Tapping is definitely one of the coolest lead guitar techniques. Once you have mastered it, you can play some pretty amazing guitar licks and solos. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
One of the easiest ways to make your guitar solos sound super fast and technical is to use open string licks and tapping. For example, on the high e string, alternate between frets 4 and 7, then frets 5 and 8 using hammer-ons and pull-offs only to play the notes. Then, add fret 12 with your tapping finger and BAM! You’ve got an awesome solo lick.
Another cool way to use tapping is to take the edge of the pick and use it to tap the fret rather than using your middle (or index) finger. This sounds much more sharp and mechanical – plus you can do it much faster, which is an interesting effect on its own. Listen to the guitar playing in the solos of Iron Maiden for examples to hear more of this.
An advanced way to use tapping is to use only legato in the frethand while playing a scale, then tap extra notes with your picking hand before moving to the next string in the sequence. For example, play an A pentatonic minor scale (using 2 notes per string) then tap one of the other notes in the scale using your picking hand. You can make tons of cool ideas like this, so experiment a lot with it.
An even more advanced way to use the tapping technique is tapping arpeggio patterns. There are many ways to do this, but one is to take a 3 string arpeggio pattern (like A minor starting on fret 9 of the g string), then tap the notes of the arpeggio with your picking hand. For instance, try this: tap fret 14 on the g string and pull off onto fret 9, tap fret 13 on the b string and pull off onto fret 10, then tap fret 12 of the high e string and pull off onto fret 8, and repeat. Pay attention to your fretting hand too and make sure to mute any noise (so that it doesn’t sound sloppy).
These have been just a few ideas that you can use with tapping to make your playing sound better. Practice each idea together and separate so you can master them in different musical scenarios.
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