Alun Vaughan

Fun With Fives

Everyone loves 16th note slap patterns ( unless you work in a bass store!) but a lot of players stick to four and six note patterns and never stray. Here's a riff that uses five note patterns in two different ways – 16th notes grouped in fives ( throughout the riff) and quintuplets ( five notes in the space of four 16ths – see the fill in Bar Four). The whole riff relies pretty much on two right hand patterns:

Four note groupings – Thumb, Left Hand Slap, Thumb, Pop
Five note groupings – Thumb, Left Hand Slap, Thumb, First Finger Pop, Second Finger Pop

Once you get used to the sound of the fives, the riff isn't too hard ( although watch the last two beats of the last bar where you have to thumb and pop the same string). If you're having problems with the timing in bar four, try saying “hippopotamus” on each beat and then play a note on each syllable. Sounds silly, but it works – trust me!