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Old 08-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #1
s7peterson
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Any Tips on Finger Tapping?

So I've tried tapping more than a few times. But no matter how many times I try it, I cant get it to sound clear and loud. Its always quiet and ends with a lot of feedback. Any tips? do I have the wrong equipment/setup for this kind of thing?

I have:
Fender Champion 100 (100 watt amp)
Epiphone Special II model
Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:55 PM   #2
spicyfourpiece
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Gain, gain, and more gain. You shouldn't have to tap that hard either. Gain.

Oh and preferably with a noise gate at those gain levels.

Last edited by spicyfourpiece : 08-04-2014 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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An important question to ask: which part is too quiet? The first tapped note? The subsequent pulled off/hammered on notes? All of the above? This makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s7peterson
Its always quiet and ends with a lot of feedback.

[...]

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Ha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyfourpiece
Gain, gain, and more gain. You shouldn't have to tap that hard either. Gain.

Oh and preferably with a noise gate at those gain levels.


More gain is rarely the answer to problems with technique. I fact, tapping can easily be done clean or on an acoustic. A noise gate is also probably not going to solve the problem either.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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Well tapping as a technique is pretty simple. It is a hammer-on or pull-off using your picking hand. On a low output guitar it's quite hard to get proper clarity because you can't pick the note, which is where gain comes in.

and for the noise gate situation.. I was listening to an Animals as Leaders song that was posted on UG where the guy does a ton of multi-finger tapping. One big thing that stuck out was how much GAIN he used. When there was a break into a softer, cleaner part you could hear the noise gate kick in and this is a studio recording.

Gain..

Tapping "can" be done on a acoustic but who's going to hear it? specially if your buddy is playing beside you?

Last edited by spicyfourpiece : 08-04-2014 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
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Gain is not the answer. But the setup of the guitar matters.

You should be able to get your tapping to sound exactly like your hammer ons with the left hand, cause that is what it is but with the use of your picking hand instead. As you said though, you should not have to tap that hard. If you tap lightly but distictly on a well setup guitar you should get an even volume level. Reduce your gain levels if you are having problems with feedback.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:39 PM   #6
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I tap on acoustic, and although compression, and gain and stuff like that can certainly help, they can't help you on acoustic.

On acoustic there are 3 main things I learned.

1. tap near the fret, almost on it.

2. mute strings with left hand when necessary. That will be when the string is long enough to ring out 2 simultaneous tones, which happens more easily on the thinner strings.

3. get the strength and technique down, so it becomes easy. On acoustic you have to tap pretty hard. You need to develop enough strength to put power in but very swiftly and gracefully, without effort, but the power is there.

I would imagine on electric it's a lot easier than on acoustic, but the technique would be the same.

Some things on guitar seem almost impossible sometimes, but practicing your dexterity makes them attainable and even easy. Fingertapping was one of those things for me, where I would watch guys fingertap on acoustic, and I would think to myself how they just have lots of compression and high gain and it makes it easy. And, don't get me wrong, they certainly do, but you can do it with the power you need to ring it out clean on an acoustic, while still making it look effortless, and being able to move quickly and swiftly. And that's what they are doing when you watch it on acoustic. Sure the volume comes from the compression, and they will play with a soft touch, or soft looking at least, on the fingertap, but to get that nice clean tone requires enough power in the right place.

On electric enough power, I'm sure is much less, but the right place, I'll bet matters just as much, otherwise you can get dual notes, and won't get a clean sound, you'll get a muddy ringy dirty sound.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyfourpiece
Well tapping as a technique is pretty simple. It is a hammer-on or pull-off using your picking hand. On a low output guitar it's quite hard to get proper clarity because you can't pick the note, which is where gain comes in.

and for the noise gate situation.. I was listening to an Animals as Leaders song that was posted on UG where the guy does a ton of multi-finger tapping. One big thing that stuck out was how much GAIN he used. When there was a break into a softer, cleaner part you could hear the noise gate kick in and this is a studio recording.

Gain..

Tapping "can" be done on a acoustic but who's going to hear it? specially if your buddy is playing beside you?


I can fingertap pretty loud on acoustic. If my buddy next to me is strumming all loud, it might drown it out, but any technique of acoustic with swift movement needs to be played at moderate level, and fingertapping will be loud enough for any of that, if done correctly.

Basically, if you play too loud for me to fingertap, then you play too loud for me to play anything at all properly, so please stop playing so loud.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyfourpiece
Tapping "can" be done on a acoustic but who's going to hear it? specially if your buddy is playing beside you?


That sounds, if anything, like your buddy having a problem with not playing quietly enough or you not knowing how to use physical space/mic placing properly. Tapped notes should be as loud as any hammered/pulled/slid note if done properly (since that is of course what you are doing when tapping), so you should practice until you can get your tapped notes loud enough.

Guitars are a fairly quiet instrument, especially when playing single notes. It's very easy to be drowned out in the context of a jazz, bluegrass, western swing, or Irish band if you are a lead guitarist. Either you need to get your buddies to be quieter or else you need to move to the front of the group if acoustic or closer to the mic if the lot of you are miced on stage or in the studio.

Also, you must consider that not all musicians play with buddies, and tapping is a very common (to the point of being almost cliched) in modern acoustic guitar solo music (think Andy McKee). In this case, your buddy's ability or lack thereof to control their dynamic range is entirely irrelevant.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:32 PM   #9
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hey guys i really appreciate the feedback. btw what is a noise gate??? sry never heard of it
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7peterson
hey guys i really appreciate the feedback. btw what is a noise gate??? sry never heard of it


If you have background noise at, let's say, volume x, you can use a gate to let anything that is louder than volume x, be heard. So, while you play nothing, you get silence, and then if you play something, that will be much louder than your background noise of x, so the gate will let that sound through. The noise will come through with it, but you wouldn't notice it really, like you would when it should be silence.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingrpikingood
If you have background noise at, let's say, volume x, you can use a gate to let anything that is louder than volume x, be heard. So, while you play nothing, you get silence, and then if you play something, that will be much louder than your background noise of x, so the gate will let that sound through. The noise will come through with it, but you wouldn't notice it really, like you would when it should be silence.

Any tips on where I can find one? Any good model and price?
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7peterson
Any tips on where I can find one? Any good model and price?


Sorry, I don't. I'm an acoustic player really. I have some software gates for my DAW, but although they have pretty good settings, and some of them are really very good, I don't tend to use them much, and prefer other methods of getting the same effect.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #13
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I don't do any finger tapping, so take this with some caution. This is just what I know based on what I've heard from others. I'd suggest not using gain to patch your problems. It'd only cloud your mistakes, and you'll really have mastered it if you can do it without any gain. It might even cause more feedback.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismendiola
I don't do any finger tapping, so take this with some caution. This is just what I know based on what I've heard from others. I'd suggest not using gain to patch your problems. It'd only cloud your mistakes, and you'll really have mastered it if you can do it without any gain. It might even cause more feedback.

Hey man I appreciate it. Ive looked up a couple videos on YouTube (namely the "this is why you suck at guitar" series) and im starting to get the hang of it. not saying ive mastered it at all. But I realized I wasn't muting the other strings and it made them ring out, causing more feedback
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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Learn it clean first, anything will sound better if you ca learn to play clean first. Make sure you have that strength in the pinky or whatever finger you use to do hammer ons
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:51 AM   #16
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Try tapping with different fingers, also try pulling the string up (with your picking hand) instead of down - this works for some people.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7peterson
So I've tried tapping more than a few times. But no matter how many times I try it, I cant get it to sound clear and loud. Its always quiet and ends with a lot of feedback. Any tips? do I have the wrong equipment/setup for this kind of thing?

I have:
Fender Champion 100 (100 watt amp)
Epiphone Special II model
Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


I'm too lazy to read through all the answers but the first few were wrong ( especially more gain!) so here it is: dampening. You need to make sure all other strings that you are not tapping are absolutely silent. You do this with your left and right hands. The only thing you should be hearing is the notes you are playing. If you aren't properly dampening the other strings then you will hear all kinds of crazy sounds and your notes will not ring clearly. This applies to every technique on guitar as well. Eric Johnson has a great instructional video where he spends some time explaining dampening ( though not in a tapping context, but the advice applies regardless) - you need to mute all unused strings proactively. Spend some time on that and your legato and tapping will improve tenfold.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #18
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^ This is right. You need to learn how to tap with your right hand fingers as well, but dampening is the most important part.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:14 AM   #19
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Finger-tapping technique is actually very simple.Finger-tapping on the guitar will add flare, speed, and energy to songs. It requires a bit of practice to develop the necessary coordination to makes all sound "musical". Be patient. With diligent practice it will happen.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardsnelson
Finger-tapping technique is actually very simple.Finger-tapping on the guitar will add flare, speed, and energy to songs. It requires a bit of practice to develop the necessary coordination to makes all sound "musical". Be patient. With diligent practice it will happen.


1 - You sound like a bot.

2 - That is, at best, not helpful.
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