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tapping question.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mikomiloho, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    hello, i'm having this problem with tapping.

    basically when i tap, the sound comes out very soft. is it because i just need to use more strength to tap the strings? or is it something to do with the volume of the amp or bass or my technique?

    i'm asking this because i'm having trouble trying to do the stuart hamm's moonlight sonata part in his solo, the one where you need to do tapping.

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Probably your attack, you gotta hit those things pretty hard.

    Think about when you play fingerstyle, you're fretting a note and plucking it somewhere in the middle of the string, and is easier to get moving.

    Tapping, you really gotta thump the thing to get the string vibrating at the same amplitude (volume)
  3. Gegatso


    Jan 16, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    You also might want to consider an adjustment of the relief and/or string height to give you just a *tiny* but more area for the string to get to motion by tapping. A buddy of mine (yes, really not me) who had the lowest action on the planet could not get much volume regardless of how hard he was tapping. Oh, and active basses (to me) seem more well-suited if you're starting.
    Just my 2 cents, as always. :)

  4. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    thanks, luckily mine is an active bass. lol.

    gah, its kinda hard really attacking the strings with my pinkie on the right hand.

    shall get to it soon, thanks.
  5. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    Low action helps, as does turning up, and maybe using some compression

    Other than that, there isn't much else to do besides work on your technique.
  6. Lower your strings, bring them down closer to your neck, helps a lot with tapping. As was said, to tap on a bass, you really have to slam the frickin strings, its something totally different than tapping on a guitar. I tried tapping on my friend's guitar once and I felt like I was about to break the string cause they were so easy to tap and I was thumping them so hard.

    If the strings are lower, closer to your neck, its less strength going into moving the string, more strength going into ringing it.
  7. Although as Gegatso said, too low and you can't get enough energy into the string.
  8. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    The quality of the bass can hinder or facilitate your tapping a bit too.
  9. Even when the string is already sitting on the fret, I can make it ring good with my usual tapping thump. The collision energy is enough to give the string a ring.
  10. rmrf


    Mar 6, 2006
    Holiday, FL
    I have a question too.

    When I tap on high frets - sound comes from both parts of the string and this sounds very dirty - what to do and who is guilty? Bass, technique, both?

  11. It's just part of tapping. If you're amplified it may not come through very much. It's good practice to mute the part you don't want, either with your hand or with something else down near the nut.
  12. Yup, totally normal, the "good" side of the your string "locks" on the fret you tap, and the "bad" side of the string locks the other way around on the fret below the one you play. That just how it work. You don't need to worry about it when you play amplified. When you play accoustic its something else though.
  13. muthagoose


    Jan 18, 2004
    I usually tie a sock around the neck at the first fret, which mutes the string just enough to keep it from ringing when tapping.
    Might not look too hot if you're performing live, but it's pretty easy to find a decent substitute.
  14. rmrf


    Mar 6, 2006
    Holiday, FL
    Thanks for everyone for answers, but one more question (more stupid that previous one) :).

    Is there any recommendations to keep action optimal for tapping and hard attack playing?

    I have several variants - two basses or habits changing... :)
  15. guidedbassman


    Nov 21, 2006
    malone ny
    :bassist: HI man you mite want to try a comp and maybe alittle overdrive. I use the boss Bass limiter Enhancer pedal and then go into a voodoo labs sparkle drive pedal before going into my amp and its really pulls out my tapping. A follow bass player told me about it and man did it help . give it a try and see what you think.
  16. mikomiloho


    Nov 8, 2006
    ahh, can anyone help me with my pinkie? lol. any excerises to recommend?

    this is how the thing i need to play kinda goes.


    yeah its something like that, i guess for all the "14"s, i have to use my pinkie, but damn its hard.
  17. slapslappopslap


    Nov 22, 2006
    hey man, just help on the moonlight, if you go to www.stuarthamm.net and in the tab section there is a lot of his stuff, some good tapping practise and a version of the sonata which is much easier. you wont have to use your pink much, but itll be enough for you to build strength. :bassist:
  18. muthagoose


    Jan 18, 2004
    Just use a metronome and tap frets 11-12-13-14 or any other adjacent frets, using your index finger for the 11, middle for the 12 and so on. This will build strength in all of your fingers.
    Then do variations:

    G ----------14-
    D 11-12-13----

    G ---12----14-
    D 11- --13----

    G -11------------
    D ----12-13--14-

    and so on, you get the idea. Try to get your hands used to playing a wide assortment of intervals.

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