Tapping, a how to guide

by case211 (Mar 25, 2009)

Hi there, this is my first lesson so it may not be the best but I will try to make it understandable. Now onward to the lesson!

1. What is Tapping?

Tapping is the technique that involves both hands to be doing something on the fretboard at the same time. It can be done using your fretting hand doing a hammer-on technique while your picking hand is tapping a fret. Speeds can vary between hands, for example the solo's intro on Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", it uses two quick taps and 1 hammer on with the fretting hand.
I am not going to lie, it took me a little while to get the timing down between both hands, so be prepared to get a little frustrated with some things at the beginning.

2. How do I do it?

Okay, here's a step-by-step guide to getting tapping down, but, as a recommendation I would highly recommend that you look up some of the guys like Eddie Van Halen, its a big help to have the visual aid.
1. alright, so if you're not holding your guitar right now, go get it and be ready to have your mind blown.

2. get into a comfortable playing position and either you can use your pick or just one of your fingers on your picking hand to tap.

3. to reduce the hand strain from stretching and repeated hammer-on pull-off technique, place your fretting hand's index finger at the 10th fret of the B string.

4. now perform a hammer-on *without picking* at the 12th fret of the same string.

5. this is what your fretting hand will be doing , or some variation of it, while you tap.

6. for the actual tapping, you have 2 choices, you can either use your pick turned sideways or your fingers.
1*-first, place your hands index/middle finger or pick at around the 14th fret.
2*-second, literally press down onto the 14th fret with your finger or pick and slightly pull up towards you or push down away from you. This is a slight movement and should not be highly exaggerated unless you want random strings to be struck as you tap.
3*-third, now as you pull your finger/pick away from the string, hammer-on to the 12th fret with your fretting hand.
4*-finally, as you finish the hammer-on with the fretting hand, tap with your finger/pick and repeat steps 2 and 3.

Here it is tabbed:

     T         T         T         T         T

Again I would highly suggest that you watch Eddie Van Halen doing "Eruption" live from I think 1984-85, it would only help with the technique.
Remember that you can be creative with your tapping, try using 3 fingers to fret notes while you tap, it can add a whole new sound to it!
This is a technique that takes a lot of practice and time to be really good at, you will hit the other strings around you, but don't be worried, eventually you will get to be accurate and controlled with your taps and will not hit anything you don't mean to.

Well that's tapping, I hope it helps anyone who didn't know how to before!