Eight-fingered tapping techniques

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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Skyscraper
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Hi there,
First post, and I'm prepared to admit to being a bit of a novice on the guitar, so I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice. I've played on and off for years but never really bothered to get past a certain basic level. However, I'm now trying to get the hang of more complicated shredding techniques, but must admit that I don't exactly know what all of them involve. Eight-fingered tapping, however, is the main thing that intrigues me, as it seems to be something that I haven't really had explained to me that well up to now.

Basically, I would like to know what it involves, where I could hear it, and when you would ever need/look to use it. I have heard that Jennifer Batten invented it (some song called Butterfly or something like that?), normally it's done over four string, Eddie Van Halen does it over two strings, but haven't really had it explained. What does it involve, and can I hear it on any Vai/Satriani/Malmsteen/Roth era Van Halen material anywhere. If not, where might I be able to hear it?

For a guy who still can't play Eruption properly yet, this is maybe a bit ambitious, but just for curiosity's sake as well as wanting to try and learn it, I would be very grateful to any of you who may be able to help me understand, so thank you in advance to anyone who does reply.
dpk shredz
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Hi Skycraper,
One of the best ways to get into the 8 finger tapping thing is to apply all the legato exercises that you do for your left hand to your right.(reverse that if your left handed) It's a cool technique to have under your belt & comes in handy from time to time.
Tony S
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Good grief, you call yourself a novice and yet you're learning to play Eruption ! Ok, so you "still can't play Eruption properly yet", but you say that as if it should be easy ! I would have thought you have to be way beyond a novice to play Eruption !! :wink:
ultrazone_seeker
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hey 'Scraper...
yes, you're right, very ambitious. too ambitious? i don't know, you'll have to be the judge for that. as for the 8-finger tapping, let me think...
ok... first, i'd refer you to a book by Peter Fischer called "Rock Guitar Secrets". there is an absolute wealth of info on all conventional and unconventional (well at least "conventional" unconventional) techniques in here, including a very in depth chapter for tapping. some of the uses for 8-finger tapping explored here are: scale and modal playing, double pentatonics (i'll explain later on), arpeggios (and double arpeggios...), and... can't remember what else off the top of my head.
"now, what the hell are double pentatonics", i hear you asking. pick a pentatonic scale (major and minor both work) in your tonic key with your left hand. your right hand will then be fretting the same scale shape a perfect 4th, 5th or octave higher. the simplest way to use this technique is to tap a note from the scale with your right hand and pull off to the note in the same position of the scale, which you'll be fretting with your left hand. confused? i don't blame you, because i can't think of a decent way to explain this. i'll give you an example...
say you're playing a Gm pentatonic at the 3rd fret....
G Bb C D F G
that's your left hand. now with your right hand, you're going to tap the notes from Dm pentatonic at the 10th fret and pull off to the notes on your left hand. here's what you play by adding this...
right hand... D F G A C D
left hand..... G Bb C D F G
like you've said, Jennifer Batten uses this a lot, or so i've heard.
aside from the other guitarists you've mentioned, i'd recommend you have a listen to Stanley Jordan. this would probably be your best example of a specialized tapper.
anyway, it's getting late, i'm getting really damn tired and unfortunately sleep can't take care of itself (actually it probably would, but i don't like the idea of crashing in front of the computer :lol: ).
good luck, i'll let you know if there's anything else i know.
-UltraZone Seeker
ultrazone_seeker
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Tony S wrote:Good grief, you call yourself a novice and yet you're learning to play Eruption ! Ok, so you "still can't play Eruption properly yet", but you say that as if it should be easy ! I would have thought you have to be way beyond a novice to play Eruption !! :wink:
no, it might be justified that he calls himself a novice... it wouldn't be completely wrong to assume he's just referring to the tapping bit, which IMO isn't that tricky (let's face it, it's all the same tapping pattern with a lot of "variations", which are more just an excuse for playing it slightly messy - no disrespect, Mr. Van Halen, sir :lol: ). it's the shredding extravaganza in the start which is beyond me...
Skyscraper
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ultrazone_seeker wrote:
Tony S wrote:Good grief, you call yourself a novice and yet you're learning to play Eruption ! Ok, so you "still can't play Eruption properly yet", but you say that as if it should be easy ! I would have thought you have to be way beyond a novice to play Eruption !! :wink:
no, it might be justified that he calls himself a novice... it wouldn't be completely wrong to assume he's just referring to the tapping bit, which IMO isn't that tricky (let's face it, it's all the same tapping pattern with a lot of "variations", which are more just an excuse for playing it slightly messy - no disrespect, Mr. Van Halen, sir :lol: ). it's the shredding extravaganza in the start which is beyond me...
Yup, you've hit the nail on the head there. I've been trying to learn it for about two weeks or so (amongst other things, plus I've had work on and haven't played the last three days so I don't know if they really count), and I'm concentrating on playing the whole thing ata reduced speed before taking it up to full pace. Sometimes you can't help yourself though, even though you know you'll sound sloppy, but you want to see where you are so you bash it out every now and then anyway. Sometimes the tapping section goes OK, more often however it doesn't, but there's plenty of time to get into it yet. The rest of the song (mainly the section after the A-G-D chords up until the fast picking section) is where I tend to have more trouble, but I haven't 'nailed' any of it to a consistently solid level.

The 'novice' remark was just a throwaway remark really, it just meant that I'm not that good at playing, nor in the past have I made much effort to strive beyond a certain 'comfortable' basic level. However, I'll be giving it a go from now on to get better and try to master more complex techniques. Never, especially on Steve Vai's board, would I attempt to claim to be unbelievable on the guitar or above anyone else, especially when I'm sure many of you will be very advanced players, since many of you will have practised mastering the styles of Vai, Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Richie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jimi Hendrix and many others.

Back to the topic at hand, though. Stanley Jordan - I don't know much about about him, but didn't he play a superb instrumental version of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby? I remember seeing that on a 'best of' an old music TV programme that used to be on in the UK in the eighties called 'The Tube' (immediately followed by a superb Mark King bass solo from a different performance) and I think that was him. He was hammering on shords and rythm patterns with his left hand, then hammering on and pulling off/tapping chords with his right hand while keeping the left hand positions in place - I take it this must be an example of eight-fingered tapping? Thanks Ultrazone Seeker for reminding me about him, I'd forgotten I'd seen that but I appreciate you jogging my memory.

I'll try and get a hold of those books as well if I can find them, and thanks for the advice on 4ths and 5ths for how to practise. You've helped me a great deal. Also dpk shredz, thanks to you as well and I'll try what you said and get practising legato exercises with my right hand, something I've been too chicken to do before now!

Steven.
ultrazone_seeker
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yes, that was Jordan doing Elanor Rigby (damn, that sounds wrong if you interpret it the wrong way...). it's on an album (his debut, i'm sure) called "magic touch". he originally played piano, so you can see where the whole self-accompaniment thing comes from... he might have changed instruments, but hell he still plays it like a piano.
another thing you might like to look at: "the mystical potato head groove thing" by Satch. i'm sure most of you know what i'm talking about here. yes, i know this is just one hand tapping (Satch, you freak :lol: ), but you could easily adapt it for 2 hands, like so...

1------------------------------------------------------
2---------------------17--------------------------------
3-----------------14------14------------------------------
4---------11-12---------------12-11----------------------
5------9-------------------------------9-------------
6---7--------------------------------------7---------------------
...and so on.
this is all conceptual stuff though, so it's entirely up to you how much of it you want to incorporate into your personal style.
Skyscraper
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"yes, that was Jordan doing Elanor Rigby (damn, that sounds wrong if you interpret it the wrong way...)."

:lol:

I'm sure he'd use both hands for that!

Ah, but Satch, bless him. The whole Flying In A Blue Dream album is absolutely stunning. I discovered Vai first through David Lee Roth (hence the username - that and the fact that Steven as a username is disallowed!), but Flying In A Blue Dream was the first solo album by a guitarist I'd really heard and loved (I was about nine at the time). Anyway...

That tab suggestion you've shown is something I'll give a go, and maybe I'll look out for Stanley Jordan as well. The other Flying In A Blue Dream tune for right hand exercises that leaps to mind (not least as it's the only one I can play!) is Day At The Beach (New Rays From An Ancient Sun) which uses right hand tapping but only with two fingers and at a regular rythm. Maybe it would be worth starting on similar stuff like that and only trying a few eight-fingered exercises, gradually working up to it.

Cheers again Ultrazone Seeker, who knows, maybe one day technology will advance enough for me to buy you an e-beer as a thank you!

Steven.
kenny_u
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check out this guy: Adam Fulara
ultrazone_seeker
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Skyscraper wrote:"yes, that was Jordan doing Elanor Rigby (damn, that sounds wrong if you interpret it the wrong way...)."
:lol:
I'm sure he'd use both hands for that!
damn, you're even sicker than i am! :lol:
Skyscraper wrote:Ah, but Satch, bless him. The whole Flying In A Blue Dream album is absolutely stunning. I discovered Vai first through David Lee Roth (hence the username - that and the fact that Steven as a username is disallowed!), but Flying In A Blue Dream was the first solo album by a guitarist I'd really heard and loved (I was about nine at the time). Anyway...
That tab suggestion you've shown is something I'll give a go, and maybe I'll look out for Stanley Jordan as well. The other Flying In A Blue Dream tune for right hand exercises that leaps to mind (not least as it's the only one I can play!) is Day At The Beach (New Rays From An Ancient Sun) which uses right hand tapping but only with two fingers and at a regular rythm. Maybe it would be worth starting on similar stuff like that and only trying a few eight-fingered exercises, gradually working up to it.
Cheers again Ultrazone Seeker, who knows, maybe one day technology will advance enough for me to buy you an e-beer as a thank you!
Steven.
yeah, i hope that tab i put up made sense (the top D, A and E are with the right hand - i forgot to include that in there). if you don't have either of the earlier Satch albums (Surfing With the Alien and Not of This Earth) i'd recommend you get them as well, obviously just because they're great but also because there's a good tapping piece on each. if you already have them, listen to "Midnight" off SWtA and "the Headless Horseman" off NoTE. oh, and also the tapped rhythm part from "Headless" off Blue Dream. much simpler than the Jordan stuff, 'cause it's all the same rhythmic patterns, but it's about as good a starting point as any if you're thinking of moving on to Jordan stuff. i'm sure i also implied that being an experienced pianist would help with Jordan stuff too :lol: .
and... that's cool man, i don't need any more than a good thankyou. seriously, knowing i've made someone else's day really makes my day, and besides all that, i hate beer. if you were going to buy anything, it'd have to be an e-bourbon&cola :) .
Inside Out
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The history of using your fretting hand on the neck actualy goes all the way back to some classical pieces. Many electric players got in on the act with Edward really breaking out with Eruption but there were many before him including Steve Hacket from Genesis. The first time I heard and saw the 8 finger approach was Jeff Watson's solo on "You Can Still Rock In America" which is amazing. I'm so surprised no one mentioned that one. Try to get a copy of the video if you can. It's also relatively simple to play and a good solo to learn. Pretty slow and linear and similar to a piano excercise.

Don't overlook the Chapman stick (not a guitar but an instrument dsigned to be fretted with both hands) there are a lot of great two handed ideas for guitar players. Check out inventor Elliot Chapman's work, Trey Gunn from King Crimson, Tony levin as well to a lesser degree and Sean Malone from Gordion Knot.


Here are a couple of links-

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... in+america
http://www.stick.com/
http://stick.phui.com/
Leeroy
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Holy sh*t! Adam Fulara is amazing. That's just not right. The stuff he does with that doubleneck is sick.
Matthew
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Adam Fulara is amazing! He looks like Geddy Lee! :lol:
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