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Tapping - how can I improve my technique?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mrWr0ng, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. I'm learning to tap now, and trying to get familiar enough with the method that I can start writing and hopefully covering some songs in a new way.

    Anyways, I have a short 30 second clip I recorded last night, and I was curious how it sounded. There's inconsistencies in how hard I hit, but is there anything else thhat I should be working on, or is this just pretty much 'practice practice pracitce' (which is what I'm doing anyways :) )

    http://www.jlboyce.com/music/30sex.mp3 (it's named 30sex for a contest)
  2. QU!CK


    Apr 26, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm just starting out with tapping as well but i'm 90% sure that it all comes from "practice practice practice" ;)

  3. Your clip actually sounds pretty good.
  4. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    It sounds like you have been tapping for a while now. If you just started recently, then you learn fast. Or, your practice time is well focused. Good job.

    If you dig the tapping thing, check out Brendan Wires. He does some nice arrangements. Here's a link to one of them:

    1.1mb download

    It's Brendan doing "With Or Without You". Keep up the good work. I look forward to hearing more of your playing in the future.

  5. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hmm - I like it...

    It seems like there's only ever one note sounding at a time. Is that how you meant it to be? Maybe there are some intervals inwhich you could let them overlap for some harmony.

  6. mrWr0ng

    That sounds really good, in fact you have inspired me to go down stairs right now, pick up my bass, and have a go at tapping myself.

    Keep it up, and if you have any more clips then do post them as an inspiration to others.


  7. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    wow that clip sounds good. maybe you should be helping us! :smug:
    i also am gonna go try some tapping now...*humming clip* while walking down stairs
  8. That sounds quite good. I think it's impressive that you've just started. Keep it up!

    I'm sure that in posting here you were hoping for a little more feedback than "nice!" So that's what I'm going to attempt to do. Your inconsistencies in volume are not as bad as you might think. You seem to have good control and independence between your two hands. I suspect you've played piano? At any rate, I believe that there's a slightly different muscle that's used when tapping, and your control will come naturally as you play and develop that muscle in your fingers. What you're doing is the best thing, though: you are aware that inconsistencies sometimes do happen, and you're listening for them. Being aware of that will make your practice time much more efficient.

    My biggest comment would be this: I think you should make an effort to play more legato. This was suggested above. One of the beautiful things of two-handed tapping is that you can create wonderful harmonies where several notes are ringing at once. When I listen to your recording, I believe that (with a little practice), I could play what you played without using two-handed tapping. That is because there is a tiny gap between every note. That gap tends to make the music sound chunkier and takes away from the overall flow and continuity of the piece. If you were to focus on removing that gap, and have each note sustain fully into the next one, you'll start painting a wonderful sound canvas that - in my opinion - will sound much more pleasant to the listener's ear.

    You might consider checking out Victor Wooten's recording of Overjoyed on A Show of Hands. Since I've been working on this piece over the last little while, it's on my mind. The first few bars are a particularly clear example of how smooth playing contributes to the overall flow of a piece.

    So, that being said, I think what you're doing is great and you're on the right track! Good luck in your future endeavours
  9. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    After listening, this is what I thought as well.
  10. Thanks a lot for the help you guys.

    I'm working on the legato bit now. I'm having a hard time thinking of complementary notes to sustain, but I'm having some luck simply physically sustaining notes into the next phrase. I did another 30 second bit here: http://www.jlboyce.com/music/tap2.mp3 on my fretless.

    I got some string feedback pulling off, but hopefully I can start building on this.

    btw I'm not really a piano player, but I decided to learn piano at about the same time I decided to learn tapping. I found that by moving from one instrument to the next, it helped my fingers keep the movements in memory. It's also helping my approach to the fingerboard so that I can better visualise a sound canvas. I still don't know nearly enough theory to do what I want, though.
  11. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Is he using a Chapman Stick?

    He sounds like he's using overdubs, looping. and delayed effects too.
  12. I think it's a six string bass, but that's just a guess based on his website. I don't think he loops.
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Well MrWrong ya seem to have done somethin right! You inspired a bunch of us to start tappin our basses. Good work. I'm gonna go start another tapping thread becuase I have a lot of thoughts and questions.
  14. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Sound pretty cool though.

    But I don't think I would like to learn it. I would probably get kicked out of my band. lol
  15. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Nope, he uses a Tobias Toby Pro 6, the kind they used to sell at MusicYo.com for like $650. He is also, strictly, a no loop player. Only some reveb and good EQing.

  16. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
  17. Here's me playing jerry was a racecar driver. I transposed it down an octave because my fretless doesn't go high enough, and I messed up a bunch, but here you go:


    I'm still learning to sing - I plan on starting a funk/metal/disco band and fronting it myself, so I'm trying to get used to it. Please give me honest critiques and let me know what I mess up on :hyper:

    edit: i am shirtless in the video, please do not freak out. It's very hot where I live.
  18. funk metal and disco... dude thats going to be some wild stuff. what has inspired you to mix metal and disco?... im curious
  19. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    KISS?? LMAO!!!
    Does anyone remember tht SH*TTY album?
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I thought KISS' "I Was Made For Lovin' You" was really ****ty when they did it, but compared to some of the crap done now, it was damn good.