Guitar tapping is a fascinating technique that can add flair and brilliance to your playing. Initially popularized by guitarists like Eddie Van Halen and Stanley Jordan, tapping involves using both hands to fret and sound notes on the guitar neck, often producing fast and expressive melodies. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your tapping skills, here’s a guide to explore the art of guitar tapping from the basics to brilliance:
1. Get the Basics Down:
- Finger Placement: Start with your fretting hand’s index finger on the fretboard and your picking hand’s index (or middle) finger for tapping.
- Tapping Motion: Use your tapping hand to lightly tap the fretboard directly above the desired note. Tap with the tip of your finger for clarity.
- Pull-Off: After tapping a note, quickly pull your tapping finger away from the fretboard to sound the note. This creates a clear and distinct note.
- Hammer-On: Tapping can be combined with hammer-ons using your fretting hand. After tapping a note, hammer on with your fretting hand to produce additional notes.
2. Start with One-Handed Tapping:
- Begin by practicing one-handed tapping with your picking hand. Tap on different strings and frets to get a feel for how different notes sound.
3. Two-Handed Tapping Basics:
- Introduce your fretting hand into the mix by tapping and pulling off notes with both hands. Start with simple patterns to coordinate both hands.
4. Focus on Accuracy:
- Precision is key in tapping. Make sure your taps are clean and that you’re hitting the fretboard directly above the intended fret.
5. Gradually Increase Speed:
- Start slow to build accuracy and control, then gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.
6. Learn Tapping Scales:
- Practice scales specifically designed for tapping, such as the “two-hand tapping scale” (e.g., E|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–| G|———–6-7-9-|———–6-7-9-| D|——-6-7——-|——-6-7——-| A|-5-7-9———–|-5-7-9———–| E|—————–|—————–|). These scales help you explore different tapping patterns.
7. Combine Tapping with Other Techniques:
- Incorporate tapping into your existing guitar playing. Combine it with techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and bends for dynamic and expressive solos.
8. Explore Tapping Arpeggios:
- Experiment with tapping arpeggios. These involve tapping out the notes of a chord sequentially. Practice arpeggios in different keys and positions.
9. Create Tapping Patterns:
- Develop your tapping patterns by creating your own sequences of notes. This encourages creativity and helps you break away from clichéd tapping runs.
Guitar tapping is a versatile technique that can be applied across various genres, from rock and metal to fusion and acoustic fingerstyle. By gradually building your skills and exploring different approaches, you can unlock the brilliance of tapping and use it to create stunning