Tapping? (At least it isn't another slap thread!)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by yawnsie, Jan 10, 2001.

  1. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    After being blown away by John Entwistle's playing (that I seem to mention in every other thread) when I went to see the Who in November, I've decided that I need to learn how to tap. I've tried to pick it myself, but to no avail - I can't get a decent, clear, sound when I'm tapping, and I've got nowhere to put my left hand. Can somebody please give me an idea of what the correct technique is, or show me where I can find something that will help me learn?
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    IMO, you're gonna have to develope a 2nd-brain...like pianists & drummers! :D
    The *best* tappers I've heard have had that approach; both hands are INDEPENDENT.
    The worst tappers I've heard are the guys that have memorized PATTERNS.

    I'm no tapper; if I were you, though, I'd think about cross rhythms(one hand taps a certain rhythmic figure while the other one does a different rhythmic figure). Then, you're gonna want to know harmony & chord voicings, etc. Lotta work involved, brah...
    As far as a clear sound: I recall Stanley Jordan sayin' that his action(guitar)hadda be extremely LOW; do you have a spare bass layin' around?
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I was trying to tap a long time ago (the idea was very appealing) but didn't feel much success till I really started to hear things I wanted to play that I had to tap to pull off. For example a line that I hit an open E and play up around the 10th fret that moves to a chord with an F# in the bass. I grab the low F# tapping with my right hand and hammer the melody with my left. Coping Tony Levin stick lines off of his World Diary disc was eye opening as was seeing Brian Bromberg hammering a walking bass line down low with his right hand and chord soloing in the upper register with his left on the upright! Playing harmonized scales with both hands is a good technical place to start.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Stu Hamm's first instructional video has some excellent explanations of how he taps. Also, check bassplayer.com for articles on tapping. Lastly, Billy Sheehan has a two- video set which shows how he goes about tapping.

    Jason Oldsted
  5. I've got Billy Sheehan's "Bass Secrets" video, which I think is the second in the set- lots of useful stuff about tapping there, and lots of bits from his solos explained. but not much on simultaneous two-handed basslines.
    also a while back Bass Player did an interview with Roscoe Beck with a breakdown of his tapping technique (walking basslines plus chord accompaniment) and a cover CD that was very helpful. he's done an instructional video too.
  6. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Looks like I'm going to have to get my video fixed... :)
  7. GlassBullet


    Sep 9, 2000
    ok, so....what exactly IS tapping?

  8. are those videos still available, i hae looked and can't find them anywhere
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    GruffPuppy, I bought those videos in the early nineties. I have even lost the Stu Hamm one. Tell you what I will do, though. I will look through my various catalogs and magazines and see if I can find an a reference to any of these and I will post it here or e-mail you what I found.

    jason oldsted
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    A simple explanation is doing hammer-ons(fretting hard) and sometimes pull-offs with both hands at once.

    You can play 2 bass parts, play bassline or chords with melody, or do chord extensions that would normally be impossible on a 4 string.

    Of course, for the extended chords, you could just get a 5,6,7,8 or :gulp: 9!!! string bass.:eek:
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    To GruffPuppy and anyone else that may be interested, I have tried to find places that sell the two-video Billy Sheehan set I have and can't find it anywhere. I did, however, find a palce that sells several videos and books on tapping. It is:


    These are the books and tapes available there:


    The Art of Tapping for Electric Bass: Dwayne Pate; $49.94

    Two-Handing Tapping for Bass: Kjell Benner; $29.95

    Tapping, Slapping, Popping, & Harmonics Vieo I and II: John Reid; $@9.95 each.

    Stu Hamm: SLa, Pop and Tap: $39.95


    Bass Tapping Chords: Barry Sahagian; $6.00

    Tapping Techniques for Bass Guitar: Stephen Richter; $13.95

    Bass Tapping: Barry Sahagian $11.95

    Hope that you can find some helpful materials in that selection.

    jason oldsted