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Ah, tapping...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by coolvirgin69, Mar 12, 2019.


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  1. coolvirgin69

    coolvirgin69

    Mar 11, 2019
    I just started to learn a song with tapping in it for the first time. As expected, I am having issues. I either hit too hard and the strings and they buzz or I hit them too soft and I make little to no noise. Any advice related to tapping at all is very welcome.
    Also, any experience with tapping on an acoustic bass? It's my only one right now. I just wondered if an acoustic would really cause an unsolvable issue at all.
     
  2. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    The intended tapped note will be less obvious than the one on the nut-side of your finger than it would be on either an electric or a recording of an acoustic where any mics are all placed on the bridge side of the tapped note.

    Your buzzes are either your finger not falling properly between the frets or it's the sympathetic note on the nut side. If it's the latter, introducing more relief into the neck (maybe get a tech to do this) will make it go away yet will also make it harder to tap.
     
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  3. ProfFrink

    ProfFrink

    Jan 16, 2015
    Groove Doctor and coolvirgin69 like this.
  4. Wanker_Joe

    Wanker_Joe

    Sep 26, 2017
    I tap lots in the music I make, and often on my acoustic bass. The biggest thing that helps first and foremost is getting your muting technique down pat (and/or use fretwraps as linked to above - they can help a lot). I find I get the best tone by tapping with the pad of my fingers rather than the tips, for both my fretting hand tapping and my playing hand tapping. Aside from that it's just a lot of practice to get the feel down so you know how hard to hit (and can make those hits consistent). If you have other questions feel free to ask, I'm not a very good instructor but maybe I can help.
     
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  5. To really refine your technique, do the exact same tap 100 times in a row. Make every note sound exactly the same. If they differ, work out what’s causing it and focus on refining your technique further. Consistency is the goal.

    I found placing my right thumb along the top surface of the fretboard where the fret markers helped. I tap with the pad of my index finger, with my middle finger placed on top of index (fingers crossed). This gave me the most consistency when tapping. Might not be a textbook technique but boy it works well.

    For double string taps (eg. m3rds, M3rds, 4ths, tritones, P5ths) I uncross my fingers and tap with both fingers. Almost identical technique.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  6. coolvirgin69

    coolvirgin69

    Mar 11, 2019
    Thank you! This is probably going to be the best advice. :thumbsup:
     
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  7. OptimalOptimus

    OptimalOptimus

    Jan 4, 2019
    Canada
     
  8. muthagoose

    muthagoose

    Jan 18, 2004
    Sweden
    First of all, start slow. Set a metronome at a very slow tempo, so you have plenty of time between each beat to deliberately tap each note. Make sure you only increase the tempo when you can tap with good technique, and you are happy with how the note sounds.

    Practicing in this manner will allow your muscle memory to develop, and before long you will be able to tap the part you are attempting to learn now without having to consciously think about it.

    Here's a link to an online metronome which is very easy to use.

    If you are interested, I've written a bunch of tapping lessons and posted them at www.basstappinghq.com.

    Feel free to have a look at these lessons, which I think will help you get started with tapping:

    Bass Tapping Exercises for Your Plucking Hand
    Bass Tapping Permutations
     
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