Michael Angelo Batio: On The Double
Fretboard tapping is another great technique for executing speedy melodic lines and solos. Here’s a basic tapping lick in A minor to get you started [FIGURE 12]: begin with the fret-hand pinkie, middle finger and index finger fretting the 10th, eighth and seventh frets on the high E string, respectively, and start the lick off by tapping onto the 12th fret on that string with the pick-hand middle finger.
FIGURE 13 shows another A minor tapping lick. I love to string-skip because it’s a great way to emulate the sound of arpeggios as performed on a piano, so in this example I skip from the high E to the G string at the beginning of the phrase. The lick on each string begins with the finger tap. The other trick is that I fret the high E string with the index and ring fingers but use my index finger and pinkie on the G and D strings.
FIGURE 14 shows yet another tapping lick. For this one, I incorporate trills on each string into the tapped lick; a trill is a quickly executed and repeated hammeron/ pull-off between two notes on a given string. On the high E string, I execute the trill with the
index and middle fingers; on all of the other strings, I trill between the index finger and pinkie.
This is a “signature” technique that I developed, in part, as an answer to Jimmy Page’s renowned use of a violin bow. This lick [shown slow and fast in FIGURE 15 and 16] is inspired by the Gary Moore song “End of the World.” While tremolo picking each string, I alternately fret notes “underhanded” (conventionally) and “overhanded,” meaning that I bring my fret-hand around to the top side of the neck in order to finger notes. Why do I do this? Because it looks cool as hell!
So there, in a nutshell, are some of the techniques I use to shred fast and with precision and expressive detail. Take your time working through these exercises and, above all, stick with it. You, too, could become one of the fastest ax slingers on the planet.
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