Shred Guitar Lesson 09. Computer Tapping

author: JacobReedShred date: 06/11/2013 category: guitar techniques

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Shred Guitar Lesson 09. Computer Tapping
Hey guys and gals. In this lesson I will explain to you what computer tapping is and how you can apply to arpeggios and inside scales. It is a precursor to eight finger tapping, which we will cover in the next lesson. There will be no scale in this lesson, because I feel like the last scale would be suited for eight finger tapping more instead of computer tapping. I hope you enjoy this lesson and learn a little something. Let's get right into it. Ok. Computer tapping. What is it? No, it's not where you "type" randomly on the fretboard to make weird sounds, as a fellow UG member asked me. Computer tapping is where you use two fingers on your picking hand to tap on the fretboard. Usually it is used to skip over a string or wide interval. Some of you may be asking "So, it's just 6-finger tapping?" Not really. Because of the wide interval skips, computer tapping is more about the sound rather then the technique, but I thought I should share it with you anyway. The way I perform the technique is to mute the other strings with my palm and use my palm as a type of anchoring point. I find it easier to perform the technique than just holding your hand over the strings. I picked up the technique from a guitarist named Paul Wardingham. He has a lesson on YouTube called "Future Metal Shred." It is a great lesson. Go check it out. In that lesson he explains a little about the sound of computer tapping. It sounds futuristic if used in the right context. You may perform the technique with or without a pick, but I will show you the tabs without the use of a pick to prepare you for eight finger tapping. The first thing I will do is give you a simple exercise you can use to build strength in your picking hand fingers. It will technically be eight finger tapping, but I thought you guys could get a head start on the strength needed to perform eight finger tapping. You're not going to use any fingers on your fretboard hand. I will put the fingers you use for this exercise below the line of tab. It will be a pedal note lick, just to be simple. Here it is: I=Index finger M=Middle finger R=Ring finger P=Pinky finger Ex. 1
   I  M  I  R  M  P  R  M  I  P  
I realize that the tab may be slightly difficult to read due to all the "T"'s, but hopefully you can read it. Also work on that stretch between your picking hand fingers. It will help in the long run. Next, one of the most obvious things to do would be to add in fingers on your other hand. This is going to use the more traditional computer tapping technique of using just two fingers on your picking hand. This exercise is to get used to coordination between left hand and right hand tapping. It will force your hand to go into a more linear position on the fretboard. It will use four fingers in all and it will be more of an arpeggio. Here it is: Ex. 2
         I  P  I        
It might be short, but it will help coordination and strengthen the way you hold your picking hand when computer tapping. Every time I play this example my hand naturally goes into the metal devil horns, so that's a bonus. \m/ In the next exercise I will give you an example of a string skipped type of arpeggio that will get you used to the more traditional way of computer tapping. It will be like a 5th interval arpeggio I discussed in "Creative Shred Ideas 03. Putting It All Together" lesson. Here it is: Ex. 3
         I  R  I        
Now, those first three exercises were just to get used to the technique. Since computer tapping is mostly about the sound of the technique here is an example that uses computer tapping to really drive the sound home. Ex. 4
         I  R  P  R  I         I  P  M  
That's the sound I usually like to get whenever I use computer tapping. As a little side note: I sometimes use computer tapping whenever I have a tap-slide. My reasoning behind this is that I tend to release pressure on the string whenever I slide so it sounds muffled. I'm sure many of you might have this problem, so that's just a bit of advice if you have trouble with a tap-slide. Anyway, back to the original info. I look up to Paul Wardingham so I really love his sound style when using computer tapping, but I evolved the technique to fit my own style. You can use whatever type of sound when doing this. I tend to go for more of an "arpeggio-skippy" kind of sound. I can't believe that's how I described it. Paul has a tendency to use it in an "arpeggio all-over-the-place-spacey" kind of sound. This last example is a lick I wrote in the style of Paul Wardingham that encompasses his style. I was originally going to use it in one of my songs, but I wanted to evolve my own sound instead of copying what he does. This lick might be a bit long, but I still enjoy playing it. There is no picking at all in this lick. It is all hammer-ons and pull-offs. Here you go: Ex. 5
         I  R        I        I  R        I        I  R       I      

   I  R      I  
At that point I just like to repeat the lick. I hope you have an understanding of how to perform the technique as well as to know the type of sound it should create. In the next lesson I will cover full on eight finger tapping. I will also show you the last scale in our key of E minor. I've strayed a bit from the key of E minor, but it will be back in the next lesson. Make sure you play the notes clearly and evenly when computer tapping. Make sure you get the handle of moving your fingers like this as they are not used to moving like that. Also I highly recommend you check out Paul Wardingham's album "Assimilate Regenerate." It is a futuristic shred masterpiece. Don't forget to rate and comment on this lesson and check out my demo of "Red Skies." Until the monster of a next lesson, see ya.
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