The role of the bass player in a rock setting is critical — you’ve got to lock up with the drummer rhythmically to establish the groove, and at the same time, provide a harmonic foundation for the vocalist and other instruments to play off of.

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers introduced a whole generations of rock bass players to the possibility of using thumb and slap bass techniques to add a little funk to their rock. Here’s a groove designed to get you started in that direction as well. It’s designed for us to target slapping and popping techniques, as well as playing triplets. Plus, it’s got a great groove and is fun to play.

When you listen to this groove, note the rhythmic notation alerting us that we’ll be swinging the feel in this song, also getting to slap and pop full triplets in C, D, and G. You have to remember to play this with a light touch when you are slapping and popping to achieve a full, solid tone. Hitting too hard with your right hand will make for a very percussive and tinny bass tone.

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