Month of Shred Week 1: Erupting Into Tapping

This etude is a study in E minor, and we will cover some arpeggios, chord tones and different minor scales; while simultaneously working on picking technique, tapping, sweep picking, stamina and timing.

Month of Shred Week 1: Erupting Into Tapping
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This is the first in a four part series, in which we are going to learn an etude. The etude is a study in E minor, and we will cover some arpeggios, chord tones and different minor scales; while simultaneously working on picking technique, tapping, sweep picking, stamina and timing. Each week will focus on the next part of the etude and will also have explanations of the technique, theory and practice technique involved in what we are playing.

The idea behind building up the etude slowly over a few weeks, is so you can focus on learning small parts at a time. As a consequence of that, we should be able to develop some serious speed!

Let's get started

Week 1


This week we are starting off with an "Eruption" inspired tapping section. We start (bar 1) and finish (bars 7 and 8) with an E minor arpeggio. To get from the first E minor arpeggio to the last one, we move through various other arpeggios, often changing them one note at a time. If you look at the following neck diagrams, you will be able to visualize how we move through these different arpeggios:



How can you create this sort of sound?

There are two principles to creating this sort of sound. Firstly, we want to keep to using intervals of either 4 frets (major third) or 3 frets (minor third) between fingers 1 and 4, and between your 4th finger and tapping finger. When you do this, no matter how you change through your intervals, the chord you construct will always be major, minor, diminished or augmented (we don't use an augmented chord here, but there is no reason we couldn't). Secondly, when possible, we only want to change one note at a time in each arpeggio. There is an exception to this you can see early on, I did that purely for the reason I liked how it sounds.

How to Practice

This exercise is mainly focused around tapping with your pick hand, so if you are unfamiliar with that technique, you may want to revise it.

If you look at the notation part of the tab, you can see that all the notes (aside from the very last bar) are triplet quavers. This means that we are playing 3 notes per beat (or per click). A good strategy for practicing this is to first work out where your fingers are going and get your head around the exercise. Then introduce the metronome, the tapped note will always be on the click, aside from the very last bar where we have a tap slide.

If you have any questions leave them below!

If you want to learn more about the modes of the major, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales, you can check out my free eBook here, which will give you a thorough grounding in these scales and the theory behind them, so that you can use your entire guitar neck and have more freedom and expression in your playing.

By Sam Russell

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    SpiderM
    I have practiced some tapping in the past but never made the arpeggio connection or thought about the intervals. Thanks for educating me Sam!
    Chris Zoupa
    When he says tapping he should actually be referring to it as "A right handed hammer on." This lesson is also unclear and hard to follow! TROLL TROLL TROLL! Just kidding Sam. This is a really clear and informative lesson. Hope to see more from you dude! Take care!
    stupidkitten
    This probably seems like a stupid question, but I'm a little confused! Do we pick these and just tap that higher note? Or tap the higher note then hammer/pulloff the other with the right hand?
    pianodude11601
    Great lesson! But when I tried to download your ebook, it didn't get sent to my email for some reason.
    Sam-Russell
    Thanks for telling me! I checked my mail settings and it turns out I set it up for a 1 day delay (I've just changed this to be immediate). Long story story short, it will turn up later today or tomorrow