Tapping ll

Basic right hand tapping is not as difficult as you might think. Some of the more advanced techniques are quite demanding.

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Ultimate Guitar
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Alright. Before we start lets get one thing clear. Basic right hand tapping is not as difficult as you might think. I know it sounds intimidating but really there is nothin to it. However, some of the more advanced techniques are quite Demanding. What is tapping? First off, I spose I should mention that the letter T above he tab means you tap that note. Fret Tapping (also called tapping, right hand tapping) is an extension ofyour standard hammer on/ pull off technique. You should be able to do both these before you start. To execute the tap, you have to strike the string with one of your right hand fingers. (the middle finger is the most conveniant as it allows you to keep hold of your pick. You have to strike the string in a downward action. The striking of the string sounds the note while the downward movement makes for the pull off. Just like a left handed pull off ( I hope I explained that good). Basic Tapping. Tapping in its most basic form, involves two notes. the tap, and the note that is simply fretted. It is a different type of trill(a trill is a variation of hammer on and pull off, played rapidly,.. or whatever).
       T
B/--12p5--/
Obviously, with the 5th fret fretted, you wouldn't be able to fret the 12th with any finger of your fretting hand. Thats where the picking hand comes in. Try this little excersise:
       T    T   T    T    T    T   T    T
B/--12p5-10p5-9p5-10p5-12p7-10p7-9p7-10p7-/
This should get you used to moving both your tapping finger and your fretting finger along the fretboard while tapping. Basic tapping 2. This is like the last excesise only with a third finger added into the equation. This Tapping excersise demands timing. If you tap or pull off at the wrong time it'll probably sound wrong. When you sound the pull off from the tapped note is when you should pull off the fretting finger. The timing on each note should be around the same:
       T      T     T      T
B/--12p7p5-10p7p5-9p7p5-10p7p5--/
Again, moving the tapping finger along the fretboard can be very helpful when writing a big tapping solo. Another tapping technique, which is quite similar to the one above is tapping to an open string then hammering on a note:
       T      T      T      T
B/--12p0h5-12p0h7-12p0h8-12p0h7--/
Basic tapping 3. Same as the last excersise only a fourth finger is added. This excersise makes you sound like your playing real fast.
       T        T
B/--12p8p7p5-12p8p7p5--/
Advanced Tapping. Heres where things get. To make tapping sound more fluent and smooth, it helps to get a pattern going where you're not just descending notes. This excersise involves ascending, then descending.
      T            T
B/--5h7h8h12p8p7p5h7h8h12p8p7p5--/
For this excersise, the first note has to be picked. this is where tapping with your middle finger comes in handy. It allows for quick switching between picking and tapping. Your hammer ons and pull offs have to be smooth for this excersise to sound right. Advanced Tapping 2. This excersise isn't all that advanced really so I'm not quite sure why its here but... This involves tapping a note twice before pulling off.
          T T         T T
B/--12-12p8p7p5-12-12p8p7p5--/
Pretty easy really. Advanced Tapping 3. Scales can also be tapped out. For example this is a minor pentatonic scale
       T         T        T         T         T        T
E/--12p8p5-------------------------------------------------/
B/------------12p8p5---------------------------------------/
G/---------------------12p7p5------------------------------/
D/-------------------------------12p7p5--------------------/
A/-----------------------------------------12p7p5----------/
E/--------------------------------------------------12p8p5-/
This also demonstrates how tapping can be done on any string. Advanced Tapping 4. Heres where it gets crazy. If your a total tech head like myself, who wants to be able to play anything, as fast is humanly(or inhumanly) possible. Heres where its at. 8 finger Tapping. The God himself (thats Steve Vai in case you were wondering) uses this alot. This is where all the fingers of your picking hand are used to tap out notes. Usually they are each assigned to a different string. This is a tapping part to one of steves songs (its not perfect though, I figured it out myself, still a small bit rough).
"Down Deep Into The Pain:"
               T                 T
E/-----------------------------------
B/--7h9h10h15p10p9p7-----------------
G/----------------------------14p9p8-
                 T              T
E/----------------------------------
B/--7h9h10h15p10p9p7----------------
G/---------------------------14p9p8-
                 T                         T
E/----------------------------7h9h10h17p10p9p7-
B/--7h9h10h15p10p9p7---------------------------
G/---------------------------------------------
       T                 T                       T  T         
E/-------------------------------------------------------
B/--15p10p9p7h9h10h15p10p9p7-----------------------------
G/-----------------------------------------14-14p9p8h9p8-
What I do for this is tap the G and B strings with my middle finger, and the E string with my ring finger. If ya wanna see some of this evil tapping, check out Vai's Alien lov secrets DvD. (Bad horsie has the coolest tapping solo ever). Well, I guess that just about wraps it up. Dont worry if ya dont get it first go, just keep practising. Thats all it is. What helps is to do these excersises slowly first, then build up speed as you get better. Well, best of luck. I hope it brings you many happy hours of relentless shredding.

94 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    farcry
    eddie invented it while sitting with his guitar on the crapper.
    stratguy08
    EVH is a good guitar player, but didn't invent tapping as Klayy said, Klayy: tapping was invented w/ the classical guitar. the technique was made long ago but evh made it popular. SRV 4ever!!!!
    theartificer
    One more thing (I'm know I'm gonna' be flamed for my long-windedness... ^_^), Yngwie Malmsteen has plenty of room to be cocky. Few people could be as good as he is after going through what he's gone through. Look up some info on the accident he endured and you'll find out just how much it took for him to completely relearn how to play. He actually seems quite humble from the video I've seen of him. Good and he knows it, I guess. :
    theartificer
    On Satriani teaching Vai: Actually, Vai came to Satriani to learn when they were kids, but Vai picked up on everything so fast that, soon, they were at the same level and began to learn mutually from then on. I could cite some interviews, but everyone here seems to enjoy hearsay so much--why not just let everyone wonder? On the technical ability of both Vai and Satriani: Both are incredible guitarists, in their own right. However, I have only seen the word "virtuoso" applied to Mr. Vai--I'm not implying that he's better, but that's what I've seen. In any case, each of them has developed unique playing styles and techniques to compliment those styles, over the years. I believe that, if either one of them wanted to learn one of the other's techniques, he would surely have little difficulty. They're both incredible. On who is the "best" guitarist of all time: Why on Earth does everyone try to answer this? No one, and I mean NO ONE, is qualified to even answer this question, let alone be the "best." However, if you want to know who the fastest guitarist is (that is, in terms of greatest number of audible and articulate notes played in a given period of time), then my vote goes to Buckethead. He's unbelievable. Check out the first 10 or so seconds of the song "Jowls" from his album Monsters and Robots. It's quite the jaw dropper. Oftentimes, sounds more like some stupid crazy electro-synth stuff... then you see him live. Besides, he's a freakin' mutant. Look at his hand and you'll begin to wonder how he can get it to stretch nearly the entire breadth of his Jackson flying-V from the beginning of his wrist to the tips of his fingers. Awesome. Cheers: to the music!
    jeffo
    did you see the instruction tape of malmsteen? thats not trying to teach something! he's just being an ***hole!!!.. ooooh look how good i am... wel eat **** malmsteen!!! check out friedman by the way!!!
    shmeegle
    it means pull off to that note. the t is sposed to be above the 12 but for some reason it didnt turn out that way
    shmeegle
    i dunno why they call it eight finger tapping, you only really ever use two of your right hand fingers, (left for all you lefties) to tap notes. max three. Two hand tapping might sound better, no... maybe not
    super666fender
    8 finger tapping?, you can still use four finger, you just have to move your hands like a demon , (thats what i do )
    metal_man12
    Cool article, although the T's were confusing at times. Van halen is an awsome taper, i'll give him that, some of his "improve solos at concerts kick ass. Yngwie malmsteem plays fast, and very cleanly. I havent heard anyone play as well as he.
    playsguitaralot
    Ace Frehley was tapping long before Van Halen's Eruption. Ace said so himself in the January 2005 Guitar World issue.
    shmeegle
    Eruption is pretty easy. I could play it after a year. it has some great licks, like the really fast Pentatonic kina thing and the tapping lick sounds good. Its easy but it sounds good.
    me_myself_and_i
    for you technique freaks out their check out richard giletwitz, im not sre if i spelled it right, but that guy is fast, and acurrate
    GibsonSG1
    i have the new steve vai cd!!!.. no one in there right mind can say Satriani or vai is better than they other.
    shmeegle
    You are a true legend man. that came from the heart. i recently bught a malmsteen cd actually. he is damn good. who does buckethead play with?
    Pitch_axis
    Also, for Yngwie, overcoming that car crash doesn't give him the right to be cocky. He hasn't made an effort to expand since the beggining, he can shred one scale and pull the same old tricks out of his ass. Buckethead also produces an immense number of solo albums. They are some of his best work, if you get the right ones, some are complete crap. Also, if you really get into Buckethead, some of Alan Holdsworth's stuff is similar. Tapping is not a wanking trick, it deffinatly expands the guitar in a way that would be unachievable without it. Go to Jinmo.com and look at the St.Mika video. Or check out Trey Gunn
    Epiphone_G_EX
    VAN HALEN DID CREATE TAPPING. No such lead was vague when he wasn't around. Only the average fast moving fingas
    jeremyrozario
    u might want to change the "h" for tapping to "t", its clearer dat way, anw thanx for the decent article
    Gvo369
    If everything got jumbled up, where is the T supposed to go? "Down Deep Into The Pain:" T T E/----- B/--7h9h10h15p10p9p7----- G/-----14p9p8-
    diegordzs
    You should include example from the song One from Metallica, it has a great tapping riff.
    fuzzy slippers
    all this talk on fast playing you think someone would have said something about shawn lane? check him out im not saying hes better than any of the above mentioned but he is extremely good check him out
    SGmetalhaven67
    Dude whatcha guys smokin! First off we all forgot Dream Theatre's own John Petrucci. and Secondly, Eruption ain't all that. Sure its got some pretty sweet riffs. U wanna see somethin really impressive? check out Speed Metal Symphony by Cacophony. There isnt a wide cariety of techniques used, but it kicks Eruption's Ass. FRIEDMAN RULES!!!!!
    Pitch_axis
    Just Figured I'd also say this at the top of the shred forum under bands&artists there is a carefully compiled list of the fastest guitarists
    Pitch_axis
    The first tap guitar, created SPECIFICALLY for tapping (also known as stick guitar) was invented in 1969. Van halen didn't invent tapping
    theartificer
    Buckethead used to have a band called Praxis, I believe. Outside of that, he occasionally plays with Primus and has played with Guns and Roses, in the past.
    milk_it_good
    It's definitely a wanking trick. I only like as a party trick, impressing chicks and MAYBE adding some crazy technical spice to a blazing solo top get da crowd amped.
    RelientK0289
    #Safety_Dance#: oh and eruption sucked only the wanna-b fans of van halen all say its amazin cuz its the only VH song they know --- i agree with this guy... its definately overrated, theres no rythym to it, its kinda random
    14GreenDay
    just copy the lesson and paste it to Microsoft Word and print it then. That seems a little esier than memorizing.
    southern_stylin
    It'd be nice if we could print the lessons so I could practice them at home, not just read em at work and try to memerize everything. *hint hint UG mods.
    fenderlover
    ^.. gosh..... i mean where you strum A 2nd fret and B and G open at the same time.( how do you skip D)
    fenderlover
    e---.. b-0---1-2---.. g-0---1-2---.. ..d---.. a-2---0-0---.. e---.. How do you do that?(email me stefanlowe@msn.com) thanks
    me_myself_and_i
    vai is dandy and all, but hes not some super amazing out of this world player, he has great technique, but he cant touch satriani or malsteem, personally i dont go for his musical style, hes good, but he definantly isnt the best
    shmeegle
    Satch is pretty damn good too but i just think vai is amazing. I'm a total technique freak. He does go a bit crazy sometimes tho...
    The Jin
    eruption is like just inspirational stuff, its not THAT hard to play really... i mean if i can play it its not hard...
    Nyogtha
    If any of you know of an obscure guitarist named Kiko Loureiro, he does 8 finger tapping like no tomorrow, by far one of the best guitarists to use this technique. Ive seen videos of him playing classic music with 8 finger tapping.