Monday, January 09, 2006

Guitar Tapping Tips And Techniques

By: Brad Finley

Although made popular recently by Eddie VanHalen, guitar tapping
or right hand 'legatos' is a technique players have been
executing for years. Country players know the benefit of laying
down a nice subtle lead and just putting in those quick hammers
with clear guitar tapping. And while it's not the easiest thing,
guitar finger tapping techniques are really nothing much more
then fast hammer on and a pull offs. Whether you use your middle
finger or your first, most times you can hold the pick as usual
to execute your guitar tapping and get the speed and positioning
essential to good guitar tapping techniques. But like anything
else, guitar tapping takes practice and patience.

Since this is a highly specialized, yet popular way of playing
we hear a lot of player's guitar tapping these days...and just
as many tapping badly. Especially when a guitar is cranked
through distortion, a whole host of extra noises will come out
if the player's guitar finger tapping techniques aren't the
cleanest. An important trick to 'clean-up' when you are cranked
through that Marshall Stack and you're in "overdrive", is to
rest the back of your right hand on the lower strings for
muting; what you want to avoid is these string making a lot of
extra noise while you get that guitar tapping in one steady
movement. Of course, if you're a rock player you are most likely
already dreaming of the all-too flashy 'cross-handed tapping'
but this is so impractical it only ever works when playing live
(and even then it is a hard to get those guitar tapping
progressions cooking in this way!) Admittedly though, this
particular type of guitar tapping, above all other types of
guitar finger tapping techniques, creates a truly distinct tone.

There are hundreds of videos and books that show guitar tapping
tips, but as it is with everything else, you can't even begin to
understand how guitar tapping works until you get up and do it
yourself. Although modern listeners have been conditioned to
want speed like Eddie V., it is more important to get the strong
and clear sound of each note then to sacrifice technique for
potential sloppiness. Guitar finger tapping techniques are only
good if you can do them; nothing sounds worse then reaching for
a flashy technique and not being able to pull it off. As with
everything else you learn on guitar, if you mater a technique on
acoustic then you can feel all that more confident trying it on

Playing a difficult and flashy exercise, such as guitar tapping
or lightening fast arpeggios, sometimes seem to be easier on an
electric; you get-off on the sound you are creating, the noise,
but don't catch nuisances or mistakes. Try tapping on an
acoustic guitar (or you want a big challenge-try guitar tapping
on an acoustic bass!) Guitar finger tapping is hard on an
acoustic; cross-handed guitar tapping is almost impossible (it
takes a ton of strength and precision), but master guitar
tapping on an acoustic and you'll find you are that much more
prepared for what you might do on your electric.

About the author:
Brad Finley is senior editor of MyGuitarWorkshop - Guitar Tips and Music
. Website provides guitar lessons and instructions for
all level guitar players. Click for more Guitar Tips And

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