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> Tapped Scalar Runs From Hell
Ben Higgins
post Apr 19 2015, 05:11 PM
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If you're looking for a new idea to add to your arsenal of guitar techniques then let me introduce you to the idea of tapped 3 note per string scalar runs.

The basic idea is that you substitute the 3rd note for a tapped note, instead of playing it with your finger. The result is that you get a smooth, legato sound that you can't get in any other way.

For a great example of what can be potentially done with it, listen to the master of this technique at 0:46 and 0:50.

It's so smooth you'd swear it was a keyboard, wouldn't you? Not so. This is achieved by fretting two notes with the left hand and tapping the 3rd, just as I explained above.

This short video explains it with an example run.. because it's always nicer to see and hear it than just read about it, eh?

You might have noticed I'm using a hairband to mute the strings a little. Greg himself usually does this too. You don't have to, of course. It depends how much you use this technique, how long the runs are and how close together the hand shifting is. Lots of the noise you get when using this technique is from your fretting hand when shifting it up or down from one position to another. If the scalar run is fairly close together on the neck then you probably won't need a noise damper ie. hairband.

Now you know how to do this you can create some sexy runs. Go on, start with a scale and try it.

You don't have to stick with triplets, either. Even though the patterns are arranged in groups of 3 you can still play them as 16th notes and other multiples of 4. It's just the same as using your normal 3 note per string scale shapes. You're not always playing triplets, right? So this is the same deal.

I created a lesson which introduces students to Greg's way of tapping and it deals with both 8th notes and triplets so give this a go for an extra challenge.

I haven't even gotten to the bonus point yet... not only is this a super smooth, slinky, sexy technique that sounds like no other.. but the bonus is that you can ramp up the speed beyond that which you would normally be capable of.

I bet that most of would be able to play sextuplets faster using 2 fretted notes and a tapped 3rd note than if we repeated the notes with the fretting hand only. Let's try it now. Repeat these 3 notes, both ascending and then descending and see if tapping the 3rd gives you more speed.

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So, all those tricky sextuplet runs that you would normally tackle with alternate picking can also be played using your tapped digits too. Aaaaaaand it will cost you a lot less energy, allowing you even greater speed. What's not to love?

Speed isn't the only goal but it is a nice little bonus of this technique and I know a lot of you like your speed so..... cool.gif

Righto, there you have it. Tapping isn't just EVH style licks or tapped arpeggios and whatnot. It can be used tactically to play scalar runs all over the neck. BOOM!

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