Hal Leonard

Rockabilly Bass - Slap Technique by Johnny Hatton

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Slap Technique and the Rudiments of Rockin' String Bass

Who better to teach the fundamentals of slap bass than someone who has a career spanning from Elvis to Brian Setzer? Johnny Hatton has left quite a impression on the slap bass world over the past 40 years. We've been searching for a decent rockabilly bass method book for a long time, and this one has the goods.

Although only clocking in at 56 pages, this book contains enough material to take you all the way from buying your first bass to developing the techniques necessary to handle just about any slap gig you could come across. Johnny is detailed and concise in his descriptions of the techniques, and presents them in conjunction with transcriptions of basslines from well known tunes; from Marshall Lytle's iconic line on Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock," to Cash's "Ring of Fire."

In addition to the well-written exercises, Johnny has recorded a series of videos that you can access online (included with the purchase of the book) to accompany the lessons and examples in the book. He does a great job of slowing down the right hand, so you can see the actual mechanics of slapping, as well as being able to make sense of what the lines sound like at a slower tempo. If you've ever wanted to learn slap bass -- or hone your skills -- this is a very good place to start.

Who is Johnny Hatton?

John's bass experiences have encompassed a multitude of styles; Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, Dixieland, Big Band, Disco, Rock, Rap and Rockabilly to name a few. He has played behind many well-known superstars, including Dolly Parton, Jose Feliciano, Ray Anthony, Maynard Ferguson, John Davidson, Tony Bennett, Little Milton, Al Jarreau, Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, Supertramp, Little Richard, Etta James, Herb Jeffries, Danny Gans, Vonda Shepherd, Hank Ballard, Shirly Jones, Billy Lee Riley, Nannette Fabere’... and the list goes on.

John honed his 50's slap-bass style in Rhino Records' "Big Daddy", an 8-piece 50's band, which turned modern hits into retro 50's classics. This band conquered the world with a top 10 hit and a tour of England. Their eight-week gig in Sydney, Australia, landed them another hit with their version of "The Land Down Under." It was in this band that Hatton created the character known as "Spazz", the slide-rule-wielding nerd. The moniker has followed him to this day.

Johnny "Spazz" Hatton has been playing rockabilly slap bass with the Brian Setzer Orchestra since February of 2002, and has recorded six Grammy-Nominated CDs. In addition, Johnny has played with the Royal Crown Review since 2006, a band that specializes in jazzy swing.

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