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.
    numbfig09
    .....check out this dude named william dotto....he does 8 finger tapping...like all 8 fingers and it sounds amazing, and its not what you'd expect, he plays like multiguitar lines its really cool
    tappinghippie
    would i get jumped if i ventured to say that sometimes, less is more? while impressive, it just seems to lose something when you play as fast as you can.
    theataris_dan
    in the above comment the t's which are above the frets are supposed to be above the middle notes of the little trills
    theataris_dan
    can someone please explain to me, the t on the tab is above the lower notes so does that mean cross over your hands and tap. eg. T T T T B/--12p7p5 -10p7p5-9p7p5-10p7p5--/ i didn't understand that so i just held the 7 and 5 and tapped the 12th fret for the first bit, is that right or can someone please explain to me in an easier way how to do it because it would be greatly appreciated you can email me at theataris_dan@hotmail.com THANK YOU
    rhcpgtrfaggot
    ill agree, buckethead is great man and it sucks that not a lot of people recognize them. although i could be wrong about that. there is no best in my opinion, whatever techniques that are left out of one guitarists style, you can go right to the next and theyll probably cover it. vai even said in an article when asked "have you completely mastered the instrument" he said no. i hate it in malmsteens videos "heres a little thing you can play in an type of song or whatever" then plays something that you cant even take in inside of the 5 seconds that he plays it. maybe if they put the camera at an angle of the fretboard where you would normally look at it from that would make things easier.
    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-
    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
    TySkby
    PS- A lot of the old fingertapping stuff is just single notes; I think it sounds a lot better when there are chords involved....not to mention a lot harder (no i can't do it myself). I like the sound of one chord tapped to another chord.
    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
    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
    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
    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
    TySkby
    The chicago scene and post-metal mathrock has a lot of fingertapping to it. Check out Don Caballero or Dakota/Dakota or When All the World Sleeps or Maps and Atlases. Or better yet, Piglet. All of those guitarists are masters of fingertapping and can produce some unbelievable stuff. It sounds a lot different than the Van Halen, Vai, and metal stuff that you normally hear- very fresh. If anyone hasn't heard any of these bands, I strongly recommend that you do. Amazing! Some good samples: http://worldsleeps.com/music.htm
    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.
    Underthrone
    good article...hey guys who want to argue about guitar players: create a forum allready...
    bc200bc
    just out of interest, doesn't the T need to be above the tapped note T 12p5 just wondering =)
    Ironmaiden18
    ShredZeppelin74 wrote: farcry wrote: eddie invented it while sitting with his guitar on the crapper. actually eddie has been quoted saying he got his playing style from page's solo in the song heartbreaker
    emmet chapman invented chapman in 1969 look it up his live performance of stick master he is amazing.
    JAM SAXON
    im glad to have finally learnt how to do this.... i never play metal, but that isnt the only way to use this technique. sounds funny with blues though...
    xXxblack_ninja
    shmeegle wrote: 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
    because you actually do use 8 fingers for 8 finger tapping. it's crazy difficult. Check out protest the hero, they use that alot
    zorbozate
    i thank you very much, i,ve been tapping for about 3mths it,s great to always see the pos. that i can tapp in thanks to people like you, that take the time to teach people like me three cheers and a bravo
    ShredZeppelin74
    farcry wrote: eddie invented it while sitting with his guitar on the crapper.
    actually eddie has been quoted saying he got his playing style from page's solo in the song heartbreaker
    superstrat man
    i love tapping. my alternate picking/shred skills suck but it helps to be able to play fast easy. any one wants to help my speed picking e-mail me kingjordanthe1st@hotmail.com
    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.
    eruptiondude
    first of all you idiots who bash about evh obviously dont know shit about guitar and rock history... Eruption doesnt seem THAT impressive anymore true, However for those of you who have lived long enough to be able to buy beer legally should probably know that EVH actually revolutionized guitar playing...before him there was nothing like it so you should give him some f***** credit for that. just look at all metal/rock bands who copied his style or atleast got inspiration from it. Just think about, where the hell did he look for inspiration when coming up with eruption?He also came up with alot new tricks to guitar world that alot of guitar players use today. I play alot of things harder that what EVH used to do, but I have alot guitar players to look up to. They didnt have speed kills in 1978 did they? Geeze young punks learn a difficult lick and they think that makes them better than someone else...And also why would you compare the Godfather of shredding to someone who came 10 years later...I mean technology is better now than it was 10 years ago. Guitar players are techically on average better now than they were 10 years ago..So why really say one is better than the other become he is more modern or have had longer time to copy of others... I can tap better than malmsteen does that make me better than malmsteen? NO IT DOESNT! In my opinion EVH is a true guitar Legend who created gate ways to later Shred masters as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Michael Angelo Batio etc...
    guitar999111
    reaperofyourmom : van halen brought out tapping he didnt invent it. big diffrence
    defanitly true he did not invent it
    Mythman99
    Friedman can't shred for shit. If you don't believe me, then watch any live or in-studio video of him. His picking hand looks like a young girl just starting out. SERIOUSLY. But he is a great legato player.
    denizenz
    Nyogtha wrote: 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.
    Kiko is in the band Angra and he is a great guitarist. Also some guitarists worth mention: Jason Becker John Petrucci (Of Dream Theater) Herman Li (Of DragonForce) Anyone who thinks EVH is Teh B3st gu1tarist 3VER!!! needs to hop on Google-Video and watch the "Guitars SUCK" videos.
    14GreenDay
    just copy the lesson and paste it to Microsoft Word and print it then. That seems a little esier than memorizing.
    fenderlover
    ^.. gosh..... i mean where you strum A 2nd fret and B and G open at the same time.( how do you skip D)
    #Safety_Dance#
    he didnt invnent right hand tapping it has been about way before him its just anyone who tried it was laughed at by all the experts of technique at the time
    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