“It’s a dialogue between the right hand and the left hand, with the right hand doing most of the talking!” Michael Manring explains the origins of his slap technique

Michael Manring performs at Nidaba Theatre on March 3, 2015 in Milan, Italy.
(Image credit: Photo by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

Combining all manner of plucking, picking, slapping and tapping, Michael Manring’s exhilarating bass guitar displays merge some of the most innovative bass tones imaginable. While landmark compositions The Enormous Room and My Three Moons showcase the unorthodox tuning possibilities of his signature Zon Hyperbass, another area of Manring’s study has centred around rhythmically charged slapped and strummed passages, as heard on Helios, the opening track from his 2005 album, Soliloquy. 

“I’ve been following a concept loosely based on how rhythm is studied in India, both in the north and the south,” Manring told BP. “There are two different traditions, the Hindustani and the Carnatic, but they have a lot of commonalities. In those cultures rhythm is taught by breaking down the basic strokes and then putting those into different combinations that work. I’m basically doing the same thing with the bass by looking at what strokes I want to work with and how those can be put together. 

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.