#1
Hi all

I'm a fan of Lap tapping guitarists like Ben Howard and Erik Mongrain and aspire to write songs in that style. Just want to know if anyone can point me in the direction of somewhere I can learn how to do this and how to write like this. Any advice that can be given from users here is also much appreciated. I can't find much on this technique after extensive googling
#2
I wanted to play that kinda stuff a few years ago and had trouble finding stuff too. I'd say take a shot at teaching yourself. Start real simple, just strumming a C chord in 4/4. From there alternate one strum one tap, and them keep building. I can play some VERY basic percussive stuff, but I am not good by a long shot, but if you keep going with it you'll just keep getting better
#4
Ooh! I didn't know that's what you meant, I actually mess around like that a bit, lap slide is one of my favorite ways to play, I've been known to incorporate tapping beats
So lap style in general is played in open tunings (as far as I know). I mainly use Spanish (DGDGBD) and Vestapol (DADF#AD). The reason he can slap the fretboard like that and have it sound good is because the open strings ring out a chord. I do that chop move a lot on the 5th and 7th frets. When you pull it off right it rings a chord made totally of harmonics. Lap playing seems weird at first but honestly when you dive in its not that bad. A little weird on your fretting fingers at first but you adapt pretty quick. Once you can play lap in open tunings, the percussion part isn't too different from what I said in the other post, just work with simple timings and get more complex
I wish I could be of more help, but I usually play lap with a slide, I don't fret that much
#5
Thanks man, I was wondering why Ben Howard used such a strange tuning (CGCGGC) in a lot of songs. I have a friend who plays in the same tuning and he plays with the guitar on his lap like that.

I'll look into open tunings then play around with it. Thanks again
#7
With lap slide you may knock into the fretwires a bit, but he doesn't seem to be playing slide, so a normal acoustic will be fine if you're trying to play like him!
#8
High action will help immensely. Essentially, you're tapping harmonic nodes, with a higher action the string will be able to move more (which will result in better volume) and you'll be less likely to dampen the strings against the fretboard by accident. It's best to choose a tuning that allows the left hand to play simple chords with just hammer ons, and have the top strings be arranged so that you can create a simple melody with just harmonics. An open tuning is nearly essential, harmonics are essentially an open string note harmonised with another (12th fret harmonics are an open string + 1 octave, 7th are + a 5th, 5th fret is + 2 octaves, and 4th, 9th and 16th gets are + a major 3Rd). So if one string isn't in the key of the song, then neither will any of the harmonics. Other than that, practice slow, it takes insane accuracy to get it to sound good. Listen to The Future by Luca Strigagnoli, notice how he's able to create such a clear and defined melody.
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