Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Slapping is one way bassists can cut through, though it can get old fast. I read an old interview where Paul McCartney was saying he couldn't do what he called "bumthwacking", which I thought was a fun name for it.
I find it entertaining and fun to play. Thumping, slapping whatever you want to call it, I think it seperates the rhythmic styles from the more melodic ones, and everybody has their preferences. But as a drummer, I have always been attracted to that style, with all it's syncopations and rhythm patterns that you can develop along with "popping". It's just fun. However, as far as volume to bass solos, I would put it as number one, picking (Mc Cartney's patented style) as number two and finger as the most muted and subtle. I don't think there is any one orthodox way to play the bass, although I have had discussions with university lab jazz students and been almost convinced that it had to be finger style with an upright acoustic bass (grin). But then I reminded them that that instrument was originally designed for a bow (haha).