Teacher: The photo shows
proper tapping position for the pick hand. Notice the thumb on the side of the
neck which help support the technique.
Teacher: The 'tap'
with the pick hand should be to the same position, just behind the fret, as you
would aim for with a standard hammer-on.
Teacher: You can use
any finger of the pick hand to tap, though the index and middle finger are the
most popular for their strength.
Teacher: The most common next
move is a 'pull-off' to the fret hand is accomplished with a slight 'flick' off
the string. This can be done toward the floor or towards the top of the
Right Hand Tap Completion
Teacher: Here is a video demonstrating a
beginning tapping phrase, tapping the 12th fret on the first string. Then
pulling off to the 5th fret. Then repeating the move on the 2nd string.
Start slow. Work on
achieving an even sound and volume between the notes in each hand. Your
tapping phrases sound much faster when you can't distinguish which hand is
Teacher: You may choose to put the pick down,
bite it, or 'cup' it in another finger in the picking hand. Experiment,
favoring the method that most readily
allows you to switch between it and standard picking
can be a bit difficult so start slow. Work on achieving an even sound and volume
between the notes in each hand. This will require technique and practice, but
the even sound will make your tapping phrases sound much faster, as it will be
difficult to distinguish what hand is phrasing individual
Teacher: This photo shows the completion of a
'tap'. This shows the tap being completed in a 'downward' motion. One can
bring the tapping finger 'up' , toward one's body as well. Experiment with
what feels comfortable and produces the best tone.
Teacher: A guitar with light strings and
low action will help. You might want to start on an electric if you have one.
But players have achieved proficiency tapping on even acoustic
Teacher: The fret hand will serve an important
role of stopping unwanted strings from ringing out.
Teacher: The 'highlighted' circled notes
are the tapped ones. There is also fingering built into the notation when
you view it on the virtual guitar neck.
Teacher: Eddie Van Halen is the one who
popularized the technique, especially in a hard rock context, though tapping was
used by earlier artists and is used in other styles
Teacher: This lick is the signature tapping
'shape' from Van Halen's 'Eruption' solo. Now using a fret hand hammer-on to
create a repeating three note pattern. It really is the same technique as
before, addding a hammer-on before your next
Eruption #2 Tap
Teacher: Another 'Eruption' cliche. Notice the
movement of these licks in both hands. Experiment with keeping one note
stationary, moving the tapped note, etc.
Teacher: Here is a sound clip with some speed to
these riffs to let you know what to shoot for. Start slow. The speed will come
quite soon but will never sound as good if the notes are not clear or have
Teacher: Adding slurs in the left hand
can have many variations and will definitely add some
This tab shows some possible variations with two notes in the fret hand and one
tap. These are all very popular.
Teacher: Tap, pull-off to the fret hand, then
pull-off to another fret hand finger. Or tap-pulloff-hammer-pulloff. Or
tap-pulloff-pulloff-hammeron. These are fundamental combinations to practice.
One could combine these together, or combine them with two note tapping phrases,
to create longer composite phrases.
Tap + Open String
Teacher: This tab shows another popular idea for
tapping: Incorporating open strings.
Teacher: The spacing between the notes is one of
the great thing to tapping. Much wider intervals than we tend to play when
picking. And the flowing sound it has combine to great
Teacher: The single note patterns to play when
tapping are the same as when picking, either single notes or arpeggios. The Van
Halen riffs were more arpeggios, or chord patterns. The Satiani riff came from a
B major scale visualized on a single
Teacher: Here are the arpeggio shapes for C
major. A three note chord, so three patterns to learn.
Teacher: The riff introduces a new ideas to the
lesson. Starting with picked or fretted notes and then adding a tap 'on
Tap + Open String
Teacher: The last tab is simply the notes of a C
major chord visualized on one string. You can use this to outline chord
Teacher: Like in this tab. Am to G to F to E.
Practice each shape for a bit before moving. I had to move quick to squeeze the
tab in a reasonable space but each shape should be practiced and memorized.
Sweep + Tap
Teacher: Here comes a mix of
our sweep technique from our earlier speed lesson, now topped with a tap to
extend the range or our phrase. Sweep pick the
arpeggio to the first string then add the tap on top, pull-off to the fret
hand, then sweep down. Best to use the middle finger to make the switch from
tapping to picking again
Fast Sweep + Tap
Teacher: Here is a jam track to play
A minor jam
track (Hard Rock)
through A minor scale
Teacher: Another scale tapping idea. This time
'up' the A minor scale.
Teacher: Another idea to try: Tap
Slides. Using the finger on the tapping hand to slide just like a slide in the
fret hand. This riff uses slides in both hand. Twice the fun.
Teacher: This tab used the A minor Pentatonic
scale in both hands. The same notes in both hands, two different patterns. Yeah,
more advanced true.
Teacher: The archive will be up, Ed. I have a
couple more ideas then thats it for
Using two fingers of the right hand to tap is a more advanced technique. What
this often will mean is using the strength of the fret hand to hammer on without
a picked note to start the phrase.
Teacher: The 'hammer-on from nowhere'
Teacher: This technique
can be mixed into a standard tapping phrase like this Van Halen
OK. I hope you enjoy tapping. Build up those pick hand finger tips. Take it
slow. Have fun.
Teacher: Take care