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Old 01-27-2003, 01:59 PM   #1
garett
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Weekly Technique Lesson #3

Hi again,

It's that time of the week again for another lesson.

In our 2nd lesson last week, we covered alternate picking. That lesson (along
with the 1st) has been moved to the archive threads forum.

For our 3rd lesson, we're going to go into detail on another frequently visited
and asked about technique, tapping.

To understand and be good at tapping, you have to understand and be good at
doing hammer ons and pull offs with your fretting hand. Hammer-ons and
pull-offs are formally referred to as "slurs" in music theory. A slur is when
the musician plays two notes consecutively with only one pluck of the string.
A hammer on is a slur that ascends from a low fret to a high fret and a pull
off is a slur in the opposite direction, going from a high note to a low note.

Traditionally, guitarists perform slurs with their fretting hand. However, in
tapping we do slurs with our picking hand and we don't pluck the string at all.
We use the force of the string hitting the fret to cause the string to vibrate.
You can do this with your fretting hand as well. Fret any fret with your 1st
finger and do a hammer on to another fret with your 3rd finger. Do it hard
enough so that you procduce a note. Then pull your 3rd finger off and hammer on
again repeatedly. This is the same concept as tapping.

We can visualize and practice this concept in the following example:

D|-5h7p5h7p5h7p5h7p5h7-

Now play the exact same pattern, except this time hammer on the 7th fret
using the middle finger of your picking hand. I suggest using your middle
finger because this allows you to hold your pick between your thumb and index
finger as you normally would so that you can switch from a picking riff to a
tap without letting go of your pick.

We can also tap using the edge of your pick. It helps, in this case, to use a
thick pick although a thin pick will work. Hold your pick between your thum
and index finger and hold it on it's side. Use the side of the pick to hammer
down on a fret. This is usually easier for beginners as they generally haven't
developed calouses on their picking fingers yet, though I do suggest practicing
with your fingers to develop the strength and calouses.

Now let's spice things up a bit with an excercise. The following example is an
arpeggio of Am to F progression. t means to tap on that fret.
Code:
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t17-13p10-t17-13p10-t17-13p10-t17-13p10------------------------------------------ G|------------------------------------------t17-14p10-t17-14p10-t17-14p10-t17-14p10- D|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What we're doing here is tapping on the first note and then using our fretting
finger to do a pull off on two notes lower. As you can see by this example,
tapping allows us to do triplets or quadruplets over a very large range of
notes on the fret board, where normal slurs would be either very difficult or
in some cases impossible.

We don't have to pull offs after the tap. In this example we simply tap and
release. The tap itself is a pull of. So we just play two notes at a time
rather than three:
Code:
E|-t12p7-t12p8-t12p10-t12p8-t12p7-t12p5-t12p3-t12p5-- B|---------------------------------------------------
Play this riff over and over and it sounds as if we were playing just the pull
off notes but with a high root note in the back ground. We fret the low note
and tap on the high note, then release. It's the exact same concept as our
first example except we're playing a little melody in this case.

We can also traverse down a string using taps and pull-offs ala Van Halen
style. The following riff would be good to end a solo with:
Code:
E|-t17-15p13-t15-13p12-t13-12p10-t12-10p8-t10-8p7-t8-7p5-t7-5p4-4h5~~~~~~~------ B|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following riff is an example of quadruplets and is a lead I use in my song
"Sarah's Song" (*cough* available at the mp3.com link in my sig *cough*).
You're free to use this riff as an excercise but I reserve rights to using it in a
song.

Here we're apreggiating Am, C, G and Bm:
Code:
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t17p10h13p10-t17p10h13p10-t17p10h13p10-t17p10h13p10-t20p13h17p13-t20p13h13p13- G|------------------------------------------------------------------------------- E|---------------------------t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12- B|-t20p13h17p13-t20p13h17p13----------------------------------------------------- G|------------------------------------------------------------------------------- E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12-t19p12h15p12--------------------------- G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The last example I'm going to give combines everything we've learned here into one riff. It's the beginning to the solo in the song "One" by Metallica. This song is
probably the pinicale of basic tapping because it's extremely easy to learn and
gives an excellent example of what simple tapping can accomplish. Here Kirk
Hammet uses triplet apreggio from G to Dm to Am. He then does a "Van Halen"
style descend of the E minor scale.
Code:
G E|-t19-15p12-t19-15p12--t19-15p12-t19-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12- B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- G|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dm E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t19-15p12-t19-15p12--t19-15p12-t19-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12-t20-15p12- G|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Am E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t17-13p10-t17-13p10-t17-13p10-t17-13p10-t18-13p10-t18-13p10-t18-13p10-t18-13p10-- G|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Em Descend E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B|-t17-12h13-t17p12-t17p10-t17p12-t17p10-t17p8-t17p10-t17p8-t17p7-t17p8-t17p7-t17p5- G|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That concludes this week's lesson. From here you can come up with your own
tapping riffs. You can use any combination of notes that are in the key you're
playing in. The important thing to remeber is to experiment and practice.

Until next week,

Garett
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:07 PM   #2
mrdeetag
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Nice job Garret.


Tapping is a hard technique to explain.
I have tryed many times to explain it.
This is the best I've seen.
*deetag prints to show his friends*

Thx
D

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Old 01-27-2003, 04:57 PM   #3
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I like these lesson things you're doing Garett. It's a really good idea. The shredding one I didn't totally understand and got annoyed at that. but this one I knew how to do it all already so it took like no time. but if you can recommend like lesson things that will teach me more progressed tapping I would greatly appreciate it as on this site I've seen what I'm going to challenge myself to learn... Rogue Republic solo, I can't find the song but it uses 8 finger tapping but I want to become more fluent in tapping all over the fret board first. so a lesson that does some more pregressive tapping would be great. or something that could make me Spanish Fly by Van Halen good would be marvellous.
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by andrewbiles
I like these lesson things you're doing Garett. It's a really good idea. The shredding one I didn't totally understand and got annoyed at that. but this one I knew how to do it all already so it took like no time. but if you can recommend like lesson things that will teach me more progressed tapping I would greatly appreciate it as on this site I've seen what I'm going to challenge myself to learn... Rogue Republic solo, I can't find the song but it uses 8 finger tapping but I want to become more fluent in tapping all over the fret board first. so a lesson that does some more pregressive tapping would be great. or something that could make me Spanish Fly by Van Halen good would be marvellous.
The only advice I can really give you is to tap up and down scales. Don't just limit yourself to 3 or 4 notes. If you want to learn 8 finger tapping (a relm that I myself have yet to explore) then you have to be comfortable shredding up and down the neck without tapping first.

Just learn your scales inside and out in all their positions. Move up and down the neck by tapping on high notes and doing slurs on low notes.

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Old 02-02-2003, 04:45 AM   #5
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THANK YOU! FInally.... A good explanation of tapping... *KISSES GARRETS FEET IN GRATITUDE* I've been looking of rhtis explanation for so long...
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:48 AM   #6
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great lesson, but when i do it, its not that loud, how can i make it louder?
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Old 02-02-2003, 12:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Professor-x10
great lesson, but when i do it, its not that loud, how can i make it louder?
There is one trick I can give you but it can get messy if you're not exprienced. So what I suggest first (and what I like to do myself) is to practice tapping without the amp. This way you have to learn to force the notes out.

The trick I can tell you is to use a distortion/guitar combination with plenty of sustain. The more distortion the easier it is to get out those good taps. However, be careful. Too much distortion really sucks and gets messy fast.

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