Basics of Two Hand Tapping

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

Two hand tapping is a great rock and metal guitar technique that allows you to extend scales and legato passages along a single string. It sounds pretty complicated on the surface, but as a technique it’s actually not that difficult to get started with.

It also has some wow factor for anyone watching. If they’ve never seen someone playing in this style before, it makes for an impressive watch!

In this lesson we’re going to look at three different ways you can get started with tapping.

Fretting Hand Hammer On

The first way is by performing a hammer on with your fretting hand.

Imagine you’re doing a hammer on from the 5th to the 8th fret, but instead of picking you’ll be tapping. The tap will take place at the 12th fret. Tap this fret firmly to sound the note of the 12th fret with your picking hand, while your fretting hand is ready at the 5th fret for the next stage.

Once you’ve sounded the 12th fret note with the tap, pull this finger off, and you will then hear the 5th fret which should already be in place. Once you hear the 5th fret, proceed to hammer on to the 8th.

Think of this as triplets (Three notes per beat). Once you get the rhythm locked in, you can quite easily double the speed into sextuplets (six notes per beat).

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

Fretting Hand Pull Off

You can also do the same thing with your fretting hand performing a pull off. The same rules apply, except you’re placing both fretting hand fingers in place before tapping.

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

Once you have mastered these two styles, you can actually combine them together for some interesting tapping licks, alternate between hammer ons and pull offs:

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

You can also move this idea to other strings, providing it fits into your scale pattern. It works on the High E:

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

And the Low E:

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

If you’re doing this on other strings, just move your fingers to fit into the scale shape. These examples are all using the A Minor Pentatonic and A Natural Minor Scale.

Tapping with Bends

You can also use string bends to add an interested extension onto existing pentatonic rock licks and string bends:

Basics of Two Hand Tapping

This lick bends the 7th fret of the G and while the bend it at its peak, tap the 12th and 14th frets. The pull off from these tapped notes will allow the bend to continue sounding.

Although you’re tapping the 12th and 14th fret, you’ll actually hear the notes from 2 frets higher because the bend pitches the string up a full tone. This is worth keeping in mind, if you’re targeting a specific scale note, you’ll need to tap lower to allow for the bend.

About The Author

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