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Tapping Into Mastery

I’ve been asked a lot as of late about tapping, or “touchstyle”, so I thought we’d revisit this topic as we boldly shred into the new year. The questions I’ve received have been about how to break beyond the standard “Eruption” style of applying tap technique, so I thought we’d take a brief look at some ideas that will translate well to both electric and acoustic styles of playing. They are also in the key of Am (C major) so that you can experiment freely in a single key.

The first example is designed to break into multi-string tapping by using a familiar form. Try this not only using your primary tapping finger, but with several fingers of your pick hand.


Example 2 gets a little more complicated. As always, begin slowly and build up speed while trying to play it flawlessly. Be especially wary triplette section at the end, which will provide a bit of a challenge, and keep the slide extremely clean and precise.


Example 3 is held over a single chord. Try this sort of thing with any chord or chord progression, using multiple tap fingers.


This should get you started. Try these ideas out on electric and acoustic, then expand them to fit your style. As always, drop me a line if you have any questions or want to share your results!

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, as will the acoustic collection, “An Alien Blue”.

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