How to Do a Slap With Triplets Bass Guitar Technique
The slap is a method of playing the bass guitar in which a string is initially struck with the thumb. It's a common technique for playing a series of three notes (triplets). The slap is easily adapted for a percussive effect. The following steps will show how to do a slap with triplets on the bass guitar.
Slap an unfretted (open) string with the thumb of your playing hand. This is the first note of the triplet and is strong because it is made with the thumb.
Make the second note of the triplet by fretting the same string firmly and quickly (hammering) with a finger on your fret hand, usually the index finger. This is the weakest note in the triplet because the string is not actually plucked as the other two notes are.
Complete the triplet by slapping the same string with your thumb again. Because the string is still fretted from Step 2, the third note will be at the same pitch as the second but louder because it is being actively plucked.
Follow the triplet by "plucking the octave." For example, if the second note of the triplet is played on the second string (A in standard tuning) at the fifth fret, the triplet is in the key of D. The octave of this note will be the fourth string (G in standard tuning) at the seventh fret (also a D).
Play a triplet in any key by moving up the fret board. In practice, bass triplets are almost always played on the A string, allowing the octave on the G string to be plucked while fretted two frets above the fret used in the second note of the triplet.