Finger Tapping

author: ultrasonic date: 10/07/2008 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8.8 / votes: 27 
Probably the second hardest technique on guitar, only just losing to Sweep Picking. Well in my opinion anyway. So lets focus on different styles of fingertapping for example, 1 handed fingertapping ( or hammer-on as it is commonly known).

1 Handed Fingertapping (Hammer-on)

I doubt any of you reading this will not know what a hammer on is but ill cover it anyway. Here is a simple, or very simple for some of you just to run over this.
e||--------------------------------2h4h5-------------------------------||
B||--------------------------2h4h5-------2h4h5-------------------------||
G||--------------------2h4h5-------------------2h4h5-------------------||
D||--------------2h4h5-------------------------------2h4h5-------------||
A||--------2h4h5-------------------------------------------2h4h5-------||
E||--2h4h5-------------------------------------------------------2h4h5-||
Even if you can do this perfectly still run over it as it can also be used as a warm up or used to strengthen your fingers.

2 Handed Fingertapping

This is a very hard technique to master but once you do, the skies the limit. The first thing you should master is getting your hands to work together in time. Hears a simple one from the beggining of the solo of Metallica-One. Keep you first finger on the 12 fret, use your right hand to tap the 19 fret, then your third finger on your left hand to hammer on.
e||--19p12h15-19p12h15-19p12h15-19p12h15--||
B||---------------------------------------||
G||---------------------------------------||

e||--20p12h15-20p12h15-20p12h15-20p12h15--||
B||---------------------------------------||
G||---------------------------------------||

e||---------------------------------------||
B||--19p12h15-19p12h15-19p12h15-19p12h15--||
G||---------------------------------------||

e||---------------------------------------||
B||--20p12h15-20p12h15-20p12h15-20p12h15--||
G||---------------------------------------||
It takes a while to be able to play synchronised with both hands, so I actually mean it when I say Practise makes perfect. Once you can play it, try to build up the speed until you can play along with the song. don't get disheartened however as it will take time and this is one of the techniques that, after about a week of practise, it will suddenly come to you.

Harder Things

Lets try something harder, that requires you tapping different strings instead of just the one. Many probably may know this, and it is a medium one, but a good song to start up with. The Tapping intro to Roses for the dead by Funeral for a Friend. Use your left hand to tap the 9 & 7, 3 & 5 and the 5 & 7.
e||---------------------------------||
B||---------------------12----------||
G||------12---11-------------11>12--||
D||----7-----------12---------------||
A||--9------9----9----9----9--------||
E||---------------------------------|| X2

e||---------------------------------||
B||---------------------12----------||
G||------12---11-------------11>12--||
D||----5-----------12---------------||
A||--3------3----3----3----3--------||
E||---------------------------------||

e||---------------------------------||
B||---------------------12----------||
G||------12---11-------------11>12--||
D||----7-----------11---------------||
A||--5------5----5----5----5--------||
E||---------------------------------||
Again it will take a while to be able to play this without hitting two notes together as you need to work on synchronising your hands. Another tip is to practise stricking strings with your fingers to get used to the feel of it and to strengthen your fingers.

Harder Still

Harder Still? Yes. Crack this and you can safely say that you've pretty much cracked finger tapping, however I will cover some more aspects after. Again most of you will know this tapping riff. Buckethead-Jordan. There are two riffs. Riff one: Use your left hand only, essential if you want to play it properly as you will need to use a kill switch. Riff Two: use your first and second fingers on your left hand for the first two strings and whatever finger on your right. Riff One
e||--------------------------------------||
B||--------------------------------------||
G||--------------------------------------||
D||--------------------------------------||
A||----------------------------10-12-10--||
E||--12p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-10-12-----------||
Riff Two
e||------------------------16----17----------18--------||
B||------------------16--15----16------17--17------18--||
G||------------16--15--14----15------16--16------17----||
D||------16--15--14----------------15----------16------||
A||----15--14------------------------------------------||
E||--14------------------------------------------------||
 
e||------------------------19----20----------21--------||
B||------------------19--18----19------20--20------21--||
G||------------19--18--17----18------19--19------20----||
D||------19--18--17----------------18----------19------||
A||----18--17------------------------------------------||
E||--17------------------------------------------------||
     | | |
     1 2 X
1 - first finger left hand 2 - second finger left hand X - Whatever finger right hand

Cross Hand Tapping

Not a concept I focus on too much so I don't know much about it, only the basics. It is done by barreing your right hand accros the strings behind your left hand and then tapping with your left hand. The onlt artist I can think of who uses this concept is john 5 so check out some of his songs. Example-My own Composition
e||--2-------------------------------------------------------------------||
B||--2-------------------------------------------------------------------||
G||--2------8-----8---------8-----8---------6-----6---------6-----6------||
D||--2----9-----9-----9---9-----9-----9---7-----7-----7---7-----7-----7--||
A||--2--7-----7-----7---7-----7-----7---5-----5-----5---5-----5-----5----||
E||--2-------------------------------------------------------------------||
     |
     Hold you right hand accross second fret

Sweep Picking Tapping

Very hard because you need to master sweep picking first, which is hard enough without mastering tapping. This also requires a lot of speed so it's best to try this once you have mastered this and most other techniques.
e||-----------------12H17P12-----------------||
b||--------------14----------14--------------||
g||-----------14----------------14-----------||
d||--------14----------------------14--------||
a||--12H16----------------------------16P12--||
E||------------------------------------------||
Use your right hand to tap the seventeenth fret inbetween playing.

Simple Exercises

Here are a few simple riffs I have made up for the lesson, your welcome to use them however you wish. Although I doubt you will as there not the best.
e||--9p7h10p7h9p7h10p7h9p10h12p10p7h9h10h12p10p7h9p7~--||
B||----------------------------------------------------||
G||----------------------------------------------------||
Uses your first finger to hold down on the seventh fret and your second and third to hammer-on and pull-off, and your right hand to tap the twelth fret.
e||-------------------------------------------------------------------||
B||--7p4-7p4-7p4-7p4-8p4-8p4-8p4-8p4-7p4-7p4-7p4-7p4-8p4-8p4-8p4-8p4--||
G||-------------------------------------------------------------------||

e||---------------------------------------------------------------------------||
B||--10p5-10p5-10p5-10p5-8p5-8p5-8p5-8p5-10p5-10p5-10p5-10p5-8p5-8p5-8p5-8p5--||
G||---------------------------------------------------------------------------||
Use your first finger on your left hand to hold down either the fourth or fifth fret and your right hand to tap either the seventh, eigth and tenth frets. Well, I Think you can safely say your now pretty good at tapping if you've got this far so well done. Keep Tapping.
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