Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

tapping into the soul (a Q on tapping)

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by shon, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    I've been playing for about 5 years now, and have only recently gotten into the technique of tapping. I have a few questions regarding the topic of it.

    How do I make tapping lines flow from chord to chord?

    Are there any excercises that would help time & speed?

    Can I get some cool patterns that I could impress my friends with?

    Um...I guess that's it for now. I'll probably find more questions about it, and post em on this thread (if not a different one). Cool.
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Hmmm... those are good questions Shon, but they may require more info than we can get across in this forum. There are certainly lots of exercises you can use to help make your tapping smoother, however sometimes it's best to just practice the particular chord progression you want to improve over and over. Playing it very slowly should help with your time and speed. Try using a metronome at the slowest speed you can stand, then bring the tempo up one notch at a time as you start to be able to play the progression better.

    Hopefully, playing fantastic music with expression and depth will impress your friends!
  3. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    Thanks Michael. Do you know where I could get more information about my questions? Like books and stuff?
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Hey shon,

    I'm also a newbie(5 years) but I think I might be able to contribute something here. There are two tapping lines I've heard that have been great aids for learning the technique better.
    one is from Victor Wooten and its really simple
    using the index and middle fingers on your right
    and the index and ring on your left(of course finger choice is subjective)
    a variation is
    and further more this puts your fingers in positions to pretty easily move to another shape or chord.

    the second is a loose interpretation of a Michael Manring line I heard.
    Its holding the root and the third of any given chord and then tapping the 2nd and the 5th
    so if your hitting a G on the D string(above the 12th fret) and a B on the G string(above the 12th) you would tap the A on the D string and the C on the G String
    then you can alternate the taps and pull off each one to hear the note you are holding....this shape is movable to anywhere on the neck

    Now I am by no means that proficient at tapping, but these few lines have been enormous aids when I'm working with tap stuff. I hope that maybe these ideas will help you build ideas of your own to work with.

    Michael, I'm writing a song with Alternate tunings! its my first ever attempt, I'm dropping the G string to F# and the A-->A# and the E-->D and switching the tunings mid-song...its fun!!!!! I owe it to you for giving me the idea.
  5. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    What do the numbers mean? are they intervals? Is what you're trying to show me somewhat similar to what Vic does in 'Overjoyed'?
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Yeah the numbers are intervals....and it is a very similiar pattern to "overjoyed" if you listen to vic's tap lines he uses the 1-5-9-10(or 11) structure quite a bit.
    Overjoyed is 1-5-9-13 ;)
  7. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003

    it took me a minute to figure out what you were asking,and I might have a suggestion if I knew more.I need a definition for "Tapping". Do you mean playing with out plucking,just"hammering" with your fingers? Do you mean "touching" the note to make it sound? It sounds like the two fingers from each hand are "druming" the stings against the fret board. If you mean playing your bass with two hands like one does to play the piano,a finger for every note,I can help you with that.If you mean tapping the string like a piano hammer hits a piano string,i can help you with that. The end result would allow you to play melodies ,even ones with large intervallic jumps. It is easier to talk to you about this as opposed to typing graphic descriptions.-Garry
  8. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    two handed style. What kind of advise could you give an intermediate two hand tapper?
  9. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    Shon- i would say that concept clarification is first.Tapping-I think of tapping someone on the shoulder,like a woodpecker pecks a tree, a piano hammer strikes a piano string. Sustaining a note is the other part of two handed.Pressing your finger tip down and keeping it there and letting the note ring out.Either hand, you want to take four fingers(Emmet Chapman's original stick technique was only three fingers on each hand) .First fret/index,2nd fret middle,3rd fret/ring,4th fret/pinky. First exercise is to play finers one through 4 evenly,in loudness & sustain on only one string .As Michael pointed out the need to start as slow as you can stand it can't be strssed enough.As you move to the 2nd finger,keep the first one down on the string,and by the time you get to the 4th finger,your really not just using your pinky, but all four fingers.Then shift your hand over without a break in the sound to fret #5 and start all over again.The shift should be practiced suntil it sounds the same as going from the first finger to the second finger.Do this until you reach the octave of the note you started on.Go for even,sustained tone.Next you want to reverse the direction and go back down.The fourth to first finger shift now becomes a first to fourth finger shift. do this on each string.It takes some time to get it even and the 4 to 1 shifts smooth.You can the practice major and modes,melodic minor and modes,blues,dominant 8 not and diminishished scales,all on one string .I mentioned playing one string bass in another thread,and I am serious about it.After a period of time,you start working on the triads on one string.Maj.,minor,diminished,augmented.Choose a note,then find the third and then the fifth and then the octave of a particular triad,like c major.Only on one string.You can use one finger to do thisYou never take your fingers off the string,so you are never really tapping,The result is a very full,sustained effect.I can tell you about staccato notes and tapping later.You will be able to play bass with onlly one hand this was.When you start spreading this over all the strings it gets really fun.I will have Bach two part invention #1 up on my mp3 page soon.Each hand is completely independent of each other,and this is the ultimate tapping experience.
  10. Hey Garry
    I just heard a recording of you playing Bach two part invention # 1 on a nine string . How do you get your hands to play two seperate lines ? How do you play the five note chord at the end ? Is that a low c , a high c and then a c major triad on the right hand?
  11. Hi Shon,

    There's a site dedicated to touchstyle playing, touchstyle instruments and "tappists" worldwide.

    Check it out => www.tappistry.org

    I'm trying to adapt some of that two handed polyphony as well, but on my acoustic guitar (steel strings). It looks like we're on the same boat of trying to learn this artform.

  12. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    THanks! That website will be helpful on my quest...