Watch the The Basics online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

It’s time to set your pick of choice down and get ready to beat up your pick hand thumb for a while as this segment focuses on the bass player-influenced technique of thumb slapping. This technique goes hand-in-hand with another well-known bass associated technique—popping—which will be performed by your fret hand 1st finger (P1) and will be discussed in a later segment.

Pointing your thumb diagonally towards the sky on about a 45 degree angle you’re going to slap the wound strings with what I call the “ball of your thumb” somewhere near the neck pickup closer to the neck. Speaking of, be sure to switch your pickup selector to the neck position as this seems to best deliver the thumb slapped tones.

Thumb slapping introduces yet another symbol to our ever-expanding list of alternative notation. Whenever you’ll need to attack a string with the thumb in this manner you will see the letters “TS” in the Power Tab charts (as seen in Fig. 1).