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8 Finger Tapping Stuff

Ok, this obviously includes any other combination of fingers etc that you choose to use, but thetitle is just to give a broad idea :)

I started using multi-fingered taps about 6 years or so ago, when I had a fabulous guitar tutorfor a couple of years; hence all the ideas are not necessarily my own, but most of them are.

First, some pointers to get you in the right direction here; make sure you play with either a clean tone, or a very clean distortion (yes, it is possible !). Secondly, switch to the neck pickup; this will pick up any mistakes you make a bit better than the bridge one. Thirdly, if not using all 8 fingers, which is awkward in gig situations, hold the pick between thumb and forefinger and use your other 3 right hand (rh) fingers to tap. That’s what I use most of the time.

If I am doing a completely/nearly-completely tapped solo, I tend to have my rh palm just resting on the low E string by the base of the neck, thus muting it. You can obviously shift this over to cover the other strings if you are say using only high E & B. However, if you are tapping on the lower strings, this obviously isn’t going to be too handy, so I mute the strings not in use with my first finger of my left hand (lh). This takes a while to get used to, and I didn’t notice I did it till I looked; even when that finger is fretting a note, it is still muting the strings underneath it which are unfretted.

Assuming you know the basics of tapping, and some taps already (ie Eruption etc), I’ll move onto some warm-ups.

This one here is just to get all 8 fingers flowing. Do this all the way up the neck hammering on, then back down pulling off (ha ha..>!).


------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
--------------------5-6-7-8-etc-----
-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-----------------
         t  t  t  t
 rh:     1  2  3  4

 

This one involves skipping strings (same principle though and is good for muting practice).


----------------------------------------
----------------------------------------
-----------------------------9-10-11-12- etc
----------9-10-11-12--------------------
---------------------5-6-7-8------------
-5-6-7-8--------------------------------
          t  t  t  t         t  t  t  t
   rh     1  2  3  4         1  2  3  4

This one is great for developing strength in your rh, and done fast can produce a nice trill effect I use a lot.


rh 1   2   3   4   3   2   1
   t   t   t   t   t   t   t
-5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5-et---
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------

Once you have this going, you can add notes and slide the taps instead of just hammeron, pulloff. Here, the "/" symbol means slide the tapped note up the neck. This makes it sound like insects or something, when you do it fast :)


rh     1    2    3    4
       t    t    t    t
-4-5-7-9/-7-9/-7-9/-7-9/-7-5-4-5-7-etc
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------

That’s a load of good practice stuff. How to use this in solos….well, say you are soloing in E major – simply extend the scale. Knowing modes here helps by the way !

ie:
E major

--------------------------------------------14-16-17-
------------------------------------14-16-17---------
----------------------------13-14-16-----------------
-------------------13-14-16--------------------------
----------12-14-16-----------------------------------
-12-14-16--------------------------------------------

just add notes on in that key up the neck !


----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------
-------------------------12-14-16-17-19-21-23-24----
-12-14-16-17-19-21-23-24----------------------------
              t  t  t  t              t  t  t  t
rh            1  2  3  4              1  2  3  4
 ..and so on :)

 

You don’t of course have to use all 8 fingers ! Sometimes just adding 2 taps is quicker. And it makes it easy to keep hold of the pick.

Here’s a good lick:



rh         2           2  3  2
           t           t  t  t
-------------11-12-15-17-19-17-15-12-11-----
-10-13-15-17--------------------------------
--------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------

Another thing I like doing is using 2 scales linked-up; ie C and G. This is another played still holding the pick.



------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------8-10-12-15-17-19--
-8-10-12-15-17-19-------------------
          t  t  t          t  t  t
rh        2  3  4          2  3  4

------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------9-10-12-16-17-19--
-9-10-12-16-17-19-------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
          t  t  t          t  t  t
rh        2  3  4          2  3  4


-------------------10-12-13-17-19-20
-10-12-13-17-19-20------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
           t  t  t           t  t  t
rh         2  3  4           2  3  4

Also, tapping notes within very close proximity to fretted notes using legato can sound verrrrry quick indeed. This is one of my faves; bit hard to tab as I normally just rip it off without thinking, but here goes ! This is again in E major.


rh         2    2            2
           t    t            t
-12-14-16-17-16-17-16-14-12-------------
----------------------------17-16-14-12-
----------------------------------------
----------------------------------------
----------------------------------------
----------------------------------------


rh      2          2  3   2  3  2
        t          t  t   t  t  t
----------12-14-16-17-19-17-19-17-16-
-14-16-17----------------------------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------


rh      2
        t
-14-12------------------------------
-------17-16-14-12------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------

Chords: you can make cool backings by using huge chord-type things involving taps; here’s one I have used; keep the tapped bit the same here, and just alternate the chords.



rh      1   2  3  4
        t   t  t  t
-----------------17-----------------
--------------15--------------------
-----9-----14-----------------------
---7----12--------------------------
-5----------------------------------
------------------------------------

other chords to play under the tap:


------------------------------------
------------------------------------
------------------------------------
-----11------9------7---------------
---9-------7------5-----------------
-7-------5------3-------------------

That's probably enough for starters ! :)

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