Bass slapping technique has in many ways revolutionized the world of bass guitar. It has given the instrument extra prominence as a lead instrument rather that a provider of groove. So we decided to pay a little homage to all the slap greats with our very own list of Top 10 best slap bass songs. The rundown kindly awaits below.
10. Korn – Freak on a Leash
Yes, Korn might be a bit of a controversial choice to kick off a list with, BUT, Fieldy did an amazing job of crafting a unique bass sound that he actually managed to fit within a band and enhance the quality of the songs. And for that, we give him kudos. Check out “Freak on a Leash” below.
9. Rage Against the Machine – Take the Power Back
Rockers can slap and rock, and to prove it, we bring you Mr. Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine and the band’s mega groover called “Take the Power Back.” It will pump you up like a beast, and the tasty slap is what leads the way throughout the song.
8. Stu Hamm – Moonlight Sonata Jam
Stu Hamm is one of the most renowned bass players out there thanks to his gigs with the likes of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Highlighting his amazing bass guitar skills, we bring you Stu’s famous rendition of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” It kicks off like you might expect it, but then transforms into a genuine slap bass fiesta. Rock on, sir
7. Level 42 – Mark King Slap Bass Solo
The way Mark King can make a bass crackle hasn’t yet been matched by any bass player to this date. To highlight his incredible talent, we’ll just present you with a solo part he performed with his band Level 42.
Make way for the boogie! Larry Graham and his amazing sense of groove made their way to No. 6, and although there are quite a few examples of Mr. Graham slappin’ that bass, we opted for “Pow” just because it’s so irresistibly explosive.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their crazy bass player Flea get to crack the list in half with their cover of Stevie Wonder classic “Higher Ground.” The beginning lick is enough for a spot among the titans, as it is utilized in just the way it should be – to kick off the song like an atomic bomb!
4. Primus – Tommy the Cat
With Les Claypool on bass guitar, staple Primus track “Tommy the Cat” is fueled by slap bass to such an extent that it is impossible not to bop your noggin to it. Something like what AC/DC does with guitars, except with bass in the forefront. Super groovy, super slapping, super Claypool.
3. Best Slap Bass Groove – Marcus Miller – Power
Taking a major funky detour, we decided to award the one and only Mr. Marcus Miller with the bronze. Highlighting his slap bass prowess, “Power” is a skillfully crafted tune bound to captivate the attention of any music aficionado out there. The groove, the tone, the emotion, it has it all, you just need to kick back and enjoy the ride.
2. Victor Wooten – U Can’t Hold No Groove
The winner of the silver medal is the one and only Victor Wooten. We’re talking about the guy who took slap and bass guitar as a whole to a new level with a fresh approach and stellar technique. “U Can’t Hold No Groove” has a very neat structure and covers a wide range of styles with nothing more than a single bass guitar. Needless to say, slap is one of the absolute crucial factors in the mix.
1. Best Bass Song – Stanley Clarke – Lopsy Lu
On the throne, we have Mr. Stanley Clarke, one of the ultimate greats and one of the prominent figures who gave slap bass extra significance by utilizing it in his work in a very subtle, yet highly elegant way back in the ’70s. “Lopsy Lu” is a fine example of how slap technique can be utilized so it’s not the focal point of a tune, yet a crucial ingredient.