Hit it hard with these wild percussive tapping applications

One of my favorite techniques for performing fast, complex melodic lines is what I like to call percussive tapping. The concept is to alternate tapped figures executed with each hand individually, oftentimes with more than one fret-hand finger brought into play.

To my way of thinking, the idea is virtually the same as the manner by which a drummer will play varying rhythmic syncopations on a given drum or drums. The integration of the movement of the two hands creates the rhythmic syncopation; the added benefit here is that the guitar is a melodic instrument, and the technique allows one to play phrases that would otherwise be impossible. I love the way drummers use triplets, “quads” (four-note groups) and more unusual rhythmic patterns and find it endlessly fascinating to try and apply this approach to melodic ideas on the guitar.

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