Jul 14, 2008

The Origins Of Guitar Tapping

You may be surprised to know that guitar tapping isn't all that new of a technique. In fact, tapping on a stringed instrument in general has been around for the last two centuries, to the point where even Paganini himself had used techniques with similar results.

I'm under the impression that there is no real sole creator of tapping, only string musicians who have modified it as years go by. One thing seems prevalent, which perhaps will change your outlook on music if you are only fond of heavy metal, and further proves that music is indeed universal. It would seem that jazz musicians were the real pioneers of guitar tapping, to the point where many of them would later go on to invent customized instruments to facilitate the technique. Maybe you've heard of Michael Angelo, who is world famous for tapping on two guitar necks at the same time, in order to create intricate passages. That unique honor as originator of that particular approach can be bestowed upon one Dave Bunker, who in 1958 designed the Bunker Touch Guitar.

So you may be saddened to realize that rock and metal guitarists are a little late in the game, but we still must give credit where credit is due. There were rock guitarists tapping long before Eddie Van Halen came around, but the good thing for us is that Eddie bumped it up a notch. Thanks man! (he reads this blog everyday).

There is so much that can be done with tapping and eventually we'll get around to discussing all aspects of it. 3 finger tapping, 4 finger tapping, 5 finger tapping, 6 finger tapping, 7 finger tapping, 8 finger tapping, sweep pick/tapping combos, taps slides, tapping chords, all of it. Give me time and all will be revealed.

If you have no idea what I am talking about at this point or think that tapping means that you are at a keg party, or it brings back memories of going out onto a stage with your fruit boots on, to do a shuffle off to buffalo, then stay tuned. I'm a little pressed for time today and I thought that I would be able to establish the first tapping lesson on this blog, but apparently that will have to be postponed until tomorrow. I can however guarantee you that it will be a good exercise and that it will help you nail it.

I found a formula for developing your tapping skills that bypasses the normal 3 finger tapping approach, and goes straight to 4 finger tapping. Don't worry, its really not hard at all and the exercise will help you to develop a good sense of rhythm, which is the key thing about tapping. Plus, you'll be able to brag to everyone that you know how to do 4 finger tapping. Until tomorrow, I bid you all a good day.

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