I own a fender strat (3cs, dimarzio vintage blues neck, lace sensor middle, original pickup in bridge), and i'm trying to improve the tapping capabilities on it. The type of sound i'm trying to aim for is a jazzy, clean sound. I've tried lowering the strings a bit to get some more action, but it still seems like there's room for improvement. Is there a particular gauge of strings or brand that works best? Is investing in a compressor or equalizer really helpful? Do you get a louder sound out of the bridge or middle or neck or is it dependant on the pickup when tapping? Perhaps, any pickup suggestions? any advice would be much appreciated!

Low action, high pickups. Thats what would make the best tapping combo. Try using heavy strings. I'm partial to ghs boomers. You can get them at best buy. I've tried other strings and I just like the boomers. Right now I have earnie ball light top heavy bottoms and I dont like em.
low action as in raise the strings higher and high pickups as in having the pickups close against the strings? I'll buy some heavy boomers tomorrow to test it out.

Low Action - Lower Strings
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scalloping frets also makes it very easy. not exactly the easiest mod though.
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ok, i googled it. i think i understand how that could make tapping easier and perhaps create other cool effects too like a weird vibrato or somethin. wow...never would of thought of that. nice suggestion shred mesier.

No ones really mentioned pickups or compressor pedals. other than livrockdie, about pickup position. has anyone found that humbuckers work better or single coils? or does even matter what pickups you got?

I would imagine humbuckers work better since they have a generally higher output which means they can pick out the quiet sound of tapping better. Also H/b's have more of a mellow sound which is good for jazz.

Yes a compressor would be a good idea for the same reason as a h/b although it will sound like you are playing hard even when ur not so bear that in mind.

heavy strings increase the output of ur guitar, i put heavy strings on my guitar and i nearley killed my amp- there was that much more bass!

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Last edited by eddiehimself at Aug 28, 2006,
You need pickups with a very high output. Try some of those pickups that are like a humbucker , but shaped like a single coil.
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I've heard they dont have as much juice. You should be fine with single coils untill you get the nerve up to route out a humbucker slot in your guitar (heck, check if its already routed right now. Some are, some arent.) Just get the action as low as you can without fret buzz. Then raise the pickups you have as high as you can without the strings hitting them when you play. This should do it. You can tap on any guitar. I'm sitting here two hand tapping a pentatonic scale on my acoustic right now (terribly high action, I gotta fix that ) You can tap on any guitar. But if you do it alot these adjustments will help. Are you two hand tapping or one hand (left hand)?
scalloping frets is extremely hard to do if your a noob
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excellent! thanks guys! high output eh. i figure so. so higher resistence and voltage pickups? (ohm's law lol). i don't think its routed now to a humbucker now. though i am plannin to change my pickgaurd to accomadate two humbuckers or something liek that. my style is more so "touch style" and two hand tapping.


p.s. i wanna try the scalloping but i don't wanna wreck my guitar and i'm sorta of a noob when it comes to something like scalloping
i keep my volume around 7 of 10 for a jazzier sound.........................................
livrockdie, you genius.
really, higher output pickups. and practice playing. the dimarzio evolutions are good tapping ones. or at least vai makes em sound good.
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hm...interesting, i was actually lookin at a pgm30 wtih dimarzio evolutions on it. Interestingly, the output of the evolutions are 4x higher than the pickups i have now. but how are the evolutions for jazz or clean sound? i know they slay with metal styles.
you can go and get a wound 3rd set of jazz strings they sound good for what you want, they need to be a little heaveyer too.