Wank Tapping & The Fine Art Of Eating Cheesy Poofs

"Wank Tapping", as i have affectionately come to know it, has been around a long time. Most likely, ever since the first kid that heard Van Halen 1 "learned" the secret right hand tapping technique and discovered he could flail his hands real fast, bereft of synchronization, and his 10-year-old brother's friends would still think he was amazing.

i'm not sure what it is about two handed tapping techniques that throw themselves so pliantly into the mouth of the great dragon of slop, but alas...

Let it be our mission here to explore a few ideas that are not so easy to, shall we say, "wank". Remember, however, much still depends on you, and not succumbing to those little voices than emanate from both right and left hands, each urging the other on to greater speeds, separately, until finally one hand is playing in Cleveland and the other in Shanghai.

This utter lack of each hand working in unison with the other is known only as the dreaded... the foul... the downright abominable, horrid and thoroughly repugnant... Wank Tapping (insert delay here).

Remember, all music is a form of communication. Why do we need to strive for articulation in our tapping technique? Isn't it just easier to do an exceedingly half-assed version and still reap the accolades of young unskilled guitarists everywhere with tin cans for ears? Try this scientific experiment, today sometime:

Step 1: Go to a website on String Theory. Read up. Memorize.

Step 2: Go to local Quicky Mart and buy Cheesy Poofs.

Step 3: Find random stranger on the street.

Step 4: Insert said Cheesy Poofs into your own mouth, until the entire cavity is overfilled completely.

Step 5: Engage stranger in conversation about the deeper points of String Theory.

Step 6: Watch the reaction.

Step 7: Don't Wank Tap, dig?

Now then... three ideas I use profusely on my latest CD "Aum". Our first sequence is based on an E melodic minor scale, done in a 3 note per string style.

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And here's the sequence:

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MP3 - Example 2

Notice that every 3rd note on each string is played by using the usual picking hand to tap the note, instead, I like to use my first finger for this one fingered tapping stuff, unless someone is really makin' me angry in the audience, in which case I'll use the middle finger as my own sick private little joke (*shiftyeyes*).

Next on our little tapping excursion is:

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MP3 - Example 3

This one is an A Dom7 arpeggio. Again, note where the tapping hand is coming into the mix; 3 note per string, top note of each. Watch the tap slide on the high E string.

Are you still with me? Are you avoiding making friends with the Great Behemoth of Slop that rises in triumph from the Pit of Suckery? Goooood. Let's try our final example:

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MP3 - Example 4

In this one, you'll note we're using 2 fingers on the tapping hand; namely, the second and third (T2 and T3). If that's a new thing for you, practice doing simple hammer/ pull patterns with just those 2 fingers for a while to get them in shape. This one is based on a C Whole tone scale.

Good luck with this! Practice slowly and work on the clarity. These are only brief ideas, so experiment to come up with your own
variations and ways to fit them into your playing and make them musical. And most importantly...

...don't Wank Tap.

Terry Syrek is a guitarist with 17 years experience teaching, both privately and in a classroom environment, and is senior faculty at the National Guitar Workshop.

His is the author of the "Shred Is Not Dead" book abd DVD guitar instructional series on Alfred Publishing, as well as the author of the "Unearthed Arcana" instructional CD-ROM.

His latest CD is entitled "Aum".

Terry Syrek

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