First Lesson In 2 Hand Tapping

This video lesson is an introduction to finger tapping. It only uses patterns on string 1 and looks at how to play 3 note arpeggios with both hands. You can learn to play different tapping sequences using a single arpeggio.

Ultimate Guitar
We're starting off just using string 1 for this 2 hand finger tapping lesson. It can be tricky to switch between strings if you've never tried this technique before, so we're looking at how you can play different notes with both hands on the same string, to create different arpeggios. This technique is great as it's actually not too difficult to learn and you can soon build up to a fast speed with your tapping licks. It's a good skill to show off as a party piece, and also to use in full songs as it makes your playing sound pretty flashy! Arpeggios are simply notes from chords played separately, and they usually contain fewer notes than scales. Major and minor arpeggios only contain 3 notes so these are great to use when learning 2 hand tapping technique, as you can play 1 note with your picking hand and 2 notes with your fretting hand for each arpeggio. This lesson uses an Am arpeggio (A C E notes), to demonstrate different tapping patterns, and then introduces F major (F A C notes), and E major (E G# B), to create a simple 3 chord sequence. We hope you enjoy this lesson and if you do, please check out our site where you can find over 6 hours of free video tuition
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25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Maybe he held the guitar at that angle to give a better view of the fretboard since one camera is at an overhead shot. Seems like it's a helpful approach; most people already know how to hold the guitar, so the video doesn't need to consider that irrelevant topic. Come on, did you even think before you commented? Damn internet kids...
    Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticise. Especially when they don't link to their (obviously) better lessons.
    I'd like to offer a little help if I might. I play a Chapman Stick which is strictly a touch style instrument. First, it appears that you are teaching to play a single line with both hands which in my opinion is a very limiting method to that technique. My thought is independence should be thought of first. Play chords with one hand and a melody with the other or something of the sort. Before that though,the manner that the fretboard is approached is crucial to touch style. I feel that the right hand's fingers should be more parallel to the frets allowing easy access to the board with ALL the fingers. Your right elbow would have to come up to help that. Which brings me to my next topic. One might also consider changing the orientation of the instrument if they are going to be playing touch style more than just occasionally. The Chapman Stick is oriented more vertically than a guitar and therefore has better access to the entire fretboard (or touch board as we like to call it) with both hands. It is also worth mentioning that the set up for a touch style guitar is NOT at all the same as a regular guitar. I suppose that this being a 1st look @ 2 handed tapping, this isn't a bad starting place but I think it might give someone a very limited outlook on the technique.
    Your points are valid, for an exclusively tapped instrument. If I had someone who wanted purely to tap, then I would take your advice, for sure. It's a good approach, and the chord + melody approach gives a completely new way of looking at the instrument, and opens up the versatility of the guitar. But with the guitar, there are many approaches. As this is one of many, I'd say it's a good approach. Raising the right elbow induces tension in the deltoid muscles... etc etc. Reorienting the instrument to combat this results in sacrificing picking technique (Eric Mongrain - Air Tap), but isn't needed to get effective results (eg.: Midnight by Joe Satriani) The discussion could go on for some time!
    Scale The Summit. That's all you need to learn how to tap like a god. Or Animals As Leaders
    But most novice players would find that stuff a little too tricky for them. That's what this lesson is geared towards, people who have no idea how to tap at all. Do a series on tapping! I'd love to learn the Thordendal tapping method.
    I think your left hand thumb is too high up the neck... of course to each his own, but having the thumb further down and the hand more apart from the neck gives more strength when tapping. The material is not bad though.
    Coda Guitar
    Thanks for the comments guys - fairly mixed bag there! Mike's a great teacher working in Leeds, UK - he runs a successful music teaching agency and always uses this approach as an introduction to finger tapping with his private students. I'm sure he'd use something else if it wasn't effective. He also works in schools and helps students to pass grade exams using the Rockschool syllabus, so plenty of guitarists have benefitted from his tuition. Posture is a tricky one for the electric guitar - can anyone tell me what the correct way to play an electric guitar is?! There are some great players who all use their own approach to great effect: Slash likes to sling his axe low while Tom Morello plays with a pretty short guitar strap for example. If it feels comfortable play in the way you do, and if you think you're playing efficiently and creating a musical sound, then you're probably playing in a way which is good for you. Everyone has different hand sizes etc - it's not an exact science!
    Thank you!!!! For too long internet forums have been a place of too little knowledge being a dangerous thing. The subject of posture is loaded with varying opinions, and the more you study it, the more you realise that the only rule you need is to keep your back straight. I teach Rockschool and RGT grades to ALCM level (for RGT) and DipRSL level, LCM up to classical diploma, and Trinity Guildhall grades. The FACT is that there is NO one way that works for every style of music. Jimi Hendrix played with technique that a classical teacher would find horrendous. Similarly, Gary Moore played with a technique that modern 8 string players would find extremely limiting. Were they effective? Of course! But yet again I read the same opinions trotted out by people who parrot the opinions of others without doing any research of their own. To effectively teach the whys and hows of posture, a working knowledge of the musculature of the back, shoulders, arms and hands is needed, along with the main nerves that control the hand and arms. Some chiropractic knowledge is also helpful to explain why the back must remain straight for a player to have a long pain free career. The thing a lot of people miss, and you are the first here on this lesson to touch on it, is that if it gives a musical result without pain or undue stress, then it's valid, end of.
    u mad?
    Nah bro. I just love when guitar teachers suck.
    Ok... Where's your lesson?
    Doesn't matter if he has a lesson or not. The fact is that the playing in the video is quite sloppy and that does not usually attract students.
    That's true. It doesn't usually, but this is first and foremost a ten minute free lesson, and secondary to that is the advertising for a teaching practice. However, I've learned that to criticise effectively, a person needs to provide an alternative to that being demonstrated. You say the playing is sloppy. I ask you to provide an alternative lesson or demonstration by you of what you would consider good quality playing. Otherwise, the criticism can be seen as unjustified and the result of begrudgery.
    *Advertising my site* lesson. Shame on you.
    Coda Guitar
    Ok fair enough point taken, I'll consider the placement of links in the future! However we have put a lot of time into creating a large number of high quality free video lessons and it's all useful stuff - I wouldn't have shared this lesson here if I didn't think it was helpful for guitarists wanting to learn finger tapping - full lesson with technical explanations plus an example exercise to play, what's not to like?
    You make a compelling argument; after all, it's not like I am paying for it. Sharing knowledge has it's own reward!