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Tapping in band setting?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Demon, May 10, 2006.

  1. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Would you think that tapping would fit well and be usefull in a metal band setting? Cos i dont wanna waste time on it and then i join aband and it will be worthless, so is it useful?
  2. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Any technique you could use if you really wanted to, so nothing is a "waste of time"! Tapping could come in really usefull in a metal band, if your guitarists are open to melodic bass stuff, rather than chugging eigth notes through the whole song. Tapping is an awesome way to fill out the sound of the band to, so if your band would have only 1 guitarist, a drummer, a singer and you, you could do tapping quite a bit! Check out Blindfolds Aside by Protest the Hero, I think their bassist does some tapping in the "breakdown" part of the song.
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    In metal, I think tapping would go over much better than ballet or a waltz..
  4. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Check out what Stu Hamm does with Satrianni. Try and track down some early live recordings. In recent years they've added a second guitar/keys but in the eary days Stu would tap a LOT of stuff to keep the harmonies going while Joe soloed.

    Not strictly "metal" but close enough to give you some pointers.

  5. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    You have to work at it.

    The trouble I come across is that guitarists and drummers, even if they are pretty experienced, don't usually have any idea how to work with an up-front bass player. If you can get your band situation such that you are writing a good part of the music/riffs, and teach the rest of the band how to work with a bass-focused orientation, you can put any sick type of bass work into your music and have it come out good. They have to adapt to you.

    I use tapping in my metal band. Sometimes for accents and fills, once in a while full out riffs where I am holding a melody that is all tapping.

    Anyway, I dont see how any technique could be "worthless." In a worst case scenario, you can show off a little on the side. Once my guitarist broke a string and had to leave the stage for about 10 mins. During that time me and the drummer kept a jam going and I used every 4/4 tapping riff I'd ever come up with. None of the other bassists performing that night wanted to talk to me after the show.... most likely because they were blown out of the water!
  6. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    haha nice, well i guess ill learn it, any nice pointers? preferably free on internet=D also, Chaos, do you have 1 or 2 guitarists? would it loose its point with 2 guitars?
  7. just try it no matter what we say...I think Alvaro (sp?, sorry if i got it wrong) posted some tapping instructionals a little bit ago, use the search.

    Also, don't learn only to fill a band, learn all that you want to be able to use eventually so that later on you won't have to cram in something when you want to try it or it's necessary.
  8. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Well the number of guitarists isnt always relevant, I was just saying hat when you only have one you have to fill out way more of the "sonic spectrum" if you will, and tapping is a damn good way of doing it. Besides, even if you don't use it with your band during a song, you can always make time for a little showing off:p
  9. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Ok, as i said ill try it:) ty all, also would it work well wiht some bass soloing. Imean, basses have the same right to go crazy as a guitar=S
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I just have one guitarist. You could do it with two, if they gave you the "space."
  11. Why do you limit yourself to only being in a metal band if you like tapping?
  12. ModernTradition


    May 7, 2006
    Meh, you can do whatever you like. I do quite a bit of tapping in my group, it all depends on what you think music should sound like as a collective. In my band my guitarist and I share the main melodies of songs pretty much 50/50. I'm an "upfront bassist" as one of you put it earlier, but I was lucky to find a group who thinks the low end is more than just filler :D
  13. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Im not sure, but if id ever START a band it would be egyptian themed metal^^
  14. Check this band out - I believe their bassist does a fair bit of tapping in context:


    Wooten also does a few cool grooves with tapped chords and stuff - basically if you like the sound of it practice it and make it work - simple.

  15. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Hm i couldnt find the topic=/ Also, does it mather what bass you have? Cos i have a Squier Affinity Precision and i dont get much sound when tapping the strings, and again, any nice lesson?
  16. I've yet to find a use for it in a band context, although I have seen bands use it, and I live in hope for myself;)
    You should be able to tap on any bass, although if the action is high or difficult to play (as inexpensive basses can be) that will make it more difficult. Practice though, and then when you come to do it on a good bass you'll really be able to fly!
  17. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I play in an alt-rock band and I tap sometimes. Mostly slower chord stuff when I need to add voicings and don't have enough fingers.
  18. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Part of it might be your technique or the action on your bass. New strings can help too.

    When I upgraded to a Cirrus, it facilitated my tapping quite a bit.
  19. Listen to some prog stuff like Symphony X and tell me there's no tapping.
    I think it would sound good to tap out some arpeggios or minor chord patterns to set a dark mood. You could expand a bit on the Opeth or Tool sound with some tasty tapping.
    Just lay down a cool vamp and let the guitar and vocals layer on top.
  20. Metal is a very open and broad genre, so tapping (and different types of tapping) can be used in many different ways and contexts.

    Tone DOES matter though if you want it to come through and sound decent.

    For myself, sometimes I use it to tap some heavy syncopated riffs all on my low B string, sometimes I do the Van Halen style, sometimes Billy Sheehanish stuff (but with less aweful tone ;) ), sometimes Primus-ish stuff, but that too can be made to sound smoother in the less percussive metal melodies.

    And then of course there is chord arpeggio tapping which is good for solos if done fast, but is best used for slower dark themes and backing lines in a song. Breakdowns can be done too. And it doesnt have to be flashy and fast, just playing what would be a dark line on a piano with the minor triad and an octave can sound amazing if played with soft touch.

    Experiment. Jam with a song till you get a feel then try doing some taps.

    Good songs to learn basic tapping from:
    Primus - DMV, Jerry Was a Racecar Driver

    Stu Hamm - Any of his solos and songs are good, you can find them tabbed online, i think at a Stu hamm site even: Sexually Active is a staple.

    Victor Wooten - Tough for a beginner, but you'll work your pinky into shape for sure. and some interesting stuff: A Show of Hands, Classical Thump

    Billy Sheehan - any solo of his. that nv43345 or whatever its called is decent show of his techniques

    Symphony X - dont listen much, but they do more classic metal tapping on one string

    After this. try doing guitar-like Sweep Arpegios using tapping...that can fit in metal solos.

    Dont be afraid to solo, but make sure you practice yourself first. I solo in songs I've written usually, or slower parts of my guitarists songs (but usually doing the geezer-like improv stuff). For my songs i play short solos or riffs or themes, or if its fast ill do a solo with my OD pedal on and just play like a guitar with sweeps and tapping and tremolo, etc.

    Bass is very versatile. A good thing also to learn is chord structure...learning how to walk in jazz helps you with that, or just learning scales over chords can help you.

    Ok, this is sooo tangential.

    Have fun.

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