By: Levi Clay
To open the lesson I have transcribed an example of a “practical” use for the tapping techniques discussed thus far. Here for your delight is my version of “Flight of the Bumblebee” using multiple finger tapping. Have fun with this example before moving on to the second sets of examples, “Bumblefoot.”
Example 1 (click to open in a new window)
In the past three instalments we’ve developed our tapping technique by including the second and third fingers for use in extending lines. Then, we explored using the first and second fingers on multiple strings, and last time we included the use of the fourth finger to extend pentatonic lines, allowing us to tap the interval of a minor third. In this lesson, we’ll follow suit by using all of the fingers on the picking hand to cross strings, which can create sequencer like effects.
There aren’t many players I’ve seen using this technique, because at this level of playing you have to be your own source of creativity and inspiration, which is a whole series of lessons in its own right. If you’re really stuck for ideas in regards to what this particular technique can achieve, look no further than the modern day guitar hero, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. Although, since his fingers move so fast it’s really hard to know if he uses the pinky, or is just lightning fast with his first two fingers, but for our purposes we’ll go with the pinky finger.
In this lesson I will stick exclusively to the following pattern in the picking hand, this way you can use just one idea throughout the lesson, embellishing it with different patterns in the fretting hand. Hopefully this will serve as a springboard to further develop the technique and your creativity.
The first example (click to open in new window) is to be played with the picking hand alone. First, play the idea staccato, then as legato as possible. Listen carefully to hear the difference, as both are extremely useful techniques with their own distinct sound qualities.
The next example (click to open in new window) is the chorus riff to one of my old songs, and without the use of this technique it would be impossible to execute. The most important part here is the pressure that the fretting hand has to use when touching down on the strings. When you get this up to a good speed it really does sound like a sequencer.
This lick (click to open in a new window) is an extension of the previous one. Note that the variation in this pattern allows you to better follow the harmony with the picking hand.
This next lick (click to open in new window) is in the style of Bumblefoot, in particular his solo in the song “Turn Around.” Check it out on below to see a genius at work.
This last example (click to open in new window) is in the style of Jennifer Batten, and has a very pleasing ‘lullaby’ quality to it. Try to be as smooth as possible with this one, and let every note ring to produce a cascading effect.
That’s all for tapping folks, I hope you can take some of these ideas and make them your own! Next time I’ll begin to look at the scary world of hybrid picking.