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Old 01-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
Steyr9001
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8-Finger Tapping

So 8-Finger Tapping is something that I really just don't know where to begin with. I've always thought that it was such a cool technique, but the execution of it seems so impractical and difficult that I've never really considered learning it until now.

I can't seem to find any sort of position that having both hands on the neck is comfortable. The left hand is usually okay, but the right is very tense. Particularly any time I try to use my middle finger.

Synchronization is just a mess. I didn't expect it to be very good, but even using two fingers on the right hand throws it off.

I'm curious as to what I'm supposed to do with the pick if I were to play an actual song with an 8-Finger tapped section. Should I practice quickly and placing and removing it in/from my mouth? Should I just drop it and keep a second pick ready?



I thought it wouldn't TOO big of step up from just tapping with my middle finger, after messing around with both hands on the neck they seem worlds apart. Like I said, I just don't know. Any helpful advice would be appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'm not really into 8 finger tapping, so I can't offer any real advice, but you could try the position mentioned in this video - sitting down with the guitar pointing upwards. It seems a lot more relaxed and comfortable than trying it with the guitar in it's normal position.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyr9001
So 8-Finger Tapping is something that I really just don't know where to begin with. I've always thought that it was such a cool technique, but the execution of it seems so impractical and difficult that I've never really considered learning it until now.


Check out partyzant (on Youtube his channel is partyzgit) for an example of how to apply tapping with a very good use. Also checking out acoustic players like Andy McKee gives a different perspective of using tapping, as well as players who use 8 finger tapping for lead runs (Chris Broderick etc...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyr9001
I can't seem to find any sort of position that having both hands on the neck is comfortable. The left hand is usually okay, but the right is very tense. Particularly any time I try to use my middle finger.


Where do you position your hands? The right hand should be positioned in a roughly mirror position to the left hand, with the thumb lightly of the back of the neck for support. You'll probably need to rotate your wrist a bit to get it at a good angle, but you don't need to be at too much of an angle. If your hands are tense then you probably need practice and most of all you need to get into a position if which you're relaxed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyr9001
Synchronization is just a mess. I didn't expect it to be very good, but even using two fingers on the right hand throws it off.


You need to start off EXTREMELY slowly. I'm talking about practicing a touchstyle piece like the Mario theme (100bpm full speed) at something like 10-15bpm. Eventually it gets easier, it's just very hard and annoying at first. Keep practicing and you WILL get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyr9001
I'm curious as to what I'm supposed to do with the pick if I were to play an actual song with an 8-Finger tapped section. Should I practice quickly and placing and removing it in/from my mouth? Should I just drop it and keep a second pick ready?


It really depends on the situation - A lot of songs which require 8 finger tapping don't require a pick, however when it does you can either put the pick in your mouth, hold it between your thumb and index finger on the first joint from the hand to the finger (makes tapping with the index finger awkward, and you get no thumb support), drop it and keep a pick holder on the headstock or body, or you could get a thumbpick/pick holder (like Chris Broderick's signature one).

Quote:
I thought it wouldn't TOO big of step up from just tapping with my middle finger, after messing around with both hands on the neck they seem worlds apart. Like I said, I just don't know. Any helpful advice would be appreciated.


I'd recommend, apart from practicing pieces very slowly, that you practice tapping with all the fingers on the right hand very slowly. Start by just practicing tapping one note at a time, using all the fingers, and try to produce a clear sound without tensing up. You don't need that much force when you get decent technique, it's more the way you hit the strings. Honestly I'd just experiment until you get something that works well. Make sure to move the fingers from the first joint.

For learning pieces, start with one hand at a time until they're both reasonably good before putting them together - most of your practice should be each hand separately for touchstyle).

If you have more questions feel free to ask - I spent months learning touchstyle mostly by myself due to the lack of resources about it, and it does take a lot of practice and is very slow at the start, but it gets better (as with any technique) and eventually it becomes a very rewarding way to play.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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When Stanley Jordan hit the scene way back when, he was interviewed in Guitar Player. Jordan came from a keyboard background, so he was familiar already with using both hands. He had a lot to say about guitar set-up, recommending a very low action among other things.
I just did a quick Google search and couldnt' find it though...
Plenty of his stuff on YouTube; he did a stellar version of Elenor Rigby.....

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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How decent are you at guitar to begin with? It's not exactly a beginners technique after all. If you're not considerably advanced at guitar i would probably leave it alone.

As for the technique itself i never practiced it because i don't see a need for it like.. ever.
But definitely starting INCREDIBLY slow is the key.

As for guitar players i'm aware of that 8 finger tap i know Chris Broderick is rather good at it

He's also good at everything that bastard

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #6
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I'm not any sort of tapper, but I saw this guy open for John Petrucci at a clinic once and he blew my mind. Mostly because he creates some really interesting phrases with his tapping, rather than just doing a lot of fast scale runs.

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Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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It's scary just thinking of it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:17 PM   #8
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^

I didn't watch all of it but **** that's some cool playing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:23 AM   #9
Kyleisthename
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If you're going to seriously get into using your right hand you need to start small.
Building finger strength and independence is key.
Look into just doing basic trills with your right hand between all possible combinations of your fingers.

For position, it changes for what you're playing really.


I can make a video for you if you'd like sometime tomorrow as there is a whole lot of ground to cover in your questions.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:40 AM   #10
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Hey man, I think there are quite a few people who'd appreciate a video, I know I would
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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For the issue of holding the pick, there's a guy with some video lessons on youtube called Niels Vejlyt who has an interesting way of dealing with the problem; he does some insane sweeping stuff with 4-finger tapping at the top.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #12
Andy Pollow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer
When Stanley Jordan hit the scene way back when, he was interviewed in Guitar Player. Jordan came from a keyboard background, so he was familiar already with using both hands. He had a lot to say about guitar set-up, recommending a very low action among other things.
I just did a quick Google search and couldnt' find it though...
Plenty of his stuff on YouTube; he did a stellar version of Elenor Rigby.....



Thats awesome. Makes me feel like throwin my picks away.
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