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Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?

Murray MacLeod 19 Mar 07 - 07:14 PM
Jim Lad 19 Mar 07 - 08:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 07 - 08:50 PM
Dave of Mawkin 19 Mar 07 - 09:03 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Mar 07 - 09:44 PM
katlaughing 19 Mar 07 - 10:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Mar 07 - 11:29 PM
GUEST 20 Mar 07 - 02:41 AM
s&r 20 Mar 07 - 03:10 AM
Grab 20 Mar 07 - 08:59 AM
Nick 20 Mar 07 - 09:28 AM
katlaughing 20 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM
Scrump 20 Mar 07 - 10:25 AM
Wesley S 20 Mar 07 - 10:34 AM
Scrump 20 Mar 07 - 10:36 AM
Nick 20 Mar 07 - 11:06 AM
Grab 20 Mar 07 - 11:28 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 07 - 11:57 AM
katlaughing 20 Mar 07 - 12:09 PM
charles92027 20 Mar 07 - 12:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 07 - 12:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 07 - 01:24 PM
s&r 20 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,John Robinson 20 Mar 07 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,John Robinson 20 Mar 07 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,John Robinson 20 Mar 07 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,John Robinson 20 Mar 07 - 02:24 PM
Dave of Mawkin 20 Mar 07 - 02:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Mar 07 - 04:41 PM
katlaughing 20 Mar 07 - 04:58 PM
Grab 21 Mar 07 - 04:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Mar 07 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Bouzouki boy 21 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM
katlaughing 21 Mar 07 - 10:16 AM
Murray MacLeod 21 Mar 07 - 03:36 PM
M.Ted 21 Mar 07 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,banjo boy 21 Mar 07 - 08:39 PM
Effsee 21 Mar 07 - 08:51 PM
Murray MacLeod 21 Mar 07 - 09:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 07 - 02:40 PM
Jim Lad 22 Mar 07 - 03:08 PM
PoppaGator 22 Mar 07 - 07:49 PM
Don Firth 22 Mar 07 - 08:57 PM
Nick 23 Mar 07 - 11:59 AM
Don Firth 23 Mar 07 - 01:11 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 07 - 01:57 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 07 - 02:07 PM
Don Firth 23 Mar 07 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,M.Ted 23 Mar 07 - 03:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 07 - 06:54 PM
Nick 23 Mar 07 - 09:29 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 07 - 10:10 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Mar 07 - 10:14 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 07 - 11:06 PM
Jim Lad 24 Mar 07 - 01:59 AM
Dave of Mawkin 24 Mar 07 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,M.Ted 25 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,GT 25 Mar 07 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Brendy 25 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Riverman 26 Mar 07 - 08:55 AM
avrosimones 26 Mar 07 - 09:24 AM
PoppaGator 26 Mar 07 - 05:21 PM
Effsee 26 Mar 07 - 09:40 PM
Phil Cooper 26 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Mar 07 - 12:34 AM
open mike 21 Nov 10 - 09:39 PM
Tim Leaning 21 Nov 10 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Nov 10 - 06:48 AM
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Subject: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:14 PM

Over the last couple of decades, the " tapped guitar " phenomenon appears to have swept the world.

If you surf YouTube as often as I do you can't help but notice the huge interest in the " tapped guitar ".

Players you have never heard of are racking up viewing figures of tens of thousands.

But, is the music they play of any worth ?

In the vast majority of cases my answer would have to be a resounding "NO".

It seems to me a very easy way to appear super-skilled without actually having to possess a great degree of competence.

There is no doubt that some of the exponents of the art (Michael Hedges for example, who is to blame for the whole phenomenon) are in fact supremely gifted, but no matter how clever they may be , the whole thing leaves me cold.


The day Doc Watson records a tapped guitar instrumental, I might change my mind ...

If you have no idea what all this is about, then you might like to watch and listen to This technically impressive clip


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 08:29 PM

Okay, I get it. For those on dial up, it's a demonstration of someone tapping the strings rather than playing properly. Not really worth the time to load up unless the paint is already dry and you're looking for entertainment of the same ilk.
Not a dig at you, Murray. Just letting folks know.
"Self Indulgent" is probably the best description, I can give it. Sometimes you spend years playing the same instrument the same old way and then you find something new. An open tuning or, in this case, guitar tapping and suddenly a whole new dimension opens up to you. You fall in love with the instrument all over again and you just can't put it down.
But I can!
Bang on.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 08:50 PM

Clever party trick. But I've never heard it used to make music I'd really want to hear, let alone try to play.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 09:03 PM

Gentlemen, Mr Eric Roche


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 09:44 PM

Harmonic tapping can be used as a gimmick or a genuine musical tool, depending upon the player. Vicki Genfan blew the audience at this past year's Florida Folk Festival away with her tap-style playing, but I've seen lesser players for whom tapping is obviously just a way of showing off.

I wouldn't mind adding tapping to my own bag of tricks, but I wear fingerpicks and tapping requires naked fingers.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 10:29 PM

Okay, Murray, yer on! **bg**

I like the sound of tapped guitar; hadn't ever seen a visual of it until I posted the example which Murray used in this thread, in the youtube permathread yesterday.

I can see that it may be somewhat of a parlour piece/show-off thing, but I still like the sound of it. Some of it reminds me of Gustavo Santaolla's playing which is out of this world, esp. on his CD "Ronrocco." I don't know if he uses this technique or not.

Not being a geetar player I don't know anything about the skill, etc., but I know what my ears like.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 11:29 PM

I thought you guys had plans to carry your own beer supply on tap in your guitars...


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:41 AM

Sadly Eric died. He was a nice man and a wonderful guitarist in many styles - tapping was part of his armoury of skills, but his incorporation of percussion in his instrumentals went further than tapping out the melody on the strings, or producing fast tapped ornaments. One of my top ten guitarists

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: s&r
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 03:10 AM

The above was me sans cookie

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Grab
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:59 AM

Thomas Leeb (a student of Eric Roche's) uses it very well. Some videos.

It's a technique - use it or don't use it, it's up to you. Whether you use it in a musical manner or not will depend on how you use it, and where. Maybe it doesn't suit your style - fine. Maybe that particular musician isn't doing a good job of it (which they aren't) - also fine. But you can't just write off an entire technique and every last person using it, simply because it doesn't suit your style and you've not seen anyone who *can* use it well - or simply because Guitar Hero X (insert name here) didn't use it as part of their style.

Or rather you can, if you want - but it betrays narrow-mindedness and a lack of musical imagination.

As BWL says, some players do just use tapping as a gimmick to say "hey, look what I can do!" I've also seen bluegrass mandolin players use picking speed as a gimmick, without having anything interesting to say musically. And slide players. And eBow users. Such is life. That doesn't mean there isn't anything worth saying with a bluegrass mandolin or a bottleneck slide or an eBow.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Nick
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 09:28 AM

Agree 100% with you Graham and well put.

On a practical note tapping allows you to play things that you physically cannot reach/play on a guitar and I can't see that as a problem, more an opportunity.

When I went to see Tommy Emmanuel play recently he played a piece which he wrote to try and suggest the sounds of the Australian outback (if I remember). Most of it consisted of hitting the guitar with a brush - smacking it with his palm - creating feedback - bending the notes by bending the headstock - scratching the body etc etc (Eric Roche does similar and explores some possibilities in his Acoustic Guitar Bible book)

Is that a gimmick or is it more exploring the potential of the instrument?


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the link, Grab. I liked Leeb's playing better than the Roche sample, all except for the armpit one.:-)


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:25 AM

Rather than tapping guitars, I prefer to tap shakey eggs...


... with sledge hammers.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:34 AM

I find it interesting as an accent to a well rounded concert. But definatly nothing I'd want to hear repeated for half an hour or more. A tool to be used sparingly.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:36 AM

What, the sledge hammer? I agree.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Nick
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:06 AM

I think the Eric Roche clip has 'slapped harmonics' created by striking the guitar with the underside of the finger on a node point rather than tapping as in the first clip but what the heck.

Here's another technique that you could either consider 'flashy' and showing off or - as I do - a masterful guitarist/musician beautifully executing a difficult technique to enhance the music.

Tommy Emmanuel - Somewhere Over the Rainbow - if you haven't seen this I think it's a beautiful piece of playing


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Grab
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:28 AM

Yeah, what I've heard of Roche's work was over-technical and under-musical. I think Leeb puts the musicality into it.

Nick, thanks for the Tommy Emmanuel clip - the man is a god! I'm sure he *is* showing off, but it doesn't mean it isn't good music.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:57 AM

Eric was magical to watch - his work full of lyricism and excitement.

Steve Hicks once said to me - 'When Eric tapped the guitar it sounded wonderful. Whereas when you do it Al...... it sounds like someone mending a shed.'

That's what friends are for, to tell you......


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 12:09 PM

Thanks, Nick. Amazing the man makes his guitar sound like a harp...beautiful.

I wish I could find a good clip of Santaolalla playing.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: charles92027
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 12:15 PM

I think tapping is cool. The musical style it evokes is more like electronica than folk, but there's nothing wrong with that if that sounds good to you. What about those flamenco guys who tap the top of the guitar like it's some sort of drum? There's no denying that's music.
Some people strum their guitars, and some finger-pick individual notes, which one of those are correct? I've even seen a guy play the back with a pair of drumsticks, and I thought that was pretty cool


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 12:36 PM

The best thing on the dvd which that extract is taken from is the little seminar that Eric gives on his style. It is utterly breathtaking. He explains and demonstrates about bodhran rhythms, and how he fuses them with melodic guitar playing. And it is his folk music roots which makes him head and shoulders above the other tappers.

I haven't shown that seminar to any guitarist who hasn't just gasped with astonishment - really for the implications for our instrument. Eric has literally reimagined the guitar as bodhran with a string section.

There are few guitarists who change the direction of the instrument - Eric Roche will be remembered as one such man. Like Django Rheinhardt and Robert Johnson. I really believe - he is of that stature as an innovator.

Instrumentally the most magnificent contribution to the tradition in our lifetime.

If you looked through Mudcat, you would find the message where I enquired if he was worth going to see. He was at the Avalon Acoustic Guitar Exhibition at Leicester. I saw him less than a year before he died.

I don't expect to see a better musician, ever.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:24 PM

It's not a question of "write off an entire technique and every last person using it", just of reserving judgement until I've come across someone who has been able to use the technique to good musical effect.

I'd like to hear a flamenco guitarist use it along with other tricks. Might work pretty well.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: s&r
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM

WLD - I agree entirely. And what a nice guy. We saw him at Music live after his cancer op and chemo. He did a blistering set concluding with (I know..) 'Smells like teen Spirit' playing bass lead and drums all on one guitar - good as it gets, but at that point the sixth string broke. He turned on his radio mic (headset) said a feww word, snapped the trailing ends of the string, retuned the fifth string and finished the piece - all without breaking rhythm or the melodic line.

Incredible man.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,John Robinson
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:22 PM

Erik Mongrain


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,John Robinson
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:23 PM

Oops, tapped submit too soon.

Previous clip meant to be my positive comment on tapping.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,John Robinson
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:24 PM

And for those on dial up it was a youtube clip


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,John Robinson
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:24 PM

Is that clear now?


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:47 PM

I've been in love with Eric's playing for years now, when I was working in a music shop, my colleague was being taught by Eric. He was a great man, a real gent, and an incredible guitarist, theres not much else to be said that beats what has already been said about him. I just feel gutted I never got to see him perform.

Regarding Eric's musicality compared to Thomas Leebs, I've always preffered Eric Roche because he has more feel, more groove, more melodic lines, whereas Thomas Leeb is a little too clinical.

Check out "With These Hands" Erics best album without a doubt, every track a stunner.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 04:41 PM

I don't think anybody is decrying or comparing these other guys - but Eric was different.

Anyway I'm not looking to promote controversy on this issue. I am content to let history be the judge.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 04:58 PM

NOW I understand more about Eric Roche: On Percussion. Fantastic!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Grab
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 04:45 AM

WLD, too right. Eddie van Halen may have invented tapping, but it was Eric Roche and Michael Hedges who made it more than just an electric guitar solo technique. I guess the key is that for both, it's part of a style which is inherently percussive, so the technique fits in seemlessly.

Thanks for all the vids of Eric. I searched YouTube last year for stuff, but there didn't seem to be anything - looks like people have added more since then. I may just have to get that DVD!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 05:46 AM

Dave,I saw Eric, but I'm so jealous of you for having talked to and known the man.

I only spoke very briefly when he signed my dvd. i told him I played guitar too, which was dumb thing to say - considering we were at a guitar fair.

I saw Tristram Seune do a tribute to Eric with one of Eric's young pupils at Sleaford just before Christmas. Eric's dad came all the way over from Ireland to attend.

Tristram is very good too - worth checking out.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,Bouzouki boy
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM

One of the top music videos on YouTube at the moment is entitled "Drifting" and is performed by a young guy from Texas called Andy McKee. "Drifting" really is a nice tune to listen to, as well as being an acoustic tapping tour de force. McKee is a highly tasteful, melodic, and inventive player. "Drifting" is the only fully tapped piece he does and is well worth checking out. Some of the comments on here about using tapping as a means to give a false impression of superior skill, or some has-been wouldn't have approved of it and so neither do I, reek heavily of the green-eyed monster. The acoustic tapping movement is beginning to take off and will probably meet the same demise as the electric tapping movement did. Hopefully, there will be as many exciting moments along the way.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the info on McKee, Bouzouki Boy. I like his technique, but the piece got kind of monotonous. I like the other piece, Rylynn, better.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:36 PM

..."some has-been wouldn't have approved of it and so neither do I

I assume this is a reference to my remark in the opening post that I might change my mind the day Doc Watson records a tapped instrumental.

If you are under the misapprehension that Doc Watson is a has-been, let me tell you that he still, in his eighties, retains every ounce of the incredible technique, musicality, and vocal ability which has made him a legend for the last fifty plus years.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 04:59 PM

The master of guitar tapping is Stanley Jordan--none of the above are anywhere close to him--and, even in his hands, as a style, it has some really severe limitations--the main one being that the noise to sound ratio is really high, even on electric guitar, another being that the notes tend to be very staccato, with attack and decay a lot like a snare drum, restricting melodic and chordal options severely--

I get into a lot of trouble when I get specific in the comments that I make about players and their technique, so I will only suggest that you listen repeatedly to all the tappers above(and the other, like Robert Castellani, who appear in the sidebars) and think about how much variety there reallly is in what you hear--


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,banjo boy
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 08:39 PM

tapping !!!!??

wtf.. divebombing next ???!!!!!


thank f*@! they dont make folkie acoustic guitars with whammy bars yet...


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Effsee
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 08:51 PM

Anybody seen Preston Reed? Awesome!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 09:13 PM

I have spent several hours looking at many of the Youtube guitar tapping videos (including all the names mentioned above) and I am inexorably put in mind of the quote from Dr Johnson when Boswell mentioned that he had heard a woman preaching at a Quaker meeting:

"Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

(Not, I hasten to add, that a reconstructed man such as I could possibly concur with Dr Johnson's sexist sentiments ) , but you get my drift ...


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 02:40 PM

Another type of guitar tapping involves fretting the strings normally with the left hand, but striking the strings with a dulcimer hammer or the like instead of using a plectrum. It can be quite effective as a change, in a noisy session.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 03:08 PM

I thought we'd agreed that we weren't going to like it.
Good morning all! From the drizzly Highlands.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 07:49 PM

Thanks to M.Ted for invoking the name of Stanley Jordan, the true master of this rather limited technique.

From what I saw of Eric Roche ~ the "Bushwhacking" video, I think the first YouTube link referenced in this thread ~ there was little or no "tapping" involved at all, just some impressive and very percussive right-hand technique that blurred the line betewen "picking" and "strumming," along with some fairly repetitive melodic/harmonic patterns of the type usually associated with open tunings. I did enjoy the selection, but if pressed I'd have to make the distinction that I enjoyed the performance a lot more than the music.

Some of this stuff I like well enough, other selections leave me cold. One of the aspects I do NOT particularly enjoy is how a given piece is often not a song or melody that stands on its own merits, but a gimmick designed specifically to act as a showpiece for a bit of technique ~ usually something built around the quirks and easy harmonies/dissonances built into some non-standard tuning.

Of course, the same could be said about whole categories of "new folk" and even truly traditional folk music, like, say, "Spanish Fandango." I doubt that anyone here would dare criticize "Spanish Fandango," or whatever that song was about "Vastapol (Sebastapol)," two tunes after which their characteristic tunings were named.

Most of these "tapping" showpieces are fairly simple compositions and seem to be played in open tunings. Stanley Jordan's work is quite different in that he plays in standard, and frets with one hand while tapping with the other. That is, he does not restrict his tapping to open strings ~ something that may only be possible pon the electric guitar, because there is probablby no way to generate enough volume to be heard when tapping a fretted string on an acoustic instrument.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 08:57 PM

"Invented by. . . ?"

I saw Carlos Montoya doing that as a variation in a flamenco solo in a concert back in the early 1960s. It's one of a large number of techniques that flamenco guitarists toss in from time to time, but they don't base whole pieces on it. Used sparingly, it's pretty impressive. Used for a whole piece and it begins to show its limitations.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:59 AM

Whole pieces I agree with you but try this for an example - it's not folk! Paul Gilbert Scarified

At about 1:20 there is a tapped bit and I would reckon he does it this way because you can't play it any other way. He's another guitarist who has enough technique that he doesn't really need to use a technique unless it serves a function.

I reckon he'd probably be able to knock off a few jigs and reels at pace if he chose to!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:11 PM

Regarding the Paul Gilbert video, as Frank Barone used to say, "Holy crap!!!"

I'm pretty sure I saw smoke rising from the strings! I'd say he knows his way around a fingerboard pretty well. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM

The Paul Gilbert video is one of thousands on YouTube which feature "shredding" guitar.

"Shredding" may still be an unfamiliar term to many Mudcatters, so google it ...

all these videos leave me cold, and I have to take issue with Nick inasmuch as I very much doubt whether Paul Gilbert would in fact be able to " knock off a few jigs and reels at pace if he chose to ".

Gilbe
Y


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:57 PM

I think so, too, Don! Wow!!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 02:07 PM

Sorry, that last post left too early ...


The Paul Gilbert video is one of thousands on YouTube which feature "shredding" guitar.

"Shredding" may still be an unfamiliar term to many Mudcatters, so google it ...

All these videos leave me cold, and I have to take issue with Nick inasmuch as I very much doubt whether Paul Gilbert would in fact be able to " knock off a few jigs and reels at pace if he chose to ".

Gilbert, Malmsteen, Satriani, and all the rest of the bunch, they all sound like they are attempting to pass off their scale practice as performance. Doesn't cut it for me.

In contrast, if you want to see and hear a guitarist who could shred with the best, and still tear your soul apart with just three notes, listen to    Roy Buchanan playing " Sweet Dreams "


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 02:40 PM

I pulled up Google and put "guitar" and "shredding" in the search box and came up with all kinds of stuff. Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive article, complete with links explaining the techniques used. Most interesting. Very flashy. A few tricks that can be translated to other kinds of music, but other than playing within the genre itself. . . .

Well, I think I'll stick to the Shearer, Parkening, and Noad technique books, Ricardo Iznaola's Kitharologos, and studies by Sor, Carulli, and Aguado, along with Scott Tennant's instructional DVD, "Pumping Nylon." These, plus a few things on folk guitar techniques I've picked up along the line, keep me in pretty good shape for what I like to play.

Don Firth

P. S. I was just about to post this when I checked the link to the Roy Buchanan video. Ah, SO! He's not using the shredding techniques just to impress the rubes; he's actually playing music. Now that does impress me!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 03:23 PM

Don't diss Yngwie and Joe, Murray, they play some nice stuff, though with a lot of smoke and mirrors. But you are right, Roy Buchanan was the real thing--(as was Danny Gatton, who followed his mentor too closely)--


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM

...followed his mentor too closely ...

a very poignant and moving observation , Ted


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 06:54 PM

I don't know technique from what, but I do know I am really enjoying all of the links and learning a bit, too! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:29 PM

I wonder then, Murray, why he plays a tune on his King of Clubs album called "The Jig"? More Bach classical than jiggy but shows willing :) Anyway I didn't come for an argument.

The point of posting the clip was to illustrate the technique in the context of a whole piece rather than saying tapping is good or bad - or this guitarist is better than that guitarist. I happen to have liked Roy Buchanan too for years. I happen to agree that a tune that is purely tapping bores the stuff out of me too. It is just a way of squeezing something out of a guitar that you couldn't otherwise do and I can't see the problem with that any more than I would take issue someone playing slide.

I like Segovia; I still occasionally listen to the flamenco albums I bought 35 years ago; think Albert Collins could do more with one note than practically anyone; enjoy John Renbourn; Pat Metheney; Hendrix on a good day; Jim Hall; Tommy Emmanuel; Frank Zappa; Chet Atkins; Django Reinhardt; Steve Vai I think is awesome; and my son is bloody good :)

There are buckets of great guitarists out there and there is usually one to satisfy what I want to hear at that particular time - sometimes I like heavy rock music and part of the armoury of techniques that work within that genre is tapped guitar.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:10 PM

Yo Nick, I certainly didn't come here for an argument either, but I am afraid I will have to stick to my guns.

Paul Gilbert playing "The Jig"Here

No comment from me, I will let others decide.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:14 PM

mmmm, screwed up the HTML, but the link doesn't appear to work for me when I click on it again, it did first time around ...


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:06 PM

Worked for me...sounded like a frantic run of scales.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 01:59 AM

Well, I came into this one with my mind made up. One young man eventually got barred from the Coffee House for doing it too often. I didn't agree with the Ban but some of the comments about the lack of structure and limitations, I'd have to agree with .... It wasn't working.
I do like to hear the odd run in a guitar piece though.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 09:05 AM

Poppagator, true there is no tapping in the Bushwhacker video, but if you do a little research you will find plenty of tunes written with some tapping involved...such as "Spin", tapping for me, is fairly mis-represented by 80s rock guitarists showing off, and if its done on an acoustic, then its quite easy to look like a wanna be electric guitarist.

My view is that, even if a piece has been written for a particular style or technique, why is that lesser music?

If you think about it, throughout time, music has been written this way, often orchestral works are based on a series of intervals that the composer was experimenting with, Beethovens 5th for example da da da daa, that minor 3rd interval, appears in the 1st, 2nd,finale and coda of the entire symphony..... great pieces of serialism from Wagner were written purely because he'd experimented with different scales, Jimi Hendrix wrote Machine Gun, because he wanted to use the sound of the guitar to represent machine gun fire....etc etc..throughout history people have based compositions on new scales, interpretations on intervals, sound effects..what makes guitar tapping any different?


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM

Not every tapper is a Wagner in the works. The point here is that these little tapping routines have become the latter day equivalent of "Stairway to Heaven"--showoff pieces for those who aren't, often, very advanced in other areas.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,GT
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 06:00 PM

The Paul Gilbert thing - isnt it a "Gigue" rather than a "Jig" if you know what I mean? Its bloody good playing - but I doubt I'll ever feel the need to hear it again.
I like most kinds of guitar playing - but what distinguishes a player for me is when he or she does something musically coherent - especially in the sense of linear,melodic development - e.g the Roy Buchanan pieces.For some reason the tappers dont seem able to do this for the most part.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,Brendy
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM

Ole Staveteig


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,Riverman
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:55 AM

This is an interesting thread. The technique used by the classical players is slightly different because they play a harmonic by both fingering the fret with their index finger and plucking the string above it with their little finger WHILST holding down a shape with their left hand further down the neck. It's really nice but it's not tapping.

As much as I loathe the whole package Eddie Van Halen was the first to do it and I give a grudging respect to something that was genuinely new. I also hate the shredding thing but do go along with the view that these fellas know their guitars really, really well and practising scales through an amplifier it certainly isn't.

By the way, Allan Holdsworth can do with one hand what Van Halen does with two.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: avrosimones
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 09:24 AM

I'm really not a fan of this. Playing on the acoustic 'circuit' around London for a while now, I've seen a fair few people tapping.
Next time you've ever in the company of a tapper, close your eyes – the technique is only impressive when watched.

Give me Tony McManus or Renbourn any day!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 05:21 PM

I'm checking in at work, and am therefore reluctant to click any links to play the videos. I'm especially anxious to see & hear the Roy Buchanan stuff, and also to learn about "shredding."

Several times over the past few years, I've had the chance to sit in with a young blues/soul/rock band from Brooklyn (the Witnesses ~ since broken up). These guys had become friends of my son and some other exiled young New Orleanians in NYC. They're students of the blues, and also of Memphis soul and Motown, music that was simply ubiquitous contemporary sonic "wallpaper" back in my youth, but which has apparently become "historical" and worthy of nerdishly obsessive study in this later era.

In any event, from their comments, I apparantly know something about "shredding," because they asked me where I learned to do it. I have no idea what they were talking about. I'm just an old acoustic blues player who has an occasional opportunity to hack away on an electric guitar ~ I've never even owned one of my own!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Effsee
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 09:40 PM

I'm not a player and I haven't read all these posts, but I admit to be absolutely mesmerised by the playing of Preston Reed! Not just the tapping, but the whole performance...gobsmacked is the Brit term!


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM

I have seen some folks do it, but not any who have inspired me to take that particular direction. I was real impressed with Stanley Jordan when I saw him years ago. Preston Reed is another player who makes up compositions that don't just sound like warm-up exercises.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:34 AM

"By the way, Allan Holdsworth can do with one hand what Van Halen does with two. "

I'll be good, I'm leaving that alone...


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 09:39 PM

just came across this video of Andy McKee
I wondered if Drifting was the title
of the tune,or the technique?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddn4MGaS3N4&feature=player_embedded#!

here is a 10 string guitar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2BOApUvFpw&feature=related
(is that capo simply a "c" clamp? (or c# clamp...)


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 10:21 PM

Tapping is ok in the same way that playing in open tunings ,slide etc is.
The first few times you hear it done well it can be breathtaking ,,,,then it gets a bit samey then its a bit of a yawn.
But then I like to hear some variety in the music I am listening to.
I do wish I could do any of the things I was dismissive of above.


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Subject: RE: Tapped Guitar. Opinions ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 06:48 AM

I have heard some very interesting stuff, but always on plugged-in acoustics or, of course, on solid electric a la Eddie Van Halen.
It isn't really that effective on a purely acoustic guitar.


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