Shred Guitar Lesson 10. Eight Finger Tapping

In this lesson I will go over the final pattern within E minor. I will also cover the technique of Eight Finger Tapping and give you ways to build strength in your tapping hand.

Ultimate Guitar
Hello, my friends. In this lesson I will discuss what eight finger tapping is and how to perform the technique. I will also give you the final scalar pattern within the key of E minor. I will also give you some useful exercises on gaining strength in the tapping hand. This will be a huge lesson, so you might want to warm up. Let's dive in. Eight finger tapping is exactly what it sounds like. You tap with eight fingers on the fretboard: four fingers with your right hand and four fingers with your left hand. This might seem extremely difficult to do, but in time you will get better at it. If you have been following my lessons you should already have a bit of coordination and strength in your picking hand, but for those of you who need a bit more strength, here is another strength building exercise. I use it to build strength in my fretboard hand as well (Hint: use it for your fretboard hand too!) It will sound kind-of odd. Here is the exercise: Ex. 1 I=Index Finger M=Middle Finger R=Ring Finger P=Pinky Finger
   I  M  R  P  I  M  R  P  
There you have it. It is good to build up dexterity in the picking hand because of the string skips and changes. Hopefully you are warmed up at this time because we will get into some scales soon, but first I want to share a little trick I found out. A common problem when eight finger tapping, that many people struggle with, is what to do with the pick. Some people put in their mouths. Some people use the pick as an extension of their finger so they still have the available "eight" fingers needed. I have found the first one time consuming, because you may not have time to bring your hand up to your mouth and back down. I find the second one to be inconsistent with the type of sound you get when using the pick as opposed to the other three fingers. I have searched for ways to hold the pick in my hand while still being able to do eight finger tapping and the answer was simple: all I had to do was slide the pick up my index finger with my thumb to about the second joint. Using this technique I was able to perform eight finger tapping then bring my pick back down to do a sweep or whatever else. I had to share that with you, because if you use that it will make your eight finger tapping life so much easier, or at least that's what I've found. Now, let's get into that last scalar pattern. The final pattern within E-minor will start on the note D and end on a G note. I want you to play this scale with alternate picking first, then you should try playing it with eight finger tapping. When eight finger tapping just mute the strings with your fretboard hand. I will put the fingers I use for eight finger tapping under the scale for you. Here is the final pattern in E-minor: Ex. 2
   I  M  P  I  M  P  I  M  P  I  M  P  I  M  P  I  R  P  P  R  I  P  M  I  

   P  M  I  P  M  I  P  M  I  P  M  I  
There is the scale. When using eight finger tapping do not repeat the top note in the scale. Just pull off to the F#. Now you have all the scalar patterns within E minor. Next, I will show you a couple eight finger tapping exercises that I've made up to get down the technique and really impress your friends. I will not add the finger notation under the tab, because you should use whichever fingers are more comfortable to you. That is how you develop your own technique. In eight finger tapping I believe that it is used in more scalar ideas, however you can use eight finger tapping however you want. Here is a fun exercise I enjoy doing. It employs octaves and looks really cool. Here it is: Ex. 3

I love that exercise so much hahah. You can use the idea of octaves to create some really cool sounding licks. Now, I will show you an example of using eight finger tapping to add some arpeggios and other things into your repertoire. This example will use an arpeggio I covered in my "Creative Shred Ideas" series called the sus2 arpeggio. In this case it will be an Esus2 arpeggio. Here is the exercise: Ex. 4
This exercise sounds really good when played up to speed, so get working on it. Or you could just play it while recording then speed it up a bit to hear it played fast. The next item on our agenda is to learn to combine all the techniques we have worked on. This exercise will be long. It will be eight notes alternate picking, eight notes legato, eight notes with two-handed tapping, eight notes economy picked, eight notes string skipped with alternate picking, eight notes string skipped with legato, eight notes string skipped with tapping, eight notes sweep picked, eight notes computer tapped, and finally eight notes with eight finger tapping in that exact order. I will use bar lines to make it easier to distinguish between the sections. At this point you might want to take a break and get some water. I will make this exercise very difficult. Have fun with this exercise and keep building all your techniques. Here it is: Ex. 5

  D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U                                                    

                          D  D  D D  U    U  U                        

I hope that was hard for you, because you will be able to grow more in your technique. If you noticed, it got harder as it went along. You end on a C# note to finish. I hope you enjoyed this lesson and the series. If you have any questions about anything shred feel free to message me. Remember to always keep anything you play clean and make sure every note is even. This is the last lesson in this series of techniques. I will continue to write lessons in my "Building Speed" series. Check them out. Don't forget to rate and comment on this lesson and go visit my page to listen to my "Red Skies" demo. I hope you all continue to grow in your playing. Until the next lesson, see ya.

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's an add9, not sus2. The third is present in it. I'd like to edit this and say its not even an add9. Every scale degree of the minor scale is present in example 4. I would say its an Eminor13b6.
    I think it should be called Em11b13. Because 13b6 would mean it has both major and minor 6th (13=6).
    Yea I thought I was still off. Funny how we got negged though.
    I was told it was a sus2, but thanks for pointing that out. I must research!
    Actually it's not even an arpeggio. So Em11b13 arpeggio wouldn't be correct either. There's an Esus2 arpeggio in that exercise, though. The first four tapped notes form an Esus2 arpeggio.
    I think this is my personal pet peeve guitar technique. I don't know why but I just find it ridiculous. Too much gain, too much flashiness, too many fingers, too many notes, too much everything. Ive never been a huge tapping fan though and I understand some people love it. That being said, this lesson sounds like it was written by a 12 year old.
    If you are ever eight finger tapping you need to reevaluate your guitar playing. Thank you
    Buddy what are you talking about ? It's only 2 digits down from a 2 handed grope of the pope , you need to reevaluate if you can only 'handle' a 5 finger shuffle .
    Everybody and their mom can do this if you are a good guitar player. It takes more guts and talent to find a different way to play it. I love you still though baby don't worry
    "This exercise sounds really good when played up to speed, so get working on it. Or you could just play it while recording then speed it up a bit to hear it played fast." Wat. Yeah don't bother really learning it when you can just speed it up digitally to make yourself sound good!
    tht is most certainly not what I meant at all. I mean you can speed it up to hear played fast because it sounds good. I never said cheat or dont worry about getting it down and learning it. Because you should.
    "to hear it played fast" is a pretty important phrase, the point is to understand what it sounds like. It's not like he said "record everything on your album slow and then speed it up to save effort".
    congrats. another lesson to make people sound more like a nintendo gameboy.
    I just love the baloney the younger generation comes up with to mask the fact that they have taken the art of guitar playing and regressed it back 40 years. Face facts young guys you cant do it. you are lazy and you don't want to do it. Go play your 2 note power chords and pretend some more.....
    You do realize that finger tapping has been around atleast since the 70s? So how is finger tapping the future? Your guitar style is what YOU make it, not what someone else tells you it should be. Unclebluck I would love to see a video of your 'advanced' guitar playing
    Shite all wrong with 2 note power chords , it's what I taught my kids instead of twatting about with all this wank , nobody touches gameboys anymore ;
    all i have to say is that im not sure when to use which hand
    When it has the letters under the tab thts when u use your picking hand. I probably shouldve specified that in the lesson.
    I've discovered a wet sponge squashed under the toilet seat is better than left or right hands !!
    On the pick thing... Chris Broderick was supposedly making a pick that stays on your thumb.. but not like the old standard thumb pick. Saw it on one of his youtube videos I think? Cool stuff... just another trick to keep in your pocket for the right application!
    Hey , this is cool , not my thing , far too advanced for me . Starting to think I should start browsing !!