Watch Vulpeck's Joe Dart break down Flea and Victor Wooten's slap bass technique 

Joe Dart performs on stage with the Fearless Flyers at Ahoy on July 10, 2022 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
(Image credit: Photo by Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns)

Having made a lasting impression on the world of retro-funk bass guitar with his band Vulfpeck, Joe Dart has been further channeling his bass playing prowess as a teacher, via the group’s new educational platform, Vulf Conservatory.

In an 11-minute preview of his new bass guitar course, Dart dissects his core slap technique, breaks down one of Flea’s slap-happy bass grooves, and explains why we all have Will Smith to thank for bringing the technique back in the 1990s.

“Flea would be playing very percussive, and a lot of dead notes,” says Dart. “So I really learned how to hit the strings without making any notes ring out. He was my first influence on the instrument, and his commitment to playing every note as if it were his last, and to holding it down in what is essentially a three-piece band – he inspired me as a kid and still does today.”

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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.