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First to Tap???

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by MikeyFingers, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. I was just curious. I've heard Larry Graham credited with the invention (or at least the first recording) of the slap/pop technique. But I'm curious, who invented tapping? I'd love to hear some early forms of tapping, it's hard to believe that one day someone just started flying across the fretboard the way they do it today, so where did it come from? How did it start? Anyone know?
  2. Texx


    Sep 10, 2004
    I heard Eddie van Halen was one of the first musicians who used this technique intensively in rock music.
    No idea who started it on bass.
  3. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    thought the OX did...

    ...or Garry.


    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Not to start a war but Jimi Hendrix was tappinig before EVH and modern classical guitarist and what some today refer to as world music were doing it before Hendrix and John Entwistle was one of the first Bassist to do it.
  5. There were these crazy cats with acoustic guitars before hendrix and them..lemme get names.
  6. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
  7. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    If you are intersted in tapping, you gotta check out Billy Sheehan in Talas.

    He said he got the idea for tapping from another Billy: Billy Gibbons. Sheehan said in an interview that when he saw ZZ Top in 1974, Billy Gibbons fretted a note with his left hand and tapped a higher note with his right hand.

    This was the catlyst for Billy Shehan to develop the technique on bass!

    It would be interesting to know where Eddie VanHalen got the idea from as it sounds like they both developed rapid tapping at the same time yet indepedently.
  8. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    still think that OX was the first on bass though...
  9. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Tapping notes was a common technique used on lutes and simillar instruments during the baroque period. There was also a family of renaisance stringed isntruments that were played entirely by taping a ntoe on a horizontal fretboard (kind of like a cross between pedal steel and chapman stick). So its safe to say the technique predates both the guitar and the bass by a good bit :)
  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    With the preface of "within the realm of modern rock bass player", I would have to agree that Entwistle's "typewriter technique" was the predecessor to what we think of as "tapping", with Sheehan further developing the style.
  11. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    I think we need to recognize the early work of Emmett Chapman - the inventor and 1st player of the Chapman Stick. He literally "invented" an instrument AND the esential playing techniques. Also there was a jazzer acoustic guitarist in the 70's or 80's who only played tapping . . . what's his name???

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Stanley Jordan and Micheal Hedges to name a couple.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Are you talking about Stanley Jordan? Jordan plays electric(unless you're thinking of acoustic player Tuck Andress). Agree with Chapman & his stick.

    Jordan was 'discovered' playing for tips as a NYC street musician.
    After Magic Touch came out(his 1st major release on Blue Note Records, IIRC), guys such as Anthony Jackson were calling him a genius...& we all know that AJ doesn't toss around superlatives or hyperbole.
  14. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Jimmie Webster on electric guitar. He even had Gretsch make a stereo guitar in 56 or 58 which had the bass strings going on one amp and the treble going to the other.
  15. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Yes, and following on his heels was blues guitarist Harvey Mandel. He really brought tapping to the rock/blues world. http://www.harveymandel.com/biography.html
  16. I heard Eddie came up with it because he saw Jimmy Page doing the open string pull-offs from the "Heartbreaker" solo and thought "What if I could move that around?" Steve Hackett from Genesis was doing it in the early 70s so he could play unison lines with the keyboards. He claims Eddie must have seen him doing it. :confused:
  17. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Merle Travis was before Jimmie Webster. Jimmie was before Dave Bunker, who was before Emmet Chapman. However, Emmet apparently invented the two hands on the side of the neck with the instrument in a more vertical position.

    "It will be seen that, since the only motion necessary to produce a note is to press the wire against the fret, both hands may be used for this purpose, instead of, as in the ordinary guitar, using one hand to control the frets and the other to vibrate the strings, whereby the facility of operation is increased." - George Breed
    Patent 435,679, "Method of and Apparatus for Producing Musical Sounds by Electricity", September 2, 1890
  18. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    Steve Hackett from Genesis was tapping like EVH ten years before Van Halen was even a band. As far as Sheehan goes, he saw Gibbons reach up and tap one note on the fretboard during a solo. He then worked out his tapping technique while utilizing hammer-ons and pull-offs with just tapping in what he thought was a new technique at the time.
  19. ii-v


    Mar 27, 2005
    SLC, UT
    "The upper neck was a 24.5" Guitar neck and the lower neck was a 30" six string bass neck, later Irby Mandrell, Barbara's great father talked me into making the bass neck into a four string 32" scale, Irby even helped me build that model, also notice the first ever string mute on the upper guitar neck, this actually was the basis for the first patent #2,989,884 which was granted on June 27, 1961."

    There you go folks. I would guess that this also could be bested. It is very difficult to track the origins of technique. How do we know if John Doe did not mess around in the family room decades before anyone else.

    I played one of these back in the eighties and when I think about the original one being a guitar and the lower being a six string bass neck kinda makes me rethink a lot of the history of our instrument.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.