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Andy James - Metal Edge Part 5: Tapping Arpeggios

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 5 **

Hello, and welcome to this next Metal Edge guitar lesson, where we are going to be looking at a few shred guitar exercises to help you with tapping arpeggios.

The thing to remember with any of these kind of guitar techniques is to make sure the licks are executed cleanly first and worry about the speed second. Also muting is also key for tapping to remain clean at high speeds. Ways to keep your tapping licks clean are to make definite contacts to the notes with your left hand by hammering fairly hard. This is also true of the tapping notes in the right hand.

Tip: Confidence = Cleanliness!

There are players out there, including myself, that have used a hair band over the neck to stop any excess string resonance creeping into your tapping licks. Other players such as Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe and Dave Martone have used the aid of a hair band for long tapping passages, so don’t feel like you are cheating. A hair band wont make you a better player, or play these licks for you, it's just an aid, or tool if you will. to make you sound a bit more professional. Like using a noise gate to cut out noise when your not playing when using high gain for example.

Lick 1:

This lick will take a bit of getting used to but it's well worth the effort. The left hand shapes and right hand taps don’t change fret distance from each other and there are no awkward fingerings, just string skips that make this particularly difficult to master. Also with a lot of wide interval playing use of your peripheral vision also comes into play so that’s something else to get used to

Lick 2:

The same advice given in lick 1 also applies, all you are doing is changing one note which is the note your third finger plays on each string. When you are familiar with both licks, why not practice them back to back by playing each lick each twice through?

Lick 3:

This lick relies heavily on the peripheral vision mentioned in the text for lick 1. This lick is in the same key as lick 1 as its home would be E minor, but this is a slightly less conventional way of playing arpeggios which can be more interesting to the listener. The best way to get this lick down is to just concentrate of the fingering for the left hand first of all, then practice the tapping notes on their own as you are going to be using two fingers on your left hand. Once you have got to grips with both hand sequences, the most logical thing would be to put them together and practice the arpeggio slowly, either to a metronome or a drum machine and gradually speed it up. Remember work on the cleanliness of the lick first and then speed second.

Licks 4/5:

Both these licks are the same patterns which is just a major version of lick number 3 with only one note being changed in both patterns. Again, the same advice in the lick  3 text still applies to licks 4 and 5, its just going to take Practice! Practice! Practice!

Lick 6:

I’ve been a fan of Greg Howe for a long time now and early when Greg hit the scene, to see licks like this in his playing would not have been uncommon. I always liked how he could sequence arpeggios using tapping and this lick is inspired by Greg’s approach to arpeggio tapping. This is in the key of D Minor and again uses all the above previous advice.

Lick 7,8,9:

All these licks that proceed lick 6 use the same pattern and techniques, just moving through a chord progression to make this exercise a bit more musical and fun to play.

That’s all we have time for now, until the next issue, Keep Rockin’!


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