Tapping Scales And Arpeggios

A listen on advanced string skipped tapped and how to construct and tap arpeggios and scales.

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Ultimate Guitar
26
In this lesson we will cover: 01. Tapping on all strings and uting unwanted fret noise 02. Playing and constructing arpeggios 03. Tapping scales 04. Using these techinques to make a lick Hopefully after this you should have good knowledge of tapping scales and arpeggios, how to make them and use them musically.

Tapping On All Strings And Uting Unwanted Fret Noise

Ok we all know to to tap, on pretty much any string, it can be a fairly simple process, but if your tapping on say the A string and then quickly skip to a tapping lick on the B string and back and forth, this can produce unwanted string noise and/or make the notes not sound clearly. Lets take this lick first: #tapped notes are in brackets()
E|-----------------------7h(12)p10p7------------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|-------------7h(12)p9p7-------------7h(12)p9p7------------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--7h(14)p10p7---------------------------------7h(14)p10p7-------
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
In this lick, instead of normal tapping where you fret the notes then tap and pull off the rest, we are going to hold the first note, so for this lick the 7th fret which we are going to hammer-on from nowhere, to do this simply press down the fret quickly and then tap the bracketed 14th fret, then hammer-on the next note, the 10th fret and pull off to the 7 again, so like this: Hold 7th, tap 14th, hammer-on 10 from the 7 and then pull off back to 9th fret. It sounds confusing but this is the style were going to use as holding down all the frets and pulling them all off will be quite hard to do quickly and efficeintly. If you try and play this lick you mite notice a few things: 1. The notes aren't all sounded clearly 2. A lot of fret buzz and unwanted noise 3. The notes on the lower strings don't sound clearly To solve this follow these steps: 1. Make sure each tap is emphasised, especailly on the A string, tap quickly and strongly and make sure you pull off when you tap with your finger. 2. There are 2 main ways to mute the strings, these are the KEY techniques to playing these arpeggios correctly: Fretting Hand Technique: This is usefull in all aspects of playing but especailly in tapping, you want to try to place your index finger when playing notes slightly above the fret, so the tip is just making contact with the string above. This means that the string above is now clearly muted without wou worrying about it. As for the string below, with the index finger moved up slightly try and angle your finger so the under bit of your finger is resting on the string, this now mutes the string below. Practice this and eventually you will notice that you wont get much unwanted noise from over strings. Right Hand Technique: Allthough you may think the right hand just taps and leaves the fretboard until the next tap, you might want to consider keeping your hand resting near the bridge. Why? This then allows you to mute the strings slightly, don't put too much pressure, just have your hand rite above the strings ready to mute, focus on muting when you jump to a new string. Another good technique I use it to slightly angle my hand, have it so my wrist is aiming downwards slightly when descending and aiming upwards when ascending, this then means your hand is followig your fretting hand and muting behind it was it goes, so every string you leave will be muted and the next string will be free of noise and ready for a clean tap. With all this advice you should practice a few simple licks to perfect your technique, it doesnt't really matter what you tap, for now, as long as you get your tapping clean. Having quite a bit of gain and mids on your amp will help too. Here are a few simple tapping licks to practice, these aren't any paticular shape or arpeggio, just to help you practice. It doesnt't really matter what finger you use for hammering-on, but I do advise to use your pinky more, you get more reach and it will definnitly help you on the lower strings and with certain shapes.
E|----------------------------5h(12)p8p5--------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------5h(12)p8p5----------------5h(12)p8p5--------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--5h(12)p8p5--------------------------------------5h(12)p8p5----
E|----------------------------------------------------------------

E|-------------------------------12h(19)p15p12----------------------------
B|------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|-----------------12h(19)p15p12---------------12h(19)p15p12--------------
D|------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--12h(19)p15p12-------------------------------------------12h(19)p15p12-
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-------------------------4h(11)p7p4-----------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------5h(12)p8p5------------5h(12)p8p5------------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--6h(13)p9p6-----------------------------------6h(13)p9p6-------
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
# don't forget you don't have to play the A, G and E strings, mix it up, you can tap a note twice, tapping the A string and the E string twice can really make your lick stand out

Playing And Constructing Arpeggios

Now weve got the technique down lets learn how to construct and play tapped arpeggios. Well we all now an arpeggio is just the individual notes of a chord play seperatly, so lets take a A minor chord. This is made up of notes A C and E. So all we do is find these notes on each string and play them like so: E|--5h(12)p8p5--5h(12)p8p5--5h(12)p8p5--5h(12)p8p5--5h(12)p8p5------ On the E string the notes are 5 - A 8 - C 12 - E So in basic forms this is an A minor arpeggio on the high E string. Now all we need to do is work out the notes on the other strings, like so:
E|--0--5--8--12--17--20--24---------------------------------------
B|--1--5--10--13--17--22------------------------------------------
G|--2--5--9--13--17--21-------------------------------------------
D|--2--7--10--13--19--22------------------------------------------
A|--0--3--7--12--15--19--24---------------------------------------
E|--0--5--8--12--17--20--24---------------------------------------
All these notes are A C or E, so any combination of these in a tapped lick would be a A minor arpeggio. So for example:
E|-----------------------5h(12)p8p5-------------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|-------------2h(9)p5p2------------2h(9)p5p2---------------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--3h(12)p7p3--------------------------------3h(12)p7p3----------
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
 
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------5h(13)p10p5---------------------------
G|----------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------7h(13)p10p7--------------7h(13)p10p7---------------
A|----------------------------------------------------------------
E|--5h(12)p8p5--------------------------------------5h(12)p8p5----
 
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------13h(22)p17p13----------------------------
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
D|----------------13h(22)p19p13---------------13h(22)p19p13--------------
A|--12h(19)p15p12-------------------------------------------12h(19)p15p12
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Any mixture of these would be a successful A minor arpeggio. You don't have to just use 3 note chords, you can use anything, diminished, major 7th, suss or add chords. All you have to do is know the notes of the chord and find them on the fretboard. So for example a C major 7th has the notes B C E and G. Although we can put these all on one string, it's easier to divide them up accross the strings like so:
E|--0--3--7--8--12--15--19--20--24--------------------------------
B|--0--1--5--8--12--16--17--19--20--------------------------------
G|--0--4--5--9--12--16--17--21------------------------------------
D|--2--5--8--9--14--17--20--21------------------------------------
A|--2--3--7--10--14--15--19--22-----------------------------------
E|--0--3--7--8--12--15--19--20--24--------------------------------
As long as your lick has all of the notes alltogether it will sound right. So an example lick would be:
E|-----------------------------------3h(12)p7p3-------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------4h(12)p7p4------------4h(12)p7p4--------
D|-------------2h(10)p5p2-----------------------------------------
A|----------------------------------------------------------------
E|--3h(12)p7p3----------------------------------------------------
 
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
B|-----------------------------------5h(12)p8p5-------------------
G|----------------------------------------------------------------
D|--2h(10)p5p2----------------------------------------------------
A|------------------------2h(7)p3p2-------------------------------
E|-------------3h(12)p7p3-----------------------------------------
And there you have a C major 7th tapped arpeggio!

Tapping Scales

Tapping scales is actually a lot easier than it sounds. A bit like the arpeggio, you use the notes of the scale to construct the tapping lick. Here we can see a simple A minor pentatonic tapped scale:
E|--------------------------------------------------------5h(12)p8p5--------
B|---------------------------------------------5h(13)p8p5-------------------
G|----------------------------------5h(12)p7p5------------------------------
D|-----------------------5h(12)p7p5-----------------------------------------
A|------------5h(12)p8p5----------------------------------------------------
E|--5(12)p8p5---------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see we have the simple pentatonic box shape, and the tapped notes are all part of the scale too so it fits. If we wanted to make a C major scale tapping lick, it should be easy, as we know the C major scale has the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, we simply use these in this lick, making sure all the notes consist of any combination of these, as long as your lick, no matter how long or short contains all of these notes at least once, it will make a legit scale tapping lick. So heres an example of a C major scale tapping excersise:
E|------------------------------------------------------------9h(15)p12p9---
B|------------------------------------------------9h(15)p12p9---------------
G|------------------------------------7h(14)p10p7---------------------------
D|------------------------7h(14)p10p7---------------------------------------
A|-------------5h(12)p8p5---------------------------------------------------
E|--5h(12)p8p5--------------------------------------------------------------
I could of used notes anywhere as long as the contained all the notes from the scale, you can split this up, descend and ascend and move the shapes an octave along.

Using These Techinques To Make A Lick

Now weve understood these techniques heres a brief description on how to use them musically. it's actually really simple, think of any chord progression you like, now turn it into tapped arpeggios. So we can have anything from a E, D, C progression to a Am, C, G, Em progression, it will work well. For example heres a G major 7th, C major, A minor progression:
G major 7th

E|------------------------------10h(15)p14p10------------------------------
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|----------------11h(16)p12p11---------------11h(16)p12p11----------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--10h(17)p14p10-------------------------------------------10h(17)p14p10--
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------

C major

E|-------------------------7h(12)p10p7----------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------7h(12)p9p7-------------7h(12)p9p7-----------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--7h(14)p10p7-----------------------------------7h(14)p10p7-----
E|----------------------------------------------------------------

A minor

E|------------------------5h(11)p8p5------------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------------------------
G|-------------6h(12)p9p6------------6h(12)p9p6-------------------
D|----------------------------------------------------------------
A|--5h(12)p9p5----------------------------------5h(12)p9p5--------
E|----------------------------------------------------------------
Hope this lesson helps you out.

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    guitarslayer91
    ive never been good with any of this scale stuff but why is a scale called a C major if it doesnt start on the c note? sp if you play a c major scale tapping lick, could you start on the open e string because its included in the scale formula?
    Barmine
    Good lesson, this contains a fewq good licks such as the one tapping through a C major scale.
    Matty_839
    RuiNatiioN wtf is your problem man? The guys trying to give a lesson here and you're shitting all over it. Where the **** are your lessons then? It's people like you that take the fun out of music.
    Joe310707
    I know ,well thats the internet for you ,full of kids shotuing abuse online ,oh well .As long as people liked the lesson i dont mind
    jamiels
    Sorry im a bit late on this, but ignore that idiot, this is the best lesson for warmups and tapping i've come across on the web (Y) Thank You!!! 10/10
    randull lee
    good lesson. Thanks to those who filled in all the extras in the post above me =]
    rasta_mon
    shit man! great lesson helped me alo. you kept it nice and simple, just like I like it.
    Drudgelmir
    RuiNaTiioN
    Finally you say something truthful, I'm sure being a brit doesn't help the I.Q factor either.
    That's just offensive, please try to remember that just because one person is a fool it doesn't mean we all are.
    elsocho
    Pretty solid but some parts were hard to understand due to grammar and spelling errors
    Joe310707
    Thanks for your ratings and comments ,i must apologise for the spelling errors ,i swear it didnt say "uting unwanted string noise" when i checked it lol
    TriviumFan717
    great lesson and ideas. made it pretty simple. when you say that your using "a" minor and then you say that you can alse use C major, you should mention that they are relavtive keys.
    you = fail
    yo man, youve been making some greatt lessons lately. keep it up man, your a great teacher
    RuiNaTiioN
    Joe310707 wrote: Thank you for your thoughtful comments ,they relate to this lesson ,awesome (Y)
    only retards care about your pathetic wannabe lessons
    Joe310707
    If your playing in a scale you dont always have to start on the root (C)
    Joe310707
    If your playing in a scale you dont always have to start on the root (C) ,otherwise most solos would just sound the same ,as long as you play the notes from the scale and include the root note at some point ,it will work. Most players usually emphasise the root notes in a solo ,such as theyl bend a note slowly to the root note ,or play a sequence which repeats the root note. As for your C major tapping lick,yes you can use the open E ,its part of the C major scale so your right you can use it. As you can see on my C major excerise i use the 12th fret of the high E as the tapped note ,as the E is included in the scale. So any E will work ,the 0th ,12th or 24th fret on that string will have worked for my lick because they are all E notes.
    Clabbe
    Hah ! Quite good to get this explained. I play a lot of this stuff. Its fun and easy to tap !
    guitartony567
    ok but the speed playing 1 and 2 were a lot better you should make a speed playing 3 that would help a lot all of the lesson help there are good but somtimes hard understand but they helped
    slash_2
    **Hold 7th, tap 14th, hammer-on 10 from the 7 and then pull off back to 9th fret.**... dude this dsnt make sense.. shouldn't it b pull off back to 7th fret ??.. and and r u supposed to hammer on the 10th fret or play it as a pull off from the 14th ?..
    Joe310707
    Yeah sorry it means pull off back to the 9th and with these you hammer on the 10th from now where
    mxrider139
    this is about slash_2 and joe310707 can you explain it better, I still dont get it,
    Joe310707
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments ,they relate to this lesson ,awesome (Y)
    Joe310707
    Yeah basically it means say you have this on the G string : T |--11h16p11h12--| Basically because you arent picking any notes ,you need to start by fretting the 11th fret from nowhere ,so you just tap it with your first finger fretting hand to sound the fret ,then tap the 16th fret with your tapping finger ,picking hand. The because the 11th fret is still being sounded ,after the 11th note is sounded then hammer-on the 12th with your second finger.
    Joe310707
    I dont know know why dont you read everyone elses comments first and then copy them. Or if you supposidly know all of the warm excersises of MAB you should tell.
    RuiNaTiioN
    Joe310707 wrote: I dont know know why dont you read everyone elses comments first and then copy them. Or if you supposidly know all of the warm excersises of MAB you should tell.
    Is english a second language to you?
    RuiNaTiioN
    Joe310707 wrote: Yes
    Finally you say something truthful, I'm sure being a brit doesn't help the I.Q factor either.