#1
I've been working on this lesson here for... well, WAY too long. So now that I've pretty much (hopefully) worked all of the kinks out of it, I guess one of my final steps is to post it in here. I'll cross my fingers and hope this one's a knockout! Here it is, folks:

How About Tapping?
The elusive and mystical technique of tapping... revealed and gloriously simplified!

Hello, this is Seth here, and welcome to what I hope to be a very informative and helpful lesson on tapping. Most people, when getting started on it, are
confused at what exactly they should do to sound good while tapping. Don?t worry; I went through the same phase. There?s a lot to cover in this article, so I
hope it?s not too lengthy. I want to get it all covered in one handy lesson. So read on, and hopefully by the time you?re done reading this you will be
equipped with all the knowledge you need to sound like Eddie Van Halen. As usual (and this is kind of becoming my trademark), there will be plenty of
playable examples.
What is Tapping?
You know what hammer-ons and pull-offs are, right? Well, when using those, your fingers can only stretch so far. What tapping does is allow you to extend
your hammer-on or pull-off even further; almost like an extra finger, if you will. Here, let?s use the first string of your guitar as an example. Let?s say
you wanted to go from the 5th fret to the 8th fret (by means of a hammer-on), and then all the way up to the 12th fret. Now, unless you?ve gotten plastic
surgery and had your pinky extended two inches, you?re not going to be able to cover that much of your fretboard with just your left hand. Now, to hit that
12th fret, you must use a finger on your right hand (this is assuming you?re a right-handed guitar player; if you?re a lefty, just flip the situation around)
to ?tap? it. And, as with a pull-off you?re going to want to flick your finger off of the fret to let the lower note register, tapping is done in much the
same way. To let the lower notes ring, you will need to release your finger from the tapped note and just flick it a bit to one side or the other, so you?re
lightly picking the string with your tapping finger. I hope that?s clear enough; I really don?t know how to explain it much better.
Now, for tapping, you?re probably asking yourself, ?Which finger do I use?? When you get right down to it, it?s kind of a matter of preference, but there
actually are a few advantages to using different tapping techniques.
With What Should I Tap?
As I stated above, it can come down to being a personal preference situation, but there can be advantages to using different fingers to tap.
Middle Finger: This is the most commonly-used tapping finger, and for a number of reasons. For one thing, if you?re playing with a pick, you?re most likely
holding it with your thumb and index finger. Therefore, your middle finger is the closest to your pick, so if you pick a note and want to tap immediately
afterwards, your middle finger is readily available. Another reason why the middle finger is so proficient would be because it?s your longest and strongest
finger. Unless you were involved in a serious hand-crippling accident, your middle finger will be the longest finger, so you don?t have to curl your other
fingers down to avoid them hitting the string. Also, being the strongest makes it the obvious and easy choice.
Index Finger: The index finger is used in tapping quite a bit, too. I?m not completely sure why, though, but I would imagine because it?s the easiest to
provide an ?attack? on the string. You probably use your index finger the most in domestic life, so therefore you are more used to controlling it than other
fingers. Here?s a good way to demonstrate that: hold your hand a bit above the fretboard, almost as if you are playing. Now, pick any fret you like, and try
to hit it fast with your middle finger and draw it back quickly. Now try it with your index finger. Chances are, your index finger is the fastest, and
therefore it?s why you personally may choose it over the middle finger.
Side of the Pick: This is very common in tapping, too. In some cases, you will have to transition between picking and tapping so fast that getting a finger
in just wouldn?t be possible. This is where your pick comes in. If done right, you can hit the side of the pick against the fret and the note will still
register. You will probably have to apply more pressure, but once you know how to do it, it can serve as a great advantage in certain situations.
Why is Tapping Necessary?
Well, for one thing, it looks and sounds cool. I know that?s not the proper attitude a musician should have, but I have to admit, for anyone who watches or
listens to you do a tapping riff, they?ll probably think it?s awesome. Or, if they?re guitarists themselves and know how simple tapping can be once you know
it, they may scoff at you. But still, if you?re playing a gig or something, people will be blown away if you can blast through a smoking tapped solo.
Plus, in many cases, a tapped note will serve extraordinary musical purpose. Commonly, you will see two notes of a triad that can be attained by a hammer-on
or pull-off, and then the tapped note will be the third note, completing the triad. And as usual, I have a couple of handy playable examples. But first, let
me explain a bit more on that triad thing, because not all tapping situations you encounter will be the same.
Highest-Middle-Lowest: That?s most certainly not the technical term, and I?m only calling it such because a more professional name for it doesn?t come to
mind. But all it connotes is the formula when you tap the highest note, pull off to the middle note, and then pull off again to your lower note. This, of
course, only pertains to situations where 3 notes are being used. I?ll explain more on that later, but anyway, here?s a good example I can think of. It?s
part of the solo for ?Am I Evil? by Diamond Head. It?s all on the first string, and they?re all in triplets:
|12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5-12-8-5|

|13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5-13-8-5|

|13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6-13-9-6|

|14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6-14-9-6|

|14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7-14-10-7|

Notice that, because of the formula of Highest-Middle-Lowest, it gives a descending feel. However, the cool thing about that particular example is that the
tapped parts are descending, but each time the position is higher, so it?s ascending. It?s a coincidence that I happened to pick that example, then, isn?t
it? It?s no big deal, really, but I just thought I?d point it out. But wait! There?s another type I have to explain!
Highest-Lowest-Middle: I suppose you can guess what this connotes, then, but I?ll explain it anyway. It?s when you tap a note, then pull-off to the lowest
note, and then hammer-on to the middle note. This is harder to do than the other formula, because this requires more left-handed coordination. Instead of
just being able to roll right down the fretboard with pull-offs, you have to tap, pull-off, and then quickly hammer-on. It?s not too terribly much harder,
but harder nonetheless. A prime example of this has to be the solo to ?Hell Bent for Leather? by Judas Priest. Again, all on the first string, and in
triplets:
|12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8-12-5-8|

|12-5-7-12-5-7-12-5-7-12-5-7-12-4-7-12-4-7-12-4-7-12-4-7|

|12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7-12-3-7|

|12-2-5-12-2-5-12-2-5-12-2-5-10-2-5-10-2-5-10\--|

Like I said, not much more difficult than the H-M-L formula, but it?s still a bit harder to coordinate. Another cool thing about this formula is that the
lowest note gets perhaps the most emphasis. Whereas in the H-M-L formula, the idea is just to be descending in key, the H-L-M puts incredible emphasis on the
lowest note, which is played in the middle.
Tapping With More Than Three Notes
As I said somewhere above, not all tapping parts will be with triads. Sometimes you could have 4 or even 5 notes all on one string within one tapping part.
Using our example from before (5th fret, 8th fret, tap the 12th fret), we could expand on that even more. Most often, this is done just to emphasize more a
certain mode or scale. We could, for instance, add in the 7th fret. So now you could tap 12, and pull off to 8, then 7, then 5, and you can even ascend on
this using hammer-ons. Now it?s more obvious that we are stressing the A minor scale. We could go all-out to the extreme, even, and add in the open E string.
So you could start off by tapping the 12th fret, pulling off again all the way to 5, and then release and let the open string ring. If you wanted to ascend
on this, you would have to hit the E string, and then tap the 5th fret with your right hand. This is known as left-handed tapping. So now we?ve gone through
both types of tapping. But there are even more challenging types of tapping you could try.
#2
[...continued]

2- or 3-Fingered Tapping
It sounds ridiculous, and it is much harder than one-fingered tapping. It?s not even really used all that often, but I think you should at least realize that
it exists. Doing it with a pick is virtually impossible, even for the most advanced guitarist. To do it, you must hold your right hand so your fingers are
exactly perpendicular to the strings. Now, let?s take that example we?ve been working on above. You?ll have to tap the 12th fret with your index finger. From
here, we can emphasize even higher notes of the A minor scale by tapping them with our other fingers. For instance, we could tap the F on the 13th fret with
our middle finger, or the 15th fret G or 17th fret A with your pinky. You could try some tapping with the ring finger, but it?s probably the hardest finger
with which to tap. The length between the next right-handed tapped note determines which finger you will use to tap it. Make sense? Like I said, it?s not
used too often, but it doesn?t hurt to know.
Tapping as a Pedal Tone
I talked a bit above about how tapping serves melodic purposes. Right now I?ll explain a bit about how tapping a note to use as a pedal tone can work very
well in much the same sense. A handy and fairly common trick is to tap one note, and in between each time you tap that note, you will pull-off to other
notes. So you will basically have movement going on with your left hand while maintaining a pedal tone with the note you?re tapping repeatedly. An all-out
superb example would be the Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Bach. This is all done on the 3rd string, and boy is it a whopper of a riff:
|14-12-14-10-14-9-14-7-14-6-14-7-14-9-14-10|

|14-2-14-4-14-6-14-7-14-6-14-7-14-9-14-10|

Try playing the set of left-hand notes individually once, without the tapping. It?s fairly decent, I?ll admit, but not great. When you add in that 14th fret
A every other note, it just makes the whole thing awesome. However, what else would you expect from a modal genius like Bach?
Wowzers! I know that?s a lot to read, and I apologize for the length, but I wanted to get everything covered all in one mega article. I hope everything got
explained, and if I left anything out, I?m terribly sorry. But I?m crossing my fingers saying that I got everything done. I also hope I delivered enough
playable examples. I know how fun it is to be able to play along with an article.
So, with that said, I hope overall this can be regarded as a handy guide for anyone looking to perfect the awesome and advantageous technique of tapping.


So, fellow UGers, what say you? Good? Bad? Ugly?
#3
ok that is way to freakin long to care, i think UG has a video on this that is much easier to understand. that or you could just watch some old van halen videos
....../ `---____________|] ~~~bang!
...../_==o;;;;;;;;_____.:/
.....), ---.(_(__) /
....// (..) ), ----"
...//___//
..//___//
#5
I thought it was pretty good, put some good time into i can tell (long). But yeah its pretty good. Cool
Gear

Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Dimarzio Evolution Pickup
Crate 120 watt
Dimebag Wah
#6
o wait this is your lesson!! my bad man! hey bro for a lesson its great and informative but like i said (in my screw ups....) its really long, try breaking it up into smaller lessons
....../ `---____________|] ~~~bang!
...../_==o;;;;;;;;_____.:/
.....), ---.(_(__) /
....// (..) ), ----"
...//___//
..//___//
#7
Quote by 94 hours
ok that is way to freakin long to care, i think UG has a video on this that is much easier to understand. that or you could just watch some old van halen videos

Well, it's hard to say this without sounding like I'm getting defensive (which I'm not); I didn't think that any other lessons/videos/columns on tapping on this site explained it clearly enough, or even as in depth. The only reason I wrote the lesson in the first place was because I didn't think UG had an adequate enough one. No offense to anyone who has contributed a tapping lesson or video, though.
And I know it's long; I stated clearly that I wanted everything covered in one article, so it's all one handy reference. I feel it cheesy when people keep making subsequent and rather short installments on articles that could easily be covered all in one go (that's partially sarcastic, considering I have a series of 3 columns on harmonizing ). So I know it's long, but it's all there in one article.
I appreciate the feedback at any rate, though.
#9
Okay, so I'm not quite sure how the UG Contribution thing works (having written 6 columns previously, it's hard to believe this is the first time I'm using it ). Do I have to wait for a mod or somebody to give it the green light, or since I've already gotten some positive feedback, can I just go ahead and submit the lesson right now?
I don't mean to sound like I'm in a hurry or anything, I'm just a bit confused because this is the first time I'm submitting something in this fashion.
#10
Naa u can just submit. But i suggest you tidy it up a bit, cuz its lack of paragraphs is overbearing O_O
Alta Vera - My real life alternative rock band.
Ashen Spire - My personal metal band.

Super Mario, F-Zero & Dragonball Z covers!

PSN: whatev27

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#11
Quote by NovemberRain273
Naa u can just submit. But i suggest you tidy it up a bit, cuz its lack of paragraphs is overbearing O_O

I think that's just because of how it ended up when I transferred it from Notepad over to here. It kept putting unnecessary spaces (Enter spaces; the noticeable ones) where they weren't supposed to be, so once I deleted all of those it ended up looking like crap on here. Go figure.
It should be cleaner when I submit it to Lessons, though.
Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!
#12
I Swear You Must Submit This Lesson! If It Is Rejected, I Encourage You To Edit, Cut, Paste, Whatever It Takes To Get It Approved And Posted. I Neeeeeeed This Lesson. My Internet Isnt Fast Enough To Download Any Videos And I Am In Dire Need Of A Good Tapping Lesson.
#13
Quote by Glen'sHeroicAct
I Swear You Must Submit This Lesson! If It Is Rejected, I Encourage You To Edit, Cut, Paste, Whatever It Takes To Get It Approved And Posted. I Neeeeeeed This Lesson. My Internet Isnt Fast Enough To Download Any Videos And I Am In Dire Need Of A Good Tapping Lesson.

Wow, gee, thanks!
And I just submitted it earlier today. Hopefully this thread will work to my advantage, too. Just wanted to thank everyone for encouraging me on it!

...Now what? Should this be closed or...
#14
No it will just die in time

But I hope it gets looked at quickly, when i submitted my first lesson i waited around 2 months for it to be accepted.
Alta Vera - My real life alternative rock band.
Ashen Spire - My personal metal band.

Super Mario, F-Zero & Dragonball Z covers!

PSN: whatev27

Let me ask you, does a machine like yourself ever experience fear?

#15
you forgot 4 finger tapping!
Jesus Satan

Quote by davedoom


Krank: "Here you go mate, shiitloads of money and free amps, all you have to do is have a pic taken with your thumbs up looking happy with this amp, we will do the rest"

Endorsee:"OK, thanks"
#16
thats not tapping, thats right handed hammer-ons (thats if you know your stuff) tapping is hitting a note without pulling off (kinda like picking but is a tap)You can even research it.eddie van halen basicaly made both.
#17
If you can tell me a few reason why this lesson is better than the many other lessons on tapping, then I'll approve it.
#18
I wanted to go more in-depth with every single technique. A lot of lessons on the site (and likewise throughout the entire internet) really only cover 2-handed tapping, so I wanted to get the 3-plus-fingered tapping in as well. I'll admit that Pick's vid on it (it was Pick that did it, wasn't it?) was visually helpful, but I wanted to touch on the theory side of things as well as the technical side of things. The highest-middle-lowest and highest-lowest-middle are also things I've never seen on any lessons. I thought I'd offer some ideas for beginner and experienced tappers alike, by not only teaching them the technique but by also offering some playable examples and the way to approach tapping in a theoretical sense.
Or perhaps that entire paragraph is just me dumbing down a piece of crap into a masterpiece like an expert used car salesman. That's for you to decide, however.