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Tapping is a playing technique generally associated with the electric guitar, although the technique may be performed on almost any string instrument. There are two main methods of tapping: one-handed or 'ordinary' tapping, and two-handed tapping.

It may be considered an extended technique, in that it is executed by using the fingers of one hand to 'tap' the strings against the fingerboard, thus sounding legato notes; often in tightly synchronised conjunction with the other hand (in the case of right-handed players, their left). Hence, tapping usually incorporates pull-offs or hammer-ons as well, whereby the fingers of the left hand play a sequence of notes in synchronisation with the tapping hand.

The Chapman Stick is an instrument built primarily for tapping, and is based on the Free Hands two-handed tapping method invented in 1969 by Emmett Chapman where each hand approaches the fretboard with the fingers aligned parallel to the frets.

The Mobius Megatar, Box Guitar, and Solene instruments are other instruments designed for the same method, and the Bunker Touch-Guitar is designed for the two-necked tapping technique developed by Dave Bunker in 1958, but with an elbow rest to hold the right arm in the conventional guitar position. The NS/Stick and Warr guitar are also built for tapping, though not exclusively. These instruments use lower string tension and low action to increase the string's sensitivity to lighter tapping.

Occasionally some guitarists may choose to tap using the sharp edge of their pick instead of fingers to produce a faster, more rigid flurry of notes in a style closer to that of trilling.

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Mikael M said...

Thank you for your info - shall mention your blog on http://drivemyguitar.blogspot.com

Giorgio said...

Thanks, that was a good post. I am myself trying tapping as I am the proud owner since a few months of a Chapman Stick. I have started to blog about it at http://ihunda.blogspot.com if you want to take a look.


Anonymous said...


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