Larry Graham the father of funk slap bass playing, never really wanted to be a bass player. Larry started out on guitar in his mother’s band until their drummer dropped out.
To compensate for the lack drums Larry decided to use a bass guitar to emulate the bass drum and snare with his thumb and fingers. This was to be a temporary measure as Larry even rented the bass guitar thinking he would soon be back on guitar once they added a new drummer. Larry talks about his start in music and his technique here:
Thankfully, they never appointed a new drummer and Larry’s pioneering thumb wacking and finger string popping techniques caught the attention of Sly Stone. After falling out (to say the least!) with the Stone brothers, Larry went on to form his own band and through the 70’s and 80’s worked with Bettie Davis and Prince.
In this video Larry goes through his effects pedals
What is amazing about Larry is that out of necessity he practically invented slap bass playing. The style of music at the time and his band was his priority. This lead to his break out funk slap bass playing that the rest of us all now play.