Tapping Arpeggios And Other Advanced Tapping Techniques

My introduction to Tapping Arpeggios, from single string ideas to string skipping, multi ocvtave arpeggios using multiple fingers on the fretting hand. These are techniques I commonly use in my solos.

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Tapping arpeggios are a very useful technique. They allow you to cover lots of space on the fret board, and create a sound very similar to sweeping, but you can play over many more octaves than you can with just a simple sweep. Also it looks much flashier. The first thing you must learn is to mute the strings you are not playing. This is possibly the hardest part of the whole thing (it certainly gave me the most trouble) and there isn't a good way to teach it. I use the meaty part of my palm on my picking hand to mute the lower strings, and the fingers on my fretting hand to mute the higher strings. Keep your hands close to the strings. If you aren't going to be bothered to learn to do this part, then tie a sock around the neck near the first fret to dampen the strings. Just some tips to help you understand this lesson: these are obviously tabs, so you will see the fret number on the strings they are on. I only showed the strings that were used and the ones in between, to save time, so be sure to check which string they are on. Beneath the tabs are the instructions for how to play them, e.g. - tap, hammer on, pull off and whatnot (h = hammer on; p = pull of, t = tap; ^ = pick). Hammers and pulls are to be done normally with you fretting hand. Taps are to be done with the picking hand. Most of these arpeggios start with a hammer on from nothing (optionally, you could pick the first note). Multiple taps in a row means you will have to use multiple fingers on your picking hand. The most complicated arpeggios in this lesson require three fingers on the picking hand. Now For Some Actual Arpeggios. First we have a single string arpeggio. Most people who would be looking at this lesson are probably fully capable of this kind of thing, but I thought it best to start at the very beginning. Try these (C major).
e5-----8----12----8---5---
  h     h    t     p   p
Very simple. To take it one (small) step further, try this
e-05812850
   ^ h h t  p p p
And a variation on this theme
e058128505813850
  ^ h h t  p p p h h t  p p p
You can also play a similar shape higher up (still C Major)
e121519151215201512
  h  h   t p  p  h  t  p  p
If you are incapable of these simple exercises, you should probably look for a basic tapping lesson first, and then return here. I will not teach the basics of tapping here. String Skipping The next big step on your way to greatness: the string skip. To start, try playing this (G Major)
e-----------1215191512----------
B121519------------------191512-
  h  h   t  h  h  t   p p   t  p  p 
Not really string skipping (or an arpeggio for that matter) but it will give you practice jumping between strings, and it sounds good. Remember to mute the unwanted strings to prevent noise. The basic tapping techniques are still being used here, but you are just jumping between strings. Start slow and work your way up to speed. A good speed to reach would be sixteenth not triplets at 120 bpm. Once you get used to that, try this one (F Major)
e------------------12--15--20--15--12------------------
b------------------------------------------------------
g--12--15--19----------------------------19-15-12------
   h   h    t      h    h   t   p   p    t  p   p
And nowONWARD! The next step is to use another string. So now we will be using three strings. Try it (D minor)
e-------------------6-9-12-9-6------------------
b-----------------------------------------------
g----------6-9-12---------------12-9-6----------
d-----------------------------------------------
a-5-8-12---------------------------------12-8-5-
  h h  t   h h  t   h h  t p p   t p p    t p p
This may take some practice. But if you can handle the two stringers above then these shouldn't give you too much trouble. Just remember to properly mute the strings. And alsoSTART SLOW AND WORK UP TO SPEED. This is very important. You will be very sloppy if you can even it at all if you don't start slow. Here's another (C major/ A minor)
e---------------------------10-13-17-13-10-------------------------
b------------------------------------------------------------------
g------------------------------------------------------------------
d--------------12-15-19-----------------------19-15-12-------------
a------------------------------------------------------------------
E-10-13-17------------------------------------------------17-13-10
  H   h  t     h   h  t      h  h  t  p  p     t p   p    t   p  p
That is one of my personal favorites. I just like the way it sounds. Also try this one (C major)
e------------------12--15--19--15--12-----------------
b-----------------------------------------------------
g-----------------------------------------------------
d-----------------------------------------------------
a------------19----------------------------19---------
E--12--15-------------------------------------15--12--
   H    h    t      h   h   t   p   p      t  h    p
That one is a bit odd, and it may seem like some notes are missing from the middle (there are in fact), but if you can play it fast enough it fools the ear into hearing more notes than are actually there and sounds like a big, fast sweep. The next step will be to get another tapping finger in on the action. This will definitely take some getting used to. So we'll start back at the beginning, with one string ideas. First off (C major)
e-5-8-12-13-12-8-5-
  h h t  t  t  h h
and
e-12-15-19-20-19-15-12
  h  h  t   t  p  p  p
These will get you tapping with two fingers. It's just like hammering and pulling but with your picking hand. The very first pull off is actually a pull of with the tapping hand. Flick the second finger downward away from the neck while keeping the first finger firmly planted at the 19th fret, then continue to pull off as usual to finish out the pattern. Then try this one (G major)
e------------19----------
b--12-15-19-----19-15-12-
   h  h  t   t  t  p  p
After you tap the 19 on the b string, use the next finger on the pick hand to tap 19 on the next string up. lift up the first tapping finger so you don't play a chord as you tap the next note, then lift that finger as you tap again with the first one. It's like a rolling motion. You sort of roll smoothly from one finger to the next, and back. Try this (C major/ A minor)
e-----------------8--12-17-12-8------------------
b------------------------------------------------
g-------------14-------------------14------------
d--7-10-14---------------------------14-10-7-----
   h  h t     t   h   h  t  p p    t  t p  p
Here's another (F major)
b-----------------11-15-20-15-11-----------------
g------------------------------------------------
d-------------17--------------------17-----------
a--10-13-17----------------------------17-13-10--
   h  h  t    t   h  h   t  p  p    t   t p   p
These combine string skipping and tapping with multiple pick-hand fingers. Just tap the two notes, jump up to the next string (while carefully muting the previous strings) tap that normally, and then come back down, tapping the two notes and pulling off as usual. Now if you can do those last two and the three string arpeggios farther up, you pretty much have the technique down. But just for the hell of it, I have three more for you. If you can pull these off, consider yourself awesome. (C Major)
e---------------------------------17---------------------------
b-----------------------------17-----17------------------------
g-----------------12-14-17-------------17-14-12----------------
d--------------------------------------------------------------
a-------------19---------------------------------19------------
E-12-15-19-------------------------------------------19-15-12--
  H  h  t     t   h  h   t     t   t  t t  p  p  t    t p   p
(C major)
e---------------------------------19---------------------------
b-----------------------------17-----17------------------------
g-----------------12-14-17-------------17-14-12----------------
d--------------------------------------------------------------
a-------------19--------------------------------19-------------
E-12-15-19-------------------------------------------19-15-12--
  H  h  t     t   h   h  t     t   t  t t  p  p  t   t   p  p
These two are very similar. And now forTHE BIG ONE. It covers four octaves. I actually cannot play this one (because I have only 21 frets on my guitar and my right pinky doesn't bend properly) but I thought it would be fun to put in anyway, to see if any of you can handle it. (E Minor)
e----------------------------------------------19-24-19----------------
b-------------------------------------------20---------20--------------
g-----------------------------16-9-12-16-21---------------21-16--------
d---------------------9-14-17------------------------------------------
a-------------14-7-10--------------------------------------------------
E-0-3-7-12-15----------------------------------------------------------
  ^ h h t  t  t  p  h h  t  t  t p  h  t t   t  t  t  t t  t  t
e-------------------------------------------------
b-------------------------------------------------
g-12-9-16-----------------------------------------
d-----------17-14-9-------------------------------
a---------------------10-7-14---------------------
E-------------------------------15-12-7-3-0-------
  P  p  t   t  p  p   h  p  t    t p  p p  p
Finally, I will provide a few more arpegios and other over-the-top tapping techniques for your enjoyment. (A minor)
b-----------------4-7-12-7-4------------------
g------------------------------------------------
d-------------14---------------14---------------
a--7-11-14-------------------------14-11-7-----
   h h   t     t  h h t  p  p  t   t  p  p
(A major)
b-----------14--17--21--17--14---------------
g---------------------------------------------
d--12--16--------------------------16-12------
   h   h    h   h   t   p   p      h   p
hat one has only 2 notes on the low string. So you can play it faster. (G minor / A# minor)
e-------------------------11-14-17-14-11------------------------
b---------------------------------------------------------------------
g-------------11-14-17---------------------17-14-11---------------
d---------------------------------------------------------------------
a-10-13-17---------------------------------------------17-13-10---
  h   h  t    h  h  t     h  h  t   p  p    t  p  p     t  p  p
(C major)
e-----------------12-15-19-15-12------------------
b-----------------------------------------------------
g------------------------------------------------------
d-------------19---------------------19-------------
a---------19-----------------------------19---------
E-12-15------------------------------------15-12--
  h   h   t   t    h  h  t  p  p      t  t  h  p
(G major)
e------------------12-15-19-15-12---------------------
b--------------19---------------------19----------------
g--12-15-19-----------------------------19-15-12-----
   h   h  t     t   h  h  t  p p      t  t  p  p
Try dampening the strings near the nut with your picking hand, and tapping out these arpeggios with your fret hand, with the same hand motion as a sweep (but without picking of course) (G major)
e--19-15-------------15-17-14---------------14-15-12-------------12-15--
b----------17-----17-------------15-----15-------------13-----13----------
g--------------16-------------------14---------------------12--------------
If you want to see an awesome guitarist who does this kind of thing, Youtube "Andy James Crazy Tapping". All credit for this pretty much goes to me. Except for THE BIG ONE, which I took from a lesson by a guy named Roo online, most of these arpeggios were created by me. Special thanks to my bands' drummer, for making sure this lesson actually works.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    libertines4ever
    any comments on why it is so bad??? after it was voted 1 by two users it's not my lesson but some feedback would be nice I think
    beelzybub
    Heminator89 wrote: I like this lesson. I really learned from it. Yes the last bit was very tough. But still very insightful. Though I had a question. If I'm playing say a C7 chord can I play some other arpeggio other than C7? I heard that an E7 arpeggio would also do the trick?
    E7 does not work over C7, however Emin7 is also a CMaj9 (the root is unnecessary so you can remove it) and it works over that particular chord.
    pitobodies wrote: A Minor is the relative minor of C Major. perhaps i should have noted that the first one is in fact in Both C major and A minor.
    You can't have something in both minor and Major, In that particular case it would be in D minor, because of its starting point and chord tone outlines. It outlines a D minor triad (root, third and fifth - D,F,A) which is in the key of D minor, a lot of these are incorrectly labeled. Just because those notes are in that particular key doesn't mean it is right, examine your chord tones that you are outlining these and make sure the extensions are correct. But in terms of practicality these look like some cool exercises. Thanks for sharing.
    Lucadog12
    Hey Dude nice lesson, Oh and btw the E Minor tapping solo, I can play it. It's not too hard even with a 24 fret gat.
    Ryte
    I'm going to say that this is an excellent attempt by one person(or more) trying to help others. That being said, these are exercises. These exist to learn the technique, not to give a music theory lesson or give someone a lick that they can throw into a solo. It is the duty of everyone learning this technique to apply it to the arpeggios and licks that they already know. Having the keys mis-labled isn't really that big of a deal.
    slayerfrk
    its pretty obvious this guy has almost know musical knowledge under his belt
    rsheridan
    Looks interesting,my tapping repetoire is lacking so should get a few new ideas from this. Nice one dud
    pitobodies
    @ beelzybub: Like i said, my music theory knowledge is somewhat limited. I did my best to say what key they were in to help people with incorporating them in solos. That said, all (or at least most, i may have made a few mistakes) of these are in the keys suggsted. I didn't say the chord its based around, i said the key its in. That was the best i could do at the time cause my knowledge of chord structure was limited. Anyway, thanks for clarifying the chords outlined. And its good to know you like the concept of the exercises, if not the theory behind them. lol.
    COBShredder
    shit that one E minor arpeggio is pretty ****in hard, i aint got 24 frets either but even if i had them i wouldnt be able to play that thing hahahaha cool lesson man
    beelzybub
    The next step is to use another string. So now we will be using three strings. Try it (D minor) e-----6-9-12-9-6----- b----- g-----6-9-12-----12 -9-6----- d----- a-5-8-12-----12-8-5- h h t h h t h h t p p t p p t p p
    I`m sorry, this one bothers me. It`s in the key of D harmonic minor (raised seventh) and it out lines a DminMaj7 chord with extensions up to the 13. I am not sure if that would correctly be labeled DminMaj13 though...
    rememberthename
    im not voting couse i just skimmed it but it doesnt look like a 1 out of ten lesson to me, neither a ten but its not that bad come on!
    pitobodies
    Absolutely there are other arpeggios you can play. I don't know about E7 specifically but assuming all the notes are in the same key, it wouldn't sound bad, just maybe not as good as it could. Better yet, if most of the same notes are in the chords, it will sound better. In terms of music theory, these arpeggios are very simple. Its mostly in thirds or fourths, or like a 1-3-5 type things. I'm not totally solid with all music theory, especially chord structure.
    Heminator89
    I like this lesson. I really learned from it. Yes the last bit was very tough. But still very insightful. Though I had a question. If I'm playing say a C7 chord can I play some other arpeggio other than C7? I heard that an E7 arpeggio would also do the trick?
    pitobodies
    A Minor is the relative minor of C Major. perhaps i should have noted that the first one is in fact in Both C major and A minor.
    splitopenandjam
    Its possible that it was rated so low because most of the chords outlined aren't what it says they are. I.e. the first is Am not C
    pitobodies
    there is a little triple finger tapping thing in there, but i'm not very good at it. i put it in there cause i had it. 2 fingers is the most i can do fluidly.
    Punkbeezy
    I think its a great lesson practicly any lead guitarist who does any kind of soloing should know how to tapp. you should look into triple finger tapping
    guilty
    Come on! It is very useful, don't drop it because you know the thing.. It is a good lesson.
    pitobodies
    As the creator of this lesson, I totally agree with the first guy. Why is it rated like that?
    mity88
    Not insanely useful, but some good ideas. Overall, its a good lesson.
    chopshop777
    I think it's a pretty cool lesson, doesn't matter how much you know, it's always refreshing to see something done from someone else's point of view cause they might do things a bit different than you and that in itself is an eye opener.