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Beginner using tap to sound the notes.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MalcolmAmos, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. I have taken on a 90 year old that wants to learn how to play rhythm guitar. His hands can no longer form chord patterns and his Granddaughter suggested I start him using tap. Good idea, however, I have a couple of questions to the gals/guys that use tap.

    We will get around to melody, but, right now he wants to sing and augment his singing with chord tones, i.e. roots right at first.

    • I'm thinking one root note till the next chord change.
    • First position, for where to find the root notes?
    • Or using one string for the roots the root-five would not be that hard, once you have the root.
    • He is primarily a vocalist that wants to augment his vocals using a guitar.
    Open for suggestions...
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  2. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Hi Malcolm,

    I'm not sure that tapping is necessarily a good thing for frail inarticulate hands as you need quite fast finger movements to get the attack, along with very accurate placement/targetting to only hit the notes you want. Also, I imagine to begin with there might be a fair chunk of looking at the fingerboard. However, I'm not without ideas...

    Do you know of Jeff Healey? He played guitar on his lap, approaching the fingerboard from above, almost like a keyboard. The stance reduces left-hand and wrist contortion that your guy might find painful, and you have full visibility if the fingerboard. For a regular player it would be a difficult transition, but as you seem to working on a blank canvas...

    Anyways, just thinking aloud, so YMMV...
  3. Thanks, good idea. I'm going to start him on one finger chords and see if he can handle that. If not we will move to something else. Always more than one way to skin this cat...

    Would not have thought of the laying the guitar flat on his knees.
  4. Wooly John

    Wooly John

    May 16, 2014
    - you could tune the guitar to an open tuning and bar the frets like Richie Havens -
    Reg Braithwaite and MalcolmAmos like this.
  5. All I know is that down tuning will make the strings easier to press down on and an amplifier will help with volume if he has a weak attack.

    Once again Metal saves the day...

    Spin Doctor likes this.

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