Tapping Arpeggios And Other Advanced Tapping Techniques

author: pitobodies date: 09/24/2009 category: guitar techniques
rating: 7.8 / votes: 30 
Tapping arpeggios are a very useful technique. They allow you to cover lots of space on the fret board, and create a sound very similar to sweeping, but you can play over many more octaves than you can with just a simple sweep. Also it looks much flashier. The first thing you must learn is to mute the strings you are not playing. This is possibly the hardest part of the whole thing (it certainly gave me the most trouble) and there isn't a good way to teach it. I use the meaty part of my palm on my picking hand to mute the lower strings, and the fingers on my fretting hand to mute the higher strings. Keep your hands close to the strings. If you aren't going to be bothered to learn to do this part, then tie a sock around the neck near the first fret to dampen the strings. Just some tips to help you understand this lesson: these are obviously tabs, so you will see the fret number on the strings they are on. I only showed the strings that were used and the ones in between, to save time, so be sure to check which string they are on. Beneath the tabs are the instructions for how to play them, e.g. - tap, hammer on, pull off and whatnot (h = hammer on; p = pull of, t = tap; ^ = pick). Hammers and pulls are to be done normally with you fretting hand. Taps are to be done with the picking hand. Most of these arpeggios start with a hammer on from nothing (optionally, you could pick the first note). Multiple taps in a row means you will have to use multiple fingers on your picking hand. The most complicated arpeggios in this lesson require three fingers on the picking hand. Now For Some Actual Arpeggios. First we have a single string arpeggio. Most people who would be looking at this lesson are probably fully capable of this kind of thing, but I thought it best to start at the very beginning. Try these (C major).
e5-----8----12----8---5---
  h     h    t     p   p
Very simple. To take it one (small) step further, try this
e-05812850
   ^ h h t  p p p
And a variation on this theme
e058128505813850
  ^ h h t  p p p h h t  p p p
You can also play a similar shape higher up (still C Major)
e121519151215201512
  h  h   t p  p  h  t  p  p
If you are incapable of these simple exercises, you should probably look for a basic tapping lesson first, and then return here. I will not teach the basics of tapping here. String Skipping The next big step on your way to greatness: the string skip. To start, try playing this (G Major)
e-----------1215191512----------
B121519------------------191512-
  h  h   t  h  h  t   p p   t  p  p 
Not really string skipping (or an arpeggio for that matter) but it will give you practice jumping between strings, and it sounds good. Remember to mute the unwanted strings to prevent noise. The basic tapping techniques are still being used here, but you are just jumping between strings. Start slow and work your way up to speed. A good speed to reach would be sixteenth not triplets at 120 bpm. Once you get used to that, try this one (F Major)
e------------------12--15--20--15--12------------------
b------------------------------------------------------
g--12--15--19----------------------------19-15-12------
   h   h    t      h    h   t   p   p    t  p   p
And nowONWARD! The next step is to use another string. So now we will be using three strings. Try it (D minor)
e-------------------6-9-12-9-6------------------
b-----------------------------------------------
g----------6-9-12---------------12-9-6----------
d-----------------------------------------------
a-5-8-12---------------------------------12-8-5-
  h h  t   h h  t   h h  t p p   t p p    t p p
This may take some practice. But if you can handle the two stringers above then these shouldn't give you too much trouble. Just remember to properly mute the strings. And alsoSTART SLOW AND WORK UP TO SPEED. This is very important. You will be very sloppy if you can even it at all if you don't start slow. Here's another (C major/ A minor)
e---------------------------10-13-17-13-10-------------------------
b------------------------------------------------------------------
g------------------------------------------------------------------
d--------------12-15-19-----------------------19-15-12-------------
a------------------------------------------------------------------
E-10-13-17------------------------------------------------17-13-10
  H   h  t     h   h  t      h  h  t  p  p     t p   p    t   p  p
That is one of my personal favorites. I just like the way it sounds. Also try this one (C major)
e------------------12--15--19--15--12-----------------
b-----------------------------------------------------
g-----------------------------------------------------
d-----------------------------------------------------
a------------19----------------------------19---------
E--12--15-------------------------------------15--12--
   H    h    t      h   h   t   p   p      t  h    p
That one is a bit odd, and it may seem like some notes are missing from the middle (there are in fact), but if you can play it fast enough it fools the ear into hearing more notes than are actually there and sounds like a big, fast sweep. The next step will be to get another tapping finger in on the action. This will definitely take some getting used to. So we'll start back at the beginning, with one string ideas. First off (C major)
e-5-8-12-13-12-8-5-
  h h t  t  t  h h
and
e-12-15-19-20-19-15-12
  h  h  t   t  p  p  p
These will get you tapping with two fingers. It's just like hammering and pulling but with your picking hand. The very first pull off is actually a pull of with the tapping hand. Flick the second finger downward away from the neck while keeping the first finger firmly planted at the 19th fret, then continue to pull off as usual to finish out the pattern. Then try this one (G major)
e------------19----------
b--12-15-19-----19-15-12-
   h  h  t   t  t  p  p
After you tap the 19 on the b string, use the next finger on the pick hand to tap 19 on the next string up. lift up the first tapping finger so you don't play a chord as you tap the next note, then lift that finger as you tap again with the first one. It's like a rolling motion. You sort of roll smoothly from one finger to the next, and back. Try this (C major/ A minor)
e-----------------8--12-17-12-8------------------
b------------------------------------------------
g-------------14-------------------14------------
d--7-10-14---------------------------14-10-7-----
   h  h t     t   h   h  t  p p    t  t p  p
Here's another (F major)
b-----------------11-15-20-15-11-----------------
g------------------------------------------------
d-------------17--------------------17-----------
a--10-13-17----------------------------17-13-10--
   h  h  t    t   h  h   t  p  p    t   t p   p
These combine string skipping and tapping with multiple pick-hand fingers. Just tap the two notes, jump up to the next string (while carefully muting the previous strings) tap that normally, and then come back down, tapping the two notes and pulling off as usual. Now if you can do those last two and the three string arpeggios farther up, you pretty much have the technique down. But just for the hell of it, I have three more for you. If you can pull these off, consider yourself awesome. (C Major)
e---------------------------------17---------------------------
b-----------------------------17-----17------------------------
g-----------------12-14-17-------------17-14-12----------------
d--------------------------------------------------------------
a-------------19---------------------------------19------------
E-12-15-19-------------------------------------------19-15-12--
  H  h  t     t   h  h   t     t   t  t t  p  p  t    t p   p
(C major)
e---------------------------------19---------------------------
b-----------------------------17-----17------------------------
g-----------------12-14-17-------------17-14-12----------------
d--------------------------------------------------------------
a-------------19--------------------------------19-------------
E-12-15-19-------------------------------------------19-15-12--
  H  h  t     t   h   h  t     t   t  t t  p  p  t   t   p  p
These two are very similar. And now forTHE BIG ONE. It covers four octaves. I actually cannot play this one (because I have only 21 frets on my guitar and my right pinky doesn't bend properly) but I thought it would be fun to put in anyway, to see if any of you can handle it. (E Minor)
e----------------------------------------------19-24-19----------------
b-------------------------------------------20---------20--------------
g-----------------------------16-9-12-16-21---------------21-16--------
d---------------------9-14-17------------------------------------------
a-------------14-7-10--------------------------------------------------
E-0-3-7-12-15----------------------------------------------------------
  ^ h h t  t  t  p  h h  t  t  t p  h  t t   t  t  t  t t  t  t
e-------------------------------------------------
b-------------------------------------------------
g-12-9-16-----------------------------------------
d-----------17-14-9-------------------------------
a---------------------10-7-14---------------------
E-------------------------------15-12-7-3-0-------
  P  p  t   t  p  p   h  p  t    t p  p p  p
Finally, I will provide a few more arpegios and other over-the-top tapping techniques for your enjoyment. (A minor)
b-----------------4-7-12-7-4------------------
g------------------------------------------------
d-------------14---------------14---------------
a--7-11-14-------------------------14-11-7-----
   h h   t     t  h h t  p  p  t   t  p  p
(A major)
b-----------14--17--21--17--14---------------
g---------------------------------------------
d--12--16--------------------------16-12------
   h   h    h   h   t   p   p      h   p
hat one has only 2 notes on the low string. So you can play it faster. (G minor / A# minor)
e-------------------------11-14-17-14-11------------------------
b---------------------------------------------------------------------
g-------------11-14-17---------------------17-14-11---------------
d---------------------------------------------------------------------
a-10-13-17---------------------------------------------17-13-10---
  h   h  t    h  h  t     h  h  t   p  p    t  p  p     t  p  p
(C major)
e-----------------12-15-19-15-12------------------
b-----------------------------------------------------
g------------------------------------------------------
d-------------19---------------------19-------------
a---------19-----------------------------19---------
E-12-15------------------------------------15-12--
  h   h   t   t    h  h  t  p  p      t  t  h  p
(G major)
e------------------12-15-19-15-12---------------------
b--------------19---------------------19----------------
g--12-15-19-----------------------------19-15-12-----
   h   h  t     t   h  h  t  p p      t  t  p  p
Try dampening the strings near the nut with your picking hand, and tapping out these arpeggios with your fret hand, with the same hand motion as a sweep (but without picking of course) (G major)
e--19-15-------------15-17-14---------------14-15-12-------------12-15--
b----------17-----17-------------15-----15-------------13-----13----------
g--------------16-------------------14---------------------12--------------
If you want to see an awesome guitarist who does this kind of thing, Youtube "Andy James Crazy Tapping". All credit for this pretty much goes to me. Except for THE BIG ONE, which I took from a lesson by a guy named Roo online, most of these arpeggios were created by me. Special thanks to my bands' drummer, for making sure this lesson actually works.
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