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Etude for Touch – Style

One of the fine fellows from the IG message-boards dropped me a line about writing practice pieces (etudes) for certain concepts. His question was in reference to the Harmonic Minor scale (lessons #11, “Modes of the Harmonic Minor”) and we’ll explore some etudes for that in a future lesson. This month, since I just finished interviewing bass master Billy Sheehan for the “Guitar Gods” series, I wanted to share an etude I wrote for touch-style technique (also known as 2-hand tapping).

This etude was written specifically for a series of guitar clinics I’m currently doing with finger style guru Jerry Belsak and fusion wizard Philip High, and I’ll be sharing some of their techniques in future lessons, too. It requires at least a rudimentary understanding & mastery of tapping (check out the archives for lessons I’ve written in the past [re: Jennifer Batten] and lessons by other IG writers, as well as Joel’s master class on tapping, and the current series by Jeff Wilde), so make sure you can both tap single notes and basic chord fragment shapes.

Once you have a grip on this piece, experiment with it by adding ornamentations and variations. If you come up with something you really like, record it and send it to me – maybe I can place all the versions on my web-site for others to hear!

See ya next month!


David M. McLean is the proprietor of Skinny Devil Music Labs, former guitarist of the avant-garde fusion-metal band Aurora-Sen, guitar instructor, and columnist for TinFoil Music Magazine (where he conducts interviews in the on-going series “Guitar Gods”). His new solo album, “HUNGER”, will be released later this year.

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