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IAN STEPHENSON on Tapping: Lesson #11


LESSON POINT:
Scalar playing/hand position

Back in Lesson 1 I suggested that your fingers should be perpendicular to the strings, so that each finger relates to one string. This idea works well for chordal work where notes are spread evenly between the strings, but breaks down when we need to play scalar ideas.

To play melodies, you need to rotate your right hand from the "fourth" position, through the "fifth" position so that your fingers are pointing almost straight down. This should allow you to play with one finger per fret, much as you would with your left hand. Your thumb should be resting gently behind the neck.

There's not really much to say about this technique, so lets try playing a major scale:

|------------------11-13-14-13-11----------------------------------|
|---------11-12-14----------------14-12-11-------------------------|
|---12-14----------------------------------14-12-------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|
    2  4  1  2  4  1  3  4  3  1  4  2  1  4  1
Once you've got that, we can attempt a few simple tunes:
Merrily We Roll Along
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---11----------|-11-11-11----|-------------|-11-14-14----|
|------14-12-14-|-------------|-14-14-14----|-------------|
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|

|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---11----------|-11-11-11----|-------11----|-------------|
|------14-12-14-|-------------|-14-14----14-|-12----------|
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|

Largo
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---13-16-16----|-13----------|----13-16-13-|-------------|
|---------------|----16-14----|-16----------|-16----------|
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|

|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---13-16-16----|-13----------|----13-------|-------------|
|---------------|----16-14----|-16----16-14-|-14----------|
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|

On Top of old Smokey
|---------|----------|-16--------|-13-------|-(13)-----13-|-------13-|
|---------|----13-16-|-----------|----------|-------------|-14-16----|
|------14-|-14-------|-----------|----------|-------------|----------|
|---------|----------|-----------|----------|-------------|----------|

|---------|----------|-----------|----------|------|------|----------|
|-16------|-(16)-----|-(16)------|----13-16-|-16---|------|-------13-|
|---------|----------|--------14-|-14-------|------|-16---|-(16)-----|
|---------|----------|-----------|----------|------|------|----------|

|----------|---------|-----------|----------||   Watch out for where you
|-14-13----|---------|-----------|----------||   play the same fret on 
|-------16-|-14------|-(14)------|-(14)-----||   different strings
|----------|---------|-----------|----------||   consecutively.

These should all be played entirely with the right hand.

We can now go back, and add a bass line:

Merrily We Roll Along
|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---11----------|-11-11-11----|-------------|-11-14-14----|
|------14-12-14-|-------------|-14-14-14----|-------------|
|---5-----------|-5-----------|-0-----------|-5-----------|

|---------------|-------------|-------------|-------------|
|---11----------|-11-11-11----|-------11----|-------------|
|------14-12-14-|-------------|-14-14----14-|-12----------|
|---5-----------|-5-----------|-0-----------|-5-----------|
I'll leave the other two as an exercise. Hint: they're both in the key of B, and only require I (B), IV (E) and V(F#) chords.

To finish the lesson here are two tunes to tackle - Always with me, Always with you, by Joe Satriani, and the Stu Hamm version of Linus and Lucy, both of which depend on this technique. Get the two halves working on their own before trying to play the left ands right hand together. "Linus & Lucy" is particularly hard in this respect, as the left hand part is a bit of a stretch (refer to the lesson on right hand ninths for some exercises to make this easier), and the rhythms of the two parts are awkward to fit together.

Always with me, always with You
|-----------|----------|-13-------|--------------|
|-----13-14-|-16-------|----16-14-|-13-14--------|
|-----------|----------|----------|-------16-----|
|-7---------|-7--------|-0--------|-2------------|

|-----------|----------|----------|--------------|
|-----------|-------13-|-14-13----|--------------|
|-----------|-14-16----|-------16-|-9------------|
|-7---------|-7--------|-0--------|-2------------|

|-----------|----------|----------|--------------|
|-----------|-9--------|-11-/-13-\|-11-----------|
|------9-9--|------9-9-|----------|--------------|
|-7---------|-7--------|-0--------|-2------------|

|-----------|-13-------|----------|-------------||
|-13-14-16--|----16-14-|-13-------|-16----------||
|-----------|----------|----------|-------------||
|-4---------|-0--------|-2--------|-2-----------||
This should be pretty easy if you've managed the previous examples. The fingers point to the floor, except on the third line, where you move back to standard position.
Linus and Lucy
+------------------|----------------|-------------------|---------------+
|-----5-----5------|----------------|-----5-----5-------|---------------|
|---5-----5--------|---5-7---5-7----|---5-----5---------|---5-7---5-7---|
+-3-----3--------3-|-3-----3------3-|-3-----3---------3-|-3-----3-----3-+
--'              `---'            `---'               `---'           `---
 
+-121416--161412-14|14-----12-----12|-121416--16--------|---------------+
|-----5-----5------|----------------|-----5-----5-------|---------------|
|---5-----5--------|---5-7---5-7----|---5-----5---------|---5-7---5-7---|
+-3-----3--------3-|-3-----3------3-|-3-----3---------3-|-3-----3-----3-+
--'              `---'            `---'               `---'           `---
 
+-121416--161412-14|14-----12-----12|-12----1414--------|---------------+
|-----5-----5------|----------------|-----8-----8-------|---------------|
|---5-----5--------|---5-7---5-7----|---8-----8---------|---8-10--8-10--|
+-3-----3--------3-|-3-----3------6-|-6-----6---------6-|-6-----6-----3-+
--'              `---'            `---'               `---'           `---
 
+-12----1414-------|----------------|
|-----5-----5------|----------------|
|---5-----5--------|---5-7---5-7----|
+-3-----3--------3-|-3-----3------3-|

[This transcription based on one by Webb.]
Have fun...
End of Lesson #11. [Ian Stephenson on Tapping: Lesson#12 Ian Stephenson on Tapping: Lesson#10] [BassWork Index]

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