Tapping On Bass Guitar. Part 3 - Two Hands Technique

In the previous lessons we've used double stopping to form chords. We have also considered moving the left and right hand parts further apart. We'll continue with this idea now by moving the two hands even more independently.

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Tapping on Bass Guitar Lesson #3 ================================ In the previous lessons we've used double stopping to form chords. We have also considered moving the left and right hand parts further apart. We'll continue with this idea now by moving the two hands even more independently. Consider the following chord:
                                       -O-

                                       ---
                                        O
                                       ---
    __ 
|-------12--------||--/--\--------------------
|-------12--------||  \   | .
|----7------------||------|-------------------
|-----------------||      / .   O
|-----/--------------------
|    /
|---/----------------------
|
|--------------------------
It should sound fairly dissonant, but provided your sound isn't overly bassy it won't be too bad in context. We can then move the bass note (resolving it) to a G while keeping the right hand harmony notes constant:
                                       -O-    -O-

                                       ---    ---
                                        O      O
                                       ---    ---
    __ 
|-----12-----12---||--/--\--------------------
|o----12-----12--o||  \   | .
|o-7-------------o||------|-------------------
|---------3-------||      / .  O
|-----/--------------------
|    /
|---/----------------------
|  
|-------------------O------
Once you're happy moving your left hand while holding your right still, we can move to an Am in the same way we did last week to get the classic opening riff to "Purple Haze" (or at least sufficient outline to carry the rhythm while the guitarist shows off)
                                                          O
                 -O-    -O-  -O-            ---

                 ---    ---  ---            -O-
                  O      o   O
                 ---    ---          ---            ---
    __ 
|--/--\-------------------------|-------------------------------||
|  \   | .                      |                               ||
|------|------------------------|-------------------------------||
|      / .  O O       O     O   |                               ||
|-----/-------------------------|-------------------------------||
|    /                          |                               ||
|---/---------------------------|-------------------------------||
|                               |                O  O           ||
|-------------------------------|--O--O-------------------------||
||||
|    e  e  e  s   s+q q|  e  e  q      e   e    q      ||
||||
|-----------------12-----12-----|--------12--------------14-----||
|o----------------12-----12-----|--------12--------------14-----||
|o----------7--7------7------7--|-------------------------------||
|-------------------------------|--3--3----------5--5-----------||
            L4 L4 R12 L4 R12 L4    L1 L1 R12     L3 L3   R12
(The timings are an approximation - with all lessons you should experiment to find a comfortable groove). Once you've got this working you may feel that the initial E lacks the emphasis you'd like to place upon the begining of such a great riff. Last week we tackled the problem by taking the note down an octave. In this case that's an open string so we can't hammer it on. We could tune down, but the proximity of the nut would reduce the volume, and in any case - tuning down is inconvenient. The answer is to sound the open E with your right hand. Moving in and out of the position used for tapping is often inconvenient - going to a walking finger style is too slow, and a plectrum is out of the question! However, you should find that your right hand is in a pretty good position to slap the bottom E - it's perhaps a little further up the fretboard than is desirable but it is quite workable (See Doug's slapping lesson #1 for details of the VERY simple slap we're now going to use). Simply twist your right hand, bring the thumb down on the E string and let it bounce back. Of course if the right hand is slapping then the left hand is going to have to play the double stop. This is accomplished by bringing your third finger down flat across the G and D strings at the 12th fret. With both this and the slap, experiment to find the optimum amount of force.
                                        -O-    -O-

                                        ---    ---
                                         O      O
                                        ---    ---
    __ 

|-------12-----12---||--/--\--------------------
|o------12-----12--o||  \   | .
|o-----------------o||------|-------------------
|--0--0-----0-------||      / .  
|-----/--------------------
   RT RT L3 RT L3|    /
|---/----------------------
|  
|--------------------------
                                 -O- -O-   -O-

Putting the whole thing back together we get:

                                                          O
                 -O-    -O-  -O-            ---

                 ---    ---  ---            -O-
                  O      o   O
                 ---    ---          ---            ---
    __ 

|--/--\-------------------------|-------------------------------||
|  \   | .                      |                               ||
|------|------------------------|-------------------------------||
|      / .                      |                               ||
|-----/-------------------------|-------------------------------||
|    /                          |                               ||
|---/---------------------------|-------------------------------||
|                               |                O  O           ||
|-------------------------------|--O--O-------------------------||
||||
|   -O--O-   -O-     -O-|||
||||
|    e  e  e  s   s+q q|  e  e  q      e   e    q      ||
||||
|-----------------12-----12-----|--------12--------------14-----||
|o----------------12-----12-----|--------12--------------14-----||
|o------------------------------|-------------------------------||
|-----------0--0------0------0--|--3--3----------5--5-----------||
            RT RT L3  RT L3  RT    L1 L1 R12     L3 L3   R12
That's all for now. Ian

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    hxc_triple_og
    amazing lessons i just finished em all i was very quick to learn all this as it took me no more than an hour to ace all of this i think you should post a new one with more advanced stuff though ;]
    _2272_
    Man, thanks for these lessons, they're interesting and give a real sense of accomplishment. Thanks!
    Bassface01
    Thanks for these lessons, I'm learning a lot about tapping and I love all the Hendrix riffs.
    marcusmassacre
    these lessons are great. the only "problem" i saw was the open E slap. i personally find that inconvenient, and my solutions are to tune down to drop d, and slide all the left hand stuff up a whole step(making the open E a 2 on the top string), or to keep it in standard tuning and kind of "pop" the open E with my pointer finger of my left hand. you just have to get under that string with your nail, and flick up a bit. works like a charm. but i guess that not everyone would understand or want to do that, so thank you again for posting these amazing tutorials. i know they're helping a lot of ppl.
    Lyno91
    Fantastic Stuff man. . . I'm new to bass a d the concepts but this is one of the first things I'v gotten on the internet that I'v understood and its actually taught me something. . . Keep 'em coming man
    bass7player21
    tapping takes a toll on fingers, im gonna wake up 2morrow w/ monster callousses! its intense lol! anyway, all of the lessons on tapping ive checked out hav been superb.
    GuderianRIN
    thanks Ian these lesson help so much. now i actually understand how tapping works.
    Korn165
    i find these interesting, and can't wait to try these techniques, thanks
    Chaostheory888
    these lessons are awesome, extremely useful... they make me actually UNDERSTAND the concepts lol. Thanks a ton!
    cAin_666
    may i ask why 7 = 'DO' in the sheet with an f-clef on the first part?.....hmmm, or am i wrong?can you explain it to me bro.
    IndieMetalhead
    may i ask why 7 = 'DO' in the sheet with an f-clef on the first part?.....hmmm, or am i wrong?can you explain it to me bro. Its the bass clef. from bottom to top the notes in the gaps are ACEG. therefore the 7'th on the A is an E, so its marked as such