How To Tap Rhythm And Lead Simultaneously

Once guitarists figured out what Eddie Van Halen was doing, tapping became another flash trick, like pinch harmonics and whammy bar wiggling, that could be used to sound cool Stevie Ray Vaughn Greatest Hitswhen you couldn't think of anything else to do.

How To Tap Rhythm And Lead Simultaneously
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For a while there, two-handed tapping had quite the stigma about it. Although players like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Genesis' Steve Hackett had all experimented with prototypical forms of tapping in the '60s and '70s, Eddie Van Halen really developed the style into a phenomenon, starting with "Eruption" in 1978. And then the imitators came. Once guitarists figured out what Eddie was doing, tapping became another flash trick, like pinch harmonics and whammy bar wiggling, that could be used to sound cool. By the time the '90s hit, tapping was virtually illegal. Overuse had sapped the technique of its originality. Now, of course, tapping is once again accepted as a valid style, and players are taking it in interesting new directions one of which has its roots in Stanley Jordan and '80s players such as T.J. Helmerich (who has a knack of continuing to get better and better, too, by the way). It has continued to grow in the hands of players like Megadeth's Chris Broderick. This style involves playing basslines or chords with one hand while executing a melody or harmony with the other, and although it can be a little daunting at first, after a little bit of work it can start to feel more natural. Although it's great as a flashy rock or metal technique, a cleaner tone is required so you can hear each note clearly. It's especially suited to blues and jazz styles and there's a world of indie experimentation out there just waiting for an enterprising guitarist to explore. For the best results and playability, you'll need a guitar with relatively low action. Some light compression may help you even out dynamic variations while your hands get up to speed, too after all, even if you regularly employ Van Halen-style tapping, the fingers of your fretting hand may not be used to carrying an entire melody on the fretboard. Let's look at a blues example in the G Minor Pentatonic scale. First, use your "regular" fretting hand to hammer the following pattern. Try to flatten out your fretting hand fingers against the fretboard just enough that they mute any unneeded notes, but not so hard that they sound phantom notes themselves. And note the simple G5 power chord at the end.
Next, we're going to add a simple melody in the well-known pentatonic box shape, tapping the tips of the fingers on the fretting hand. Use whichever fingers are comfortable for you it's great if you can use all four digits, but if only your index and middle fingers are strong enough for now, use those to get the melody into your head (while still practicing to build up the others). Note the slight quarter-step bend on the second last note. This will add a little bit of sass to the lick while setting up a nice resolution to that G note on the 17th fret of the D string at the very end.
Now it's time to put it all together.
Finally, we're going to add a little swing to the whole shebang. Offset each melody note with a laid-back shuffle groove (think Stevie Ray Vaughan's Pride and Joy). As you become more comfortable with the technique you'll be able to add more articulation more slides, more bends, vibrato, etc.
There are a million ways to employ this style, but I find that this kind of rhythmic/pattern-based method is the best for getting your fingers used to the whole idea. From there, you can incorporate chords, more sophisticated walking basslines and some really out-there counterpoint parts. Thanks to Peter Hodgson, Gibson.com.

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    ermonski
    TheNameOfNoone wrote: Buckethead has original style of tapping, I guess...
    let's not forget Paul Gilbert
    DrewMeyer
    to sound cool Stevie Ray Vaughn Greatest Hits when you couldnt think of anything else to do.
    What the heck happened here?
    Rajah
    Can someone direct me to a song or show where Jimi Hendrix does finger tapping? Didn't think so.
    Vetpro
    Check out 'The Levitated' by Scale the Summit. Full 2 handed tapping song and they even have a playthrough video + tabs up on guitarmessenger. Does require a 7 string guitar though.
    iup788
    DrewMeyer wrote: to sound cool Stevie Ray Vaughn Greatest Hits when you couldnt think of anything else to do. What the heck happened here?
    Don't you know new sayings? It's the cool Stevie Ray Vaughn Greatest Hitsest thing to say now.
    EpiExplorer
    ermonski wrote: TheNameOfNoone wrote: Buckethead has original style of tapping, I guess... let's not forget Paul Gilbert
    Dan Weller and Pin from Sikth? Anyone?
    Metalreaper13
    dennis.1960 wrote: swave75 wrote: Ace Frehley claims to have invented tapping. Ace did invent tapping while wearing silly makeup.
    1: Dennis I meant to give a +1 not negative. 2: it's hard to say who invented it, a couple people claim George lynch of dokken started it. It's one of those things that we won't know the true origin. 3: on a lighter note, gene Simmons and al gore have both claimed to invent the Internet. By those standards, I invented tapping! That's right, I invented something something used decades before my Birth. There you have it, mystery solved
    LordThon
    Parkl wrote: Or you can get a bassist and play the low notes while you improv on the tap? You guys do know there's more than a person in a band right?
    I safely practice dangerous new guitar methods in the confines of my living room. You sh.
    kennmi
    Parkl wrote: Or you can get a bassist and play the low notes while you improv on the tap? You guys do know there's more than a person in a band right?
    not always. solo acoustic guitarists dont, and bands such as animals as leaders who only have 2 guitarists and a drummer, so tosin usually plays the bass and the lead while the other guitarist plays the rhythm. also, playing a bassline on the guitar frees up the bassist to play a harmony groove, or something different altogether.
    beno21
    roses for the dead by funeral for a friend is a good one to start with. pretty simple yet sounds really cool. its more a riff though... but whatevs
    Weszilla
    Jamie Holka, a guitarist from Buffalo, has used this style to play rhythm and lead simultaneously. If you look for him on YouTube, check out his version of Another Brick in the Wall. He plays Gilmour and Waters' parts simultaneously. Pretty cool.
    ihavenoname93
    no mention at all of the prog/metal guys out there innovating with tapping more than just about anyone right now. Protest the hero, periphery, scale the summit etc. Periphery especially if youre looking for tapping integrated into rhythm work.
    dennis.1960
    Rajah wrote: Can someone direct me to a song or show where Jimi Hendrix does finger tapping? Didn't think so.
    Listen to the intro to Hey Joe on the Live at Winterland CD. The 1st section sounds like 2 handed tapping to me.
    Ich 666
    kennmi wrote: Parkl wrote: Or you can get a bassist and play the low notes while you improv on the tap? You guys do know there's more than a person in a band right? not always. solo acoustic guitarists dont, and bands such as animals as leaders who only have 2 guitarists and a drummer, so tosin usually plays the bass and the lead while the other guitarist plays the rhythm. also, playing a bassline on the guitar frees up the bassist to play a harmony groove, or something different altogether.
    Im actually quite surprised nobody here came up with Animals as Leaders earlier. Anyways, great band!
    xonty
    Buckethead has original style of tapping
    I totally agree, Buckethead's techniques are so under-rated
    dennis.1960
    swave75 wrote: Ace Frehley claims to have invented tapping.
    Ace did invent tapping while wearing silly makeup.
    ManInTheBox14
    Vetpro wrote: Check out 'The Levitated' by Scale the Summit. Full 2 handed tapping song and they even have a playthrough video + tabs up on guitarmessenger. Does require a 7 string guitar though.
    Glad someone brought up STS. Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier are two of the best guitarists around. Also, several Protest The Hero songs have some great tapping parts. Check out the intro to "Sequoia Throne."
    Parkl
    Or you can get a bassist and play the low notes while you improv on the tap? You guys do know there's more than a person in a band right?
    theogonia777
    frankibo wrote: theogonia777 wrote: This isn't really useful at all. The two things that really stick out are that there is only one example, and that the two variations consist of playing the bass and lead with either each bass note being played simultaneously with each lead note or alternate between bass and lead each 8th note. You stick with that viewpoint and continue to suck giant helmet.
    My, my, aren't we mature?
    frankibo
    theogonia777 wrote: This isn't really useful at all. The two things that really stick out are that there is only one example, and that the two variations consist of playing the bass and lead with either each bass note being played simultaneously with each lead note or alternate between bass and lead each 8th note.
    You stick with that viewpoint and continue to suck giant helmet.
    Revocati0n
    not even a slight SNIFF of Tosin... Check the **** out of the song CAFO, if you want some rhythm/lead tapping at the same time.
    Unfinished_Sun
    swave75 wrote: Ace Frehley claims to have invented tapping.
    Ace Frehley claims to have been abducted by aliens
    BlackDeath92
    satansnachos wrote: you're all wrong, Al Gore invented tapping
    LOL. Just like how he invented the Internet and the environment.
    Fausch
    Metalreaper13 wrote: dennis.1960 wrote: swave75 wrote: Ace Frehley claims to have invented tapping. Ace did invent tapping while wearing silly makeup. 1: Dennis I meant to give a +1 not negative. 2: it's hard to say who invented it, a couple people claim George lynch of dokken started it. It's one of those things that we won't know the true origin. 3: on a lighter note, gene Simmons and al gore have both claimed to invent the Internet. By those standards, I invented tapping! That's right, I invented something something used decades before my Birth. There you have it, mystery solved
    If I had a guess, I'd say Chet Atkins invented it. He was doing it back in the 50s/60s.
    BoredHippie
    Rajah wrote: Can someone direct me to a song or show where Jimi Hendrix does finger tapping? Didn't think so.
    Actually I can. Bold As Love. During the second half of the solo he does a very primitive version of tapping.
    theogonia777
    Fausch wrote:f I had a guess, I'd say Chet Atkins invented it. He was doing it back in the 50s/60s.
    Chet has been tapping (and sweeping) for quite some time, and Jimmie Webster was tapping back in the 50s as well, though the technique has been used on other instruments for much longer. Roy Smeck was tapping on uke back in the 30s; banjo players were tapping back then as well. And of course everyone probably has heard about Mr. Paganini's use of the technique. Tapping (called "şelpe") has also been an important part of bağlama playing since even before then.
    iammclovin
    Vetpro wrote: Check out 'The Levitated' by Scale the Summit. Full 2 handed tapping song and they even have a playthrough video + tabs up on guitarmessenger. Does require a 7 string guitar though.
    Working on that song, very relaxing and fun to play!! Chris Letchford also has a book on tapping out that is actualy quite good.
    Demon Wolf
    Hard to say who invented tapping and it doesn't really matter. Brian May of Queen has been mentioned by various sources in the past but he always claimed he saw an amateur guitarist do it in a bar, and got the idea from there.
    AlecBeretz
    its also called "not spelling things correctly in spite of available spell-check"
    hairydeadperson
    [quote]Rajah wrote on 07/10/2012 - 072 am / quote | Can someone direct me to a song or show where Jimi Hendrix does finger tapping? Didn't think so. I don't live today, live at The Royal Albert Hall. He plays with one hand, his fretting hand, lifting his picking hand into the air. He taps with his fretting hand. It's not two handed tapping, but it is finger tapping. Asshole.
    hairydeadperson
    Rajah wrote: Can someone direct me to a song or show where Jimi Hendrix does finger tapping? Didn't think so.
    I don't live today, live at The Royal Albert Hall. He plays with one hand, his fretting hand, lifting his picking hand into the air. He taps with his fretting hand. It's not two handed tapping, but it is finger tapping. Asshole.
    theogonia777
    This isn't really useful at all. The two things that really stick out are that there is only one example, and that the two variations consist of playing the bass and lead with either each bass note being played simultaneously with each lead note or alternate between bass and lead each 8th note.
    TheOrgasmatron
    Tosin Abasi does extreme tapping, you should check him out, his band is Animals As Leaders. You're gonna need an seven or eight string to play his material
    RPGoof
    Don't forget Little Tybee! Their guitar does nothing but jam two-hand tapping throughout their songs on his 8 string and they're an incredible folk/indieish band
    ddhm
    You guys should look up Dave Bunker and Emmett Chapman. They have been tapping since the mid 60's. It seems like there is a fella that inspired them too... from the 30s.
    _Melvin_
    Andy mckee does a bit of this tapping i believe check out drifting. Looks hard but not for note its a piece of cake.
    WantsLesPaul
    I learned how to tap the intro from I Just Got This Symphony Goin' by The Fall Of Troy. That was a fun week, even though I still play it pretty sloppily.
    toast25
    Hm, let's see if I understood this lesson correctly...
    something like that? :