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What is tapping?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cousinofmurloc, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. cousinofmurloc


    Feb 24, 2014
    I've just been wondering because it's in a lot of songs I want to learn. I know how to slap and pop fairly well but I'm just confused as to how I tap. Can someone explain?
  2. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Whilst fretting with the left hand, press down with the right hand onto a fret and let it ring. This is one handed tapping at least...
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Stanley Jordan takes it over the top-
    It's @NAMM, so FWIW.

    The clueless walking around in the NAMM video reminded of the only time I ever saw Jordan live, mid-'90s-
    In Va Beach...ouitside, hot/sunny...on the boardwalk (the clueless struting around as in the above link).
    The 1st 2-3 tunes, you're just blown away...then you just kick back & enjoy.
    He did the best Hendrix & Shankar covers I have ever heard.
    "Stairway To Heaven" was also cool.
  4. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr "Play I Some Music" Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    Sometimes I wonder if musicianship of this magnitude is even worth it. I mean, I am blown away by this man's talent, but ask ten people who he is and it's almost a sure thing that none of them will have ever heard of him. I've seen unbelievable musicians, virtuous talent, completely ignored at airport cafes, or playing dive bars for tips, or worse, relegated to wanking on selfie YouTube videos. I'm not saying that you shouldn't strive to be the best you can possibly be, but when most of the people you'll ever play for couldn't care less, it makes you wonder if it's worth the effort.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    IIRC, Stanley Jordan was a street musician in NYC...somebody saw him & got him a record deal. I'm not sure about his debut...but Magic Touch (his 2nd album) was on Blue Note Records. It did not truly capture his live vibe, IMO.
    Not that I know anything about anything...I just assume Jordan (& those of his ilk) could care less about his "popularity".
    Anthony Jackson (I know, another who the masses are oblivious to) calls Jordan "a genius"...and Jackson does not toss that word around lightly.

    BTW, Jordan did pop up in an '80s movie.
    IIRC, Bruce Willis is a fan; it was a Willis movie with Kim Basinger...Blind Date?
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I think it was Chicago, not NYC.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    He was born in Chicago...I thought it was NYC where he was "discovered".
    Various links I'm reading now point to NYC (post-Princeton).
    I had also forgotten about his computer education. He's deep.

    Here's a snippet-

    "Enrollment at Princeton University in 1977 yielded some startling news for the young guitarist. Faculty member Milton Babbitt had devised a similar system in the late 1950s. The two began working together, and Babbitt eventually became Jordan’s adviser. Besides music theory, Jordan studied computers and their role in music composition, a field in which he continued to break ground even after graduating.

    Armed with his degree in music, Jordan set out to conquer the Big Apple. In 1983 he released a self-produced LP entitled Touch Sensitive. While it contained all the trademarks of his remarkable style, the all-solo effort did little for advancing his career. He literally resorted to playing in the streets, dues-paying which eventually caught the attention of some of the Jazz world’s heavyweights. He wound up auditioning for impressario George Wein, which led to an unannounced performance at the 1984 Kool Jazz Festival. That gig was impressive enough to earn Jordan the right to open for Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis at Avery Fisher Hall. Stanley had indeed arrived".
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Oct. '85 Guitar Player magazine-

    "Since 1980, I had gone to New York several times to try making some contacts in the music business & getting some exposure. In May of '84, I moved there - that's when I played on the streets. Mainly I used to set up at the corner of 7th Avenue & 48th Street, where all the music stores are. Occasionally, I'd get hassled...being heard on the streets by helpful people is how I got to play the Kool Jazz Festival in '84, so it was certainly worth it".
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Makes sense. I knew there was some Chicago connection with him.
  10. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Real Tappers use this instrument:


    The rest are wannabes.
  11. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    IMHO money, fame, or make people care more to what we play are not always have to be the purpose of performing/playing music. Most of the time, self satisfaction of creating 'art'/creativities that kinda 'feed our soul' is much more important.Whether other people can relate to it, or better, appreciate it, is other 'story'.
    And I think the world needs this, creativities, talent, musicianship. It's positive force for our culture, life and history. It's worth it. It's valuable.
  12. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Stanlery Jordan was the guy who took tapping out of the real of the exotic and brought it to mainstream music..

    What a load of ........
  13. hellofromming


    Jan 18, 2012
    Stanley was invited to play a blues solo in Bluenote concert.
    I believe tapping like the way he is now is the way he thinks to express himself the best, rather than trying to attract the others. And he did create his unique style and vibes on that
  14. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters

    Sav'n-whatever, you need to do you homework before you blow your dribbling, impotent load.

    Alphonso Johnson and Tony Levin, two high-profile bassists, were playing the Stick in the mid-70's.
  15. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Yes but a lot of people were still not hip to it.. Jordan brought it out to a wider audience .. and regardless ... just because ..

    doesn't mean that those who came after them or didn't play the Chapman stick at all are "wannabes" that is a load .....
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'll re-read the Jordan piece in Guitar Player…I think they mentioned tappers going back to the '30s. Jordan was a pianist before he became a guitarist; he applied his keyboard mentality to the guitar.

    EDIT: The above mentioned piece on Jordan cites Mario Maccaferri from the '20s...Jimmy Webster from the '40s/'50s as early tappers.
  17. Just a question, does anybody use tapping in their ensembles or bands? I've just started doing basic shapes such as minor and major triads with the octave and I was wondering if anyone found much use of it in the 'real' world?
  18. Tapping was going on long before Jordan, Chapman and VanHalen. For me it began with Jimmy Webster, but it was happening even before him by his teacher Harry DeArmond and perhaps before DeArmond developed it.

    Bass Tappers (apart from those already mentioned)
    Billy Sheehan does some tapping stuff, and I've seen/heard some guys with ERBs do some wicked tapping. Whatever flips your switch.

    Stuart Hamm has some vids and a Hal Leonard book out there and a Hot Licks DVD.

    Probably a few other big name bass players out there that tap that haven't been mentioned yet, ex. Nick Beggs plays Chapman stick, but I'm not sure how much he taps on a regular bass

    There's plenty of How To Youtube videos.

    Good luck with it, have fun woodshedding.

    PS: I see JimK mentioned Maccaferri, so it did start earlier than my Webster reference point. Cool!