Guitar Technique: Tapping





Introduction: Guitar Technique: Tapping

About: Hey there. I won't add too much info here, as it'll show up as one big paragraph.

Hi there.
I recently bought myself my first guitar. One of the first things I learned was tapping. That is what this instructable will be about:
Learning the basic technique.

Tapping (or 'finger tapping') is a technique often used in guitar solo's, that can look difficult to non-guitar players, sounds awesome, is a lot of fun to do, and surprisingly easy to play.

Step 1: Step 1: Amp Settings

Tapping can be done on most settings, but sounds better with some distortion to it. On my amp, I have the drive knob (which is the same as a gain knob) fully open. I have Bass at around 1 o' clock, Mid just after 12 o' clock, Treble at about 11 and Chan Volume also fully open.
However, it's up to you to choose how you want to sound, just experiment with your amp settings until you find a sound that fits what you want.

Step 2: Step 2: the Technique

In this step, we'll practice a basic technique. Just start out slowly, to get the hang of it. If you get the idea of the technique, start playing it a bit faster. Just practice, practice, practice. 

The technique, along with photo numbers describing the steps:

1: With your left hand, fret a note. For now, we'll go with the fifth fret on the first (e) string
2: With your right hand, tap the ninth fret. You should hear a note when you tap it. How harder you tap, how louder the note.
3: Flick of your finger, it doesn't matter if you flick it off upwards, or downwards. For this string, it's easier to do it downwards, as you can't accidently hit another string with the finger. As you flick off, the note of the fifth fret will play. This is called a pull-off (as you play a lower note than the previous one)
4: With your left ring finger, hammer on onto the seventh fret. 
5: With your ring finger still on the seventh, tap with your right hand the ninth fret.
6: Release your ring finger from the seventh fret. Then flick off again with your right finger to pull off to the fifth.
Repeat step 2 'til 6 to keep your tapping going.
Remember to practice it slowly first, to get the hang of the idea. You get better at it with practicing.
It can be used on every fret, though it's hard at the highest ones. Just play around the frets when practicing, and make some cool solo's. It's a fun excercise to gain (finger) speed, technique and to get used to playing on different frets.

It is possible to tap on the lowest strings too. Tough it's harder to do, as you have to mover you whole fingers over the fingerboard. When I tap on the lowest strings, I play them from 'above', thus not grabbing the neck.
The next step contains a video in which I play these steps slowly, along with some faster parts.

Step 3: Step 3: Video

A video where I play the technique slowly, so you get the idea of it. Along with some faster parts.
Please remember that I just started guitar, so of course I sound a bit sloppy in the faster parts.

A song that uses this technique is Lipgloss and Black by Atreyu.
So if you master it, you can try practicing this song. 
That song uses the 14th, 10th and 7th fret on both the third and fourth strings



    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Haha ik heb precies dezelfde versterker, ik wist helemaal niet dat jij gitaar speelt! Wat voor gitaar heb jij? Hij lijkt op een Gibson/Epiphone Explorer.

    6 replies

    Ik speel ook pas vanaf zaterdag, ben dus net begonnen. Wist ook niet dat jij speelt.
    De gitaar is trouwens eens LTD EX-50, lijkt inderdaad op de Explorer :)

    Ja ongeveer 2 jaar hij ziet er wel vet uit. De Explorer was mijn 2e keuze ik heb nu de Epiphone Studio Goth.

    Heh, cool. Zelf heb ik een tijdje getwijfeld tussen de LTD MH-100 en deze. Uiteindelijk toch voor deze gegaan, onder andere door de wat apartere vorm etc. 
    Die Studio Goth ziet er gaaf uit trouwens :D

    Wauw die LTD MH-100 is ook gaaf. Alleen had ik dzelfde keuze gemaakt, door die aparte vorm vond ik hem dus ook zo vet! En heb jij gewoon les of gebruik je het internet?

    Internet. Op youtube vooral wat filmpjes gekeken.
    Ook zelf wat dingen geprobeerd (iets wat op powerchords lijkt, maar die moet ik nog echt oefenen).
    De laatste twee dagen heb ik echt vooral dit tappen zitten doen. Op de hoge e snaar gaat het nu redelijk, nu nog op de b snaar oefenen. (en als ik dat onder de knie heb, kan ik het intro van Lipgloss and Black gaan oefenen)

    Nice 'ible and video, man! Your technique for tapping is very cool. I used to do something similar for creating riffs: quiet riffs by tapping only with the left hand, and loud solos strumming with my fingers on the right hand (using no pick). But it's a cool method, though.

    2 replies

    Thanks :D
    I should add an updated video or so to this ible, I'm getting better at tapping.
    One handed is also fun to do (like in thunderstruk, or one of the riffs in thunderhorse).

    ok man I dident think this was going to fly no offence but you do knex,but I was wrong once agen its awesome as allways!

    1 reply

    Mike, NICE GUITAR AND AMP!  They look so cool.  

    Not as cool as my tuba with french horn valves, though...  just kidding!!!  I do play the tuba, though, and that reminds me; I should put that in my profile. 

    1 reply