Complete Guitar Tapping Course Week 3

This week we'll conquer two new challenges that'll really up your shred tapping game.

Ultimate Guitar
Complete Guitar Tapping Course Week 3

This week we'll conquer two new challenges that'll really up your shred tapping game.

We’re going to start off by learning how to do multiple tapped notes in a row. This is more difficult because each finger of the right hand needs to move independently, requiring more control and more practice. We’ll then move on to multi-string licks that are a great way to expand your shred skills.

The Next Challenge

First then, doing more than one right-hand note in a row. When most people do right hand tapping, they pull-off the tap using a wrist or arm motion. They flick their wrist out to pull-off the note and play the left hand note lower down the fretboard. The problem is, however, that you can’t do this if the note you are pulling off to is another right hand note – your right hand fingers will be in the wrong place. Instead, you need to learn to pull-off with individual finger movements and keep your hand and wrist in exactly the same position. This is the main challenge with these licks.

Most commonly, people pull-off with their right hand using a downwards motion towards the floor. You may find, however, that when pulling off to another right hand note it’s easier to pull upwards towards the ceiling using your finger; try both directions and see what you find easiest.

We’ll start with some basic two-finger exercises. In this first one, keep your index finger pressed down on the 7th fret of the G string and hammer-on/pull-off the 8th fret with your middle finger. Start VERY slowly – the motion will feel awkward at first, so relax and concentrate on making everything perfect. You might struggle with the volume of the notes – if this is the case, follow the week 1 strategy of playing the notes strongly and then relaxing between each note.




Once you’ve got that movement down, play it on different parts of the fretboard. See how fast and effortless you can get it! Then, move on to the next exercise. It’s the same but with an extra fret between the notes. Still use your index and middle fingers in the same way, but spread them a little further apart. Master this and you’ll be ready to play some really jaw-dropping stuff!




See if you can play it perfectly on all strings and all frets. The next one is a full lick that uses this skill in conjunction with some left hand legato. It should be easy if you’ve learned the previous ones. Tap the 14th fret with your index finger and the 15th fret with your middle finger. Use your left hand index finger for the other notes on the 11th and 12th frets.




This lick is a variation on the last one that has an extra pull-off for the right hand. It's not too hard, though. If it is, go back to the first two exercises in this week and practice them until they are truly effortless – then you’ll be ready for this one.




This is a scale run up and down the A-minor scale and it sounds amazing when used to add intensity to a solo part! Use your index finger for the 10th fret tap and your middle finger for the 12th fret tap.




Once you’ve mastered those licks, I want you to repeat the exercises in this week so far using the second and third fingers of your right hand. Then, you’ll be ready to move on to the following more advanced patterns.

The first of these two more advanced patterns is a variation on the previous one that involves an extra note on the 13th fret, played by the right hand ring finger. I’ve also moved it to the G string, so that it is now in C-minor and so you can get used to playing these patterns on different strings.




The final lick of this section involves a full 11 note passage played entirely by the right hand. Master this and you’re seriously good at tapping!




Crazy Multi-String Licks

Next we’ll move on to multi-string patterns. These really aren’t much more difficult that single-string patterns – the main difficulty lies in muting the strings you aren’t playing.

Thankfully, there’s an easy muting strategy you can use. Lay your index finger of your left hand across the higher-sounding strings that you aren’t playing (so if you’re playing on the D string, the index finger would be fretting a note on the D string and lightly resting on the G, B and high E strings) – just lay your finger across them enough to mute them. Then, rest the palm of your right hand on the lower sounding strings that you aren’t playing (so in the example that’d be the A and low E strings). This will mute all of the strings you aren’t playing, and once you get used to it you don’t even have to think about it – it becomes second nature! Try out this muting strategy on the following licks.

In this first one we’ll only use one right hand finger (you can use whichever one you find easiest) so you can get used to changing strings while keeping your string muting strategy solid.




And now we’ll take that across four strings in A-minor pentatonic:




Now we’ll add the other right hand fingers to give us some more options. This one uses all three right hand fingers on each string. It’s in C-minor. The 13th, 12th and 10th fret notes are played with the right hand.




The next lick shows a different way of using right hand fingers when tapping – instead of using all three fingers on one string, each finger is allocated a string. This allows us to cross strings faster and more effectively, which is great for big arpeggios.

In this example, the high E string is tapped with the ring finger, the B string is tapped with the middle finger, and the G string is tapped with the index finger. It’s in A-minor.




Now we’ll use this same technique to play some larger arpeggios. In this example keep the ring finger for the high E string, the middle finger for the G string and the index finger for the A string. It’s a D-minor 7th arpeggio, and it sounds absolutely great when you get it up to speed!




Try laying out other arpeggios like this – I’ll give you one more example to finish off week 3. It’s an F-major 7th arpeggio. Use the ring finger for the high E string, the middle finger for the G string and the index finger for the A string again. Use the right and only for the highest notes on each string.




Try playing those arpeggios one after another to create a nice progression.

This week is the most challenging one so far, so practice lots and see how far you can get! There’s no shame in extending this section by a few days (or an extra week) if you need to, so don’t feel pressured. Master this stuff and you’ll be ready for week four – using every finger on the right hand…

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