When a lot of people decided to learn how to play the guitar, it was because they saw/heard Eddie Van Halen and his amazing peice ‘Eruption’. The most famous section of this, of course, is the epic finger tapping at the end.
Finger tapping is a technique that can sound great, with little work. It may sound strange if you have never tried it, but once you have the basic idea down, you can play lots of different phrases that sound completely different to each other.
I wouldn’t put it in the box of ‘guitar lessons for beginners’, but you don’t have to be an advanced or even intermediate guitar player to start finger tapping and have it sound pretty damn close to how Eddie does it.
In the video on this page, I explain the perfect way to get started with finger tapping.
A key point to remember here is to keep your tapping hand nice and solid by using either your thumb or your thumb and your 3rd and 4th fingers to rest on the fretboard. This will allow you to go hell bent for leather without worrying that you are going to hit a wrong note (and nobody wants that!).
If this is the first finger tapping guitar lesson you have gone through, remember to take it slowly. There’s no rush to nail this technique, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get it if you do have patience (sounds ironic I know!).
There are plenty of variations to the example I show you in this lesson, but I’d recommend keeping it to the basic 1-2-3 tapping to start off with. If it is good enough for Eddie Van Halen, it should be good enough for you 🙂
Also, make sure you spend a bit of time practicing the guitar pick switch, this will allow you to be playing and quickly swap between picking mode and tapping mode. Some guitarists use their middle finger to tap so they can keep their guitar pick grasped tightly, but watching how EVH does it, he does the switch. And I don’t know about you, but I like to follow the ‘masters’ and while Eddie isn’t the only master of finger tapping, he is certainly one of the best!
This guitar pick switch is really easy to get, due to the fact you can practice is just about anywhere. Just keep a guitar pick in your pocket and you’re good to go.
After you have the example I show you in the video down, give it a shot learning the tapping piece from Eruption. Not only does it sound awesome, it’s a lot of fun to play and a really good exercise at the same time. It really works your fretting hand as you can imagine. Remember to stretch out afterward, you don’t want cramp to set in.
Enjoy this online guitar lesson and get tapping!