UG editorial team. A group of people who are passionate about guitar and music in general.
Posted on Oct 01, 2016 11:20 am
If you're already comfortable with Van Halen-style tapping on the guitar, and you're feeling like the tapping ideas you use on the guitar are a little tired and overused, here's a simple way of freshening up this traditional sound.
Let's start with Ex. 1, which combines Boxes 1 and 2 of the E minor pentatonic scale. Tap the highest note of each string, then use pull-off's to complete each string of notes.
In Ex. 2, we'll take a Greg Howe-inspired approach to create a descending 3's pattern (down 3 notes, back one, down three, up one, etc.).
In Ex. 3, we're creating a new context to later apply the sequence found in Ex. 2. This pattern sounds great over a C major chord in the key of G and contains every note of the G major scale, but spread apart with wider intervals to sound a little less orthodox. The notes in Ex. 3 are, in descending order, G E C D B G A F# D E C A. You can think of them as individual triads on each string:
String 1: G E C (descending C arpeggio)
String 2: D B G (descending G arpeggio)
String 3: A F# D (descending D arpeggio)
String 4: E C A (descending Am arpeggio)
In Ex. 4, we combine the descending 3's pattern from Ex. 2 with the note choices of Ex. 3, finishing off with a legato phrase similar to something Joe Satriani might do. This lick comes from one of my songs, which is in the key of D Mixolydian.
Now think of as many ways as you can to move this pattern around the fretboard, outlining different shapes and arpeggios, and watch you two-hand tapping soar!
About the Author: Eric Bourassa runs a school for guitar lessons in Fort Worth, TX. He has worked with over 500 guitar students and continues to train guitarists to become shred monsters.