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PAUL GEARY
TAPPING HARDER THAN FRED ASTAIRE AT A WOODPECKER
SANCTUARY, SESSION ACE PAUL GEARY TAKES A LOOK AT THE
SINGLE-STRING TECHNIQUE
A
s a technique, tapping has its roots set firmly within the guitar world - but over the years
tapping has developed on bass guitar to a point where it is used extensively to enhance the
melodic and harmonic content of a song.
My take on bass, and in particular tapping, has always been to explore the capabilities of the
instrument, sonically, harmonically and melodically. Tapping certainly has its place, although
you wouldn't want to use it in an audition for a pop gig.
..
EXAMPLE 1
Let's start out by looking at the
G string to tap our first notes.
Place the first finger of your
fretting hand on the E note at the
ninth fret of the G string. Keep
it planted there for the whole
exercise. Grip the neck with your
thumb and second finger of your
plucking hand, leaving your first
finger to tap the B note at the
sixteenth fret of the G string.
Tap down hard on the B
note with the first finger of the
plucking hand and then pull off
with the same finger, allowing the
E note to ring out. Next, hammer
on down hard with the little finger of the fretting hand at the twelfth fret of the G string (double dots),
playing the G note. Repeat this movement, remembering to take your little finger off the G note at the
twelfth fret when you pull off from the B note. This will take a little practice at first, but you should get
the hang of it quite quickly. Don't go too fast, but make sure you can hear all of the notes. All of these
examples are to be played up the octave (8va) and in a 6/8 time signature.
EXAMPLE 2 1-----------------
Repeat this process, substituting
the B note for a C note at the
17th fret of the G string. Try
switching between the two
notes after each grouping,
making sure you are tapping,
pulling off and hammering on
each note. The important thing
is to make sure you can actually
hear each note.
"M Y TAKE ON BASS, AND IN PARTICULAR TAPPING, HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO
EXPLORE THE CAPABILITIES OF THE INSTRUMENT, SONICALLY, HARMONICALLY
AND MELODICALLY"
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