Soundsphere Lesson 15 – Tapping with an open string

This month we have a tapping lick using an open string in a pedal note fashion. It is based in the key of G and creates different chords by moving […]

This month we have a tapping lick using an open string in a pedal note fashion. It is based in the key of G and creates different chords by moving up and down the neck on one string.

lesson 15
The first chord is a G major chord, formed by tapping with our second finger on our right hand at the twelfth fret of the G string and pulling off to our fourth finger to the D at the seventh fret, then down to our first finger to the B at the fourth fret. We then pull off to an open G note, then hammer on to the B and then the D using the same fingers. This is all in sextuplets, so these first 6 notes take up 1 whole beat. The second beat is a direct repeat of the first, and beats three and four of the first bar switch to a G major 7 chord. All this means is that we change the note we tap at the twelfth fret from a G, to and F# at the eleventh fret, which we then repeat to complete our first bar. We then repeat this bar in it’s entirety.
The third bar changes to a C major chord, again tapping the G at the twelfth fret, then pulling off this time to the E at the seventh fret, then to the C at the fifth fret, down to the open G then back up to the C and E again. We repeat this for beat two before changing to a C major flat 5 chord, which again involves exchanging the G that we tap at the twelfth fret for an F# at the eleventh. Again we will repeat this bar.
Bars five and six are comprised entirely of an inverted D sus4 chord. This involves tapping the A note at the fourteenth fret of the G string, pulling off to the F# at the eleventh fret and then down to the D at the seventh fret, again down to the open G and back up to the D and F#. We play this eight times bringing us into bar seven. Bar seven and eight are almost identical to bars one to four, except we will change from G to G maj 7, and C to C major flat 5 on every beat as opposed to every other beat. Bar nine is a direct replication of bar five, which we carry on into bar ten for two beats (or two repetitions of the pattern) before finishing on a G5 power chord using open strings.

This is a great way to play legato licks very quickly and adding interesting notes to basic triads to create interesting chords by simply changing notes by a semitone/tone. It is very easy to create tension in your melodies, and this concept can easily be applied to minor and diminished chords and scales that we will look at next month.

Harry Houghton

About Harry Houghton

Writer and music tutor.