comes the tough part. So far we have used the first, second and fourth fingers to fret the A string, mute the E string and fret the G string respectively. We could try muting the D string with the third
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