Help I'm "Tapped" and I Can't Get Out
Hey everyone! It's time for a new lesson series and this time we are exploring some solo techniques for rock guitar. Specifically, two hand tapping technique. Now you may consider this old news, however; two hand tapping can be a great deal of fun, as well as, a great device to move around the fretboard. Now this series isn't going to be just the basic tapping ideas but rather some advanced ways to develop lines and ideas and move across the strings seamlessly. So let's get started...
We are going to start with a couple of basic shapes, primarily pentatonic boxes. Most guitarists learn the five pentatonic boxes when they begin soloing so this seemed like a logical place to start. Figure #1 is the fragment of an E minor pentatonic (box #1, rooted from the 5th string). This is the shape that will be used by the left hand for the lick we will look at today.
Figure #2 is a B minor pentatonic (box #4, starting from the note F# on the 5th string). The upper notes or part of this form will be used by our right hand to tap the fretboard.
Now you will notice that I have used two different pentatonic scales. Many guitarists will tap ideas from combining different boxes from the same pentatonic scale, however; I like to use two different pentatonics in order to expand the harmonic possibilities. This is a trick I teach students when learning to play jazz. Without going to deep into the theory here is the basic rule to remember: when the basic harmony is based off of the IImin or VImin, move up a 5th from the root and substitute that pentatonic. It's a great way to add the 9th and 11th to your harmonic soundscape an not change the way you think. Anyway...back to the task at hand.
By combining these two boxes can play an extended pentatonic flavored scale. See Figure #3
One final tip before you take it away and do great things. Try to vary the rhythms you play, for example, because this pattern yields 3 notes per string it's easy to get into a rut of playing triplets or sextuplets. Try playing in 8th notes or 16th notes in order to hide the 3 note per string shape. This will assist in the "seamless" movement I mentioned in the beginning. Here is an example lick. The "+" identifies the tapped note. Also, try using more than one finger to tap with. I actually use my first 3 fingers to tap this example. You will see how I play the lick if you click on the video link below.
Skinny Devil Music Magazine:Tapped Pentatonics with Alan Robinson
As always, have fun and enjoy playing! Use a metronome or backing track to lock in your time. You'll find it very helpful especially while trying to work groups of four on a 3 note per string pattern.
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