Popping The Bass
From Mastering Acoustic
Blues Guitar by Lou Manzi
You’ve heard bass players slapping and popping strings in funk styles. Guitarists have popped notes since
the early days of the blues. This technique is usually used on the lower notes. Put your thumb under the
string, then pull and release the string. Practice a few pops to get a feel for them.
= Pop or pluck
Pops are indicated by the symbol . This symbol is taken from classical string notation where
a pop is called a Bartok pizz. (pizz. stands for pizzicato, which means to pluck a string). Because
the pieces in this lesson are to be played fingerstyle, we will use the letters p, i, m, and a to
indicate the fingers of the right hand. These letters are abbreviations for the Spanish names
of the fingers (see list to the right).
In “Pop Goes the Bass Note,” every note on the 6th string should be popped. Note the hammer-ons
in measure 6. The first note in each hammer-on is a grace note, which means it has no rhythmic value
of its own; play the starting grace note and quickly hammer-on to the next note.
Pop Goes The Bass Note
= pulgar = thumb
= indicio = index finger
= medio = middle finger
= anular = ring finger