Two Hands Tapping

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: guitar techniques

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Most of you are probably quite familiar with the cliched tapping licks like fast trills, three and four note patterns, etc. Here I will show you some unconventional but very cool uses for this great technique: First, the notes in brackets are notes to be fretted by the right (or picking) hand. The conventional 'T' notation for tapping would make many of these examples very difficult to read and understand. This example uses the 'reaching over' technique which I think was pioneered by Eddie Van Halen. Here, the right hand holds down a fretted note while the left hand plays legato lines on the same string:
Fig 1:

e|-15p13p12p(3)h12h13h15p13p12p(3)/(12)h15~
B|-----------------------------------------
G|-----------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------
Another technique involves using multiple right hand fingers to tap on the string. This is used by a few guitarists including Steve Vai, but Jenifer Batten is most famous for it (and is very good at it! )
Fig2:

e|-----------------------------------------
B|-0h12h15h(17)h(19)p(17)p15p12p0----------
G|-----------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------
This can be taken further to play piano-like arpeggios as in Joe Satriani's 'Midnight'. Here is an excerpt from that song
Fig3:
repeat 3X
e|-----------------------------------------
B|-------(12)-----------------------------
G|-----------------------------------------
D|-------------(12)------------------------
A|----9------------------------------------
E|-7---------------------------------------
                                repeat 3X
e|-----------------------------------------
B|---------(14)----------------------------
G|-----------------------------------------
D|-----11--------(14)----------------------
A|-10--------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------
There are many other approaches with tapping that can be used. Fortunately, tapping is an area of guitar technique that is far from exhausted, so feel free to be innovative.
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