Tapping made cool again

By the late seventies a Dutch-born guitar player by the name of Eddie van Halen revolutionised heavy rock guitar playing by introducing an exciting guitar technique called “tapping”. Although I’m not really sure he invented it (just listen to Ace Frehely’s guitar solo on Alive II, recorded more than a year before Van Halen’s debut album) he definitely made it his trademark. Because it’s a fairly simple technique that gives instant great results everybody copied poor Ed, so over the years this once great piece of guitar magic became a stale cliché. Besides dorkey guitarists who play in bands that gig at weddings nobody dares to tap anymore these days. But now there’s a way to make tapping sound cool again, and it’s just as simple as the original.

The whole idea is not to let your third or fourth finger land on the same string as where the actual tap occurred. What do I mean by that? Take a look at the example below.

E -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B -12---5---8---12---5---8---12---5---8---12---5---8---12---4---7---12---4---7---12---4---7---12---4---7-------------
G -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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This whole tapping sequence takes place on one and the same string. This is the technique Eddie uses in for example “Eruption”. Now the only thing you have to do is to play every third note on a different string. Make sure that you keep it clean, because unwanted string vibrations can seriously fog up the effect of this riff. (For convenience sake I’ve coloured the tapped notes red.)

E ------------------------------------------8---------------------------------------------------------------10----------------------
B -12---5------12---5---7-----12---5-------12---5---7-----14---7---------14---7---9-----14---7--------14---7---9-------
G -----------8-------------------------------------------------------------10-------------------------------------------------------
D -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


E ------------------------------------------------11-------------------------------------------------------------------13--------------
B -15---8-----------15---8---10-----15---8--------15---8---10-----17---10-------17---10---12-----17---10-------17---10-
G -------------11------------------------------------------------------------------13-------------------------------------------------
D --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


E --------17------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B -12-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------