#1
I've been practicing this for a while now (more than a month, at about 20minutes dedicated to these two techniques just about every day or any time that I have time for practicing)

but for some reason, my tapping don't sound as good/fluent as the guitarists I listen to.
(I'm using a MH-50 with stock LH-150 (bridge and neck) pickups). In Drop C, D'Addario XL 11s. A friend of mine helped me lower my bridge pickup because he worried that if I bent the Floyd rose on my guitar too much, I might hit the pickup.

Should I use both or neck or bridge pickup for tapping? because currently, I can tap on it, and it makes a sound, audible enough for my iRig to pick up and send to my computer.
But the next few notes sound like I'm pulling the string downwards.

On the other topic, Sweeps

I can't make them sound as fluent as the guitarists from bands I listen to.
They make it sound like someone pressing keys on a keyboard (piano keyboard), I make it sound like I'm pick-ing each note one by one. Even though I'm not lifting my pick as I strum downwards.
My pick is a red "Jazz III, Dunlop" that I got from a guitar pick pack that I bought a while ago.

Ultimately, I hope to someday be able to play this part in Horizons by Parkway Drive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13nBpjbW42E&t=4m36s

(I know their tuning is Drop B, but I can plug my guitar into Garageband and turn down the pitch by 200 cent)
Last edited by Parac at Jan 25, 2016,
#2
Horizons is my favourite song by Parkway Drive

Send a quick recording of yourself playing the particular tapping part perhaps? It's most likely a technique issue.
#3
I can't sweep for shit, so I'll leave that to someone else.

I'm pretty crappy at tapping as well, but I do have the basics down, and for me I found I simply could not get a good sound using 11s (tuned to standard in my case). I don't know if in my case it was just too much tension or what, but I dropped down to 10s and had no problem (note: this could easily be because I suck, I'm just relaying a personal experience). I realize that probably isn't as viable of a solution in your case since you downtune (and personally I'd play 12s if I was in drop c, but I like the extra tension, I actually prefer 11s in standard, but I take long breaks in my playing and 10s are just easier to work back in to than 11s in my case).

Hopefully some of the better technique guys will jump in and good luck to you.
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Last edited by Kevin Saale at Jan 26, 2016,
#4
Quote by Kevin Saale
I can't sweep for shit, so I'll leave that to someone else.

I'm pretty crappy at tapping as well, but I do have the basics down, and for me I found I simply could not get a good sound using 11s (tuned to standard in my case). I don't know if in my case it was just too much tension or what, but I dropped down to 10s and had no problem (note: this could easily be because I suck, I'm just relaying a personal experience). I realize that probably isn't as viable of a solution in your case since you downtune (and personally I'd play 12s if I was in drop c, but I like the extra tension, I actually prefer 11s in standard, but I take long breaks in my playing and 10s are just easier to work back in to than 11s in my case).

Hopefully some of the better technique guys will jump in and good luck to you.


When I first got my MH-50 set up, the tech took off the 9s and replaced them with 11s since thinner strings tend to slack at lower tunings.

I dunno how well 11s on standard work, but I'm guessing there is a lot of tension and pull on the headstock and bridge. Since thicker strings tend to mean more force.
#5
Very often, the neck pickup is used with tapping. and sounds great to change to the bridge pickup at the end of a tapping run. I prefer neck pickup for tapping.

Sweeping: you lifting your fretting finger once you've played the note on a string you're sweeping away from?

Guitar sound will also affect the result. You want the same sound as used with legato (where the notes sound like they run into each other). String tension has a big impact on this also (especially if you haven't got strong fingers)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jan 26, 2016,
#6
^ bridge pickup should sound just fine for tapping (won't sound the same as neck, but should be fine). I mean EVH's guitars only had bridge pickups for ages.
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#7
Quote by Parac
When I first got my MH-50 set up, the tech took off the 9s and replaced them with 11s since thinner strings tend to slack at lower tunings.

I dunno how well 11s on standard work, but I'm guessing there is a lot of tension and pull on the headstock and bridge. Since thicker strings tend to mean more force.


Yeah, and I wasn't saying that was wrong. I was only pointing out that possibly heavier strings make tapping harder. But now that I think about it it probably had more to do with the tension and I'd probably have no problem tapping on 11s in drop C. I could be totally wrong though.

I almost always use the bridge pickup for anything, but especially distorted tones, tapping, artificial harmonics, etc.
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#8
Quote by vayne92
Horizons is my favourite song by Parkway Drive

Send a quick recording of yourself playing the particular tapping part perhaps? It's most likely a technique issue.


Thing is, I don't know how to play that small sweep part in the song. And my tapping gets very unsynchronized after trying to tap for a long time (> 25-ish seconds).

Quote by jerrykramskoy
Very often, the neck pickup is used with tapping. and sounds great to change to the bridge pickup at the end of a tapping run. I prefer neck pickup for tapping.

And a slightly off topic question, how do I know when to use which or both pickup? (both are ESP-Designed LH-150 pickups in a HH configuration)

Sweeping: you lifting your fretting finger once you've played the note on a string you're sweeping away from?

Guitar sound will also affect the result. You want the same sound as used with legato (where the notes sound like they run into each other). String tension has a big impact on this also (especially if you haven't got strong fingers)


I haven't heard the difference between the neck/bridge pickups yet (I know there's a thread on this forum about one being brighter, the other darker, but how does sound have a color?), so I've never really messed with the selector switch. I leave them both on when playing.

As for sweeping, yeah, because otherwise I'd run out of fingers to be able to press all of the needed frets.

As for string tension, I've got another guitar, set in standard E (6 string, cheap guitar from a kit) with an SSS pickup configuration and 9s on it. It barely picks ups my taps on the fretboard, even with the tones and volume knobs on max.
Last edited by Parac at Jan 26, 2016,
#9
I don't know a thing about sweep playing, I'll leave that to guys who do.

Tapping...you should be able to tap on an acoustic. I do. It's a matter of practice, and you have to hit the sting with your right hand as hard as you do if you're doing a hammer down with your left. If I have light enough strings, I can bend a note on an acoustic and tap a note higher up and it will come out good.

But you have to be accurate, and tap the string hard enough to make it sound out. Pickup should not matter, I can do it on any pickup on any guitar I have including acoustic not plugged in. I learned it on an acoustic actually...mostly a matter of practice.

Ditto for pinch harmonics. People seem to think pickups and amp settings or effects make loads of difference. Nope, you can do it on an acoustic. I use pinch harmonics and tapping on a clean electric at very low volume all the time. My band plays gigs where my 6 watt Fender Champ will work, except that it still sounds like a cheesy 8 inch speaker, and I Can get tapping and pinch harmonics to work at that volume level, using either a Super Reverb or Pro Jr at very low volume, with or without effects. Clean guitar, any pickup, acoustic, doesn't matter...once you get the hang of it. I can occasionally even get pinch harmonics out of an acoustic. It's not easy, and doesn't project as well as an electric will, but it can be done. Tapping projects well, you just have to practice it.

Try it with just one finger and one note. Anywhere on the neck, smaller strings work better but the low A will work too. Tap one note with your right index finger and try to get it clean and as loud as a picked note.

Then work in another note with the other hand. One I practice all the time is using the G string on acoustic. Open, 3rd fret, 5th fret. Left index or middle finger for 3rd fret, right index finger for 5th. Simple arpeggio in thirds. It works on basically any string, I use the G string so I have to deal with making sure I don't get any unwanted notes out of the strings above and below it.

Then you can bend a note and tap a note a third or fifth higher the same way. Say you bend the 2nd string one step up at the 7th fret, then tap one at the 10th. I just did it on my strat unplugged, (to find what frets to post) and it worked fine. But you have to be clean and accurate, and tap it hard enough to get it to sound as loud as the picked note.

Practice...
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#11
I use the jazz 3s too, they are great for sweeping. Thick enough so they don't bend when pushed against the string and small enough where they don't dig too far down, I find them very comfortable for sweeping.

Three things sweep picking needs to sound fluid-good palm muting technique, good timing, and a certain amount of speed. Not over the top speed, but there is a certain point where it feels less like a staccato exercise and more like a wave of notes, for lack of a better term. Having really on point timing seperates the good guitarists from the wankers, and you can tell who put the time into it. Some people have less of a wave and more of a "bottle of water falling down the stairs" because they tried to go too fast too soon. Just keep practicing and keep it sounding clean and in time and you'll eventually get that fluid sound. When I was learning how to do it I went overkill and that was ALL I practiced for hours a day, a week straight.I was a shut in after work, so I'm not sure how long it would take someone to get it down.You should be warned, if you do it they way i did you'll want to smash your metronome.

I'm not spectacular at tapping,but if you don't think your finger is strong enough to make the tap audible maybe try pick tapping?
#12
Quote by whiteouteyes
I use the jazz 3s too, they are great for sweeping. Thick enough so they don't bend when pushed against the string and small enough where they don't dig too far down, I find them very comfortable for sweeping.

Three things sweep picking needs to sound fluid-good palm muting technique, good timing, and a certain amount of speed. Not over the top speed, but there is a certain point where it feels less like a staccato exercise and more like a wave of notes, for lack of a better term. Having really on point timing seperates the good guitarists from the wankers, and you can tell who put the time into it. Some people have less of a wave and more of a "bottle of water falling down the stairs" because they tried to go too fast too soon. Just keep practicing and keep it sounding clean and in time and you'll eventually get that fluid sound. When I was learning how to do it I went overkill and that was ALL I practiced for hours a day, a week straight.I was a shut in after work, so I'm not sure how long it would take someone to get it down.You should be warned, if you do it they way i did you'll want to smash your metronome.

I'm not spectacular at tapping,but if you don't think your finger is strong enough to make the tap audible maybe try pick tapping?


Pick tapping?
#14
I use my pick for tapping.. it always sounded clearer, crispier, and more precise... it's just technique though.

But I'm more knowledgeable about sweeps so...

A month is just a drop in the bucket. Sweeping is something that will take a long long mother fucking time to develop and nail it down. So unfortunately it is just going to take some more dedicated practice and slowly but surely you will notice results, get more motivated from your results, and practice more and more and more until it takes over your life.

Just remember... practice with a metronome, practice slow, and focus.