Without much surprise, one of the first things young bassist want to learn is how to slap and pop. I guess this is because it seems like one of the most fun thing to do on the bass, and in many ways it can be; however, it can be very annoying if not done right.
Do you ever notice that when you walk into Guitar Center's bass section there is always (and I mean always - 100% of the time) some dude banging the hell out of a bass in the most aggravating way possible?
Let's get this straight right now:
IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW HARD YOU HIT! IT'S ABOUT TONE!
I've heard this from many amazing bass players, such as Abraham Laboriel, that lighter the touch, the more tone you are probably going to get out of the instrument. This usually goes the same for recording drums by the way, but that is a whole other story.
In this video, I talk about some key elements for slapping and popping bass technique. Take it slow, have fun, but don't kill yourself or the bass.