“Slap bass got too technical. I stopped when it became all about triplets”: Preston Crump on gaining fame with Outkast and why he stopped playing slap bass

Preston Crump
(Image credit: Jon Mancuso)

You've heard him on Grammy-award-winning albums by Outkast. You've heard him supply the low-end to the sombre crooning of Citizen Cope. You've heard his groove-filled basslines on records by Raphael Saadiq. Dr. Dre, Destiny's Child, TLC, and Earth, Wind and Fire. To achieve his goals as a soul-oriented sideman, Preston Crump's bass playing abilities have had to match his willingness to please his artists. “Fingerstyle has always been my most comfortable technique,” he told BP. “Although I got deep into slap bass for a while when it was still funky. Then it started getting too technical for its own good. I stopped slapping when it became all about triplets. Theres nothing too funky about triplets to me.”

Continually adding new techniques and approaches to his tool bag is something that Crump takes pride in as a student of the bass guitar. “Ever since I read about Gary Willis and his technique I have been trying to lighten up my touch. In some situations you get really into it, and before you know it you have the hammer grip around the bass! But I’m trying to learn to relax more.”

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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.