I find that it's very easy for me to get a clean phrase when tapping in an ascending pattern like the following:
Reversing that pattern, however, becomes hard for me:
I attribute this to two main reasons:
- Often times even with a dimed high gain amp and a compressor I cannot get the first note of the reversed tap to sound out enough such that the subsequent pull offs have enough volume. I know that a compressor can help me out a little here, but I also know good clean tapping is still not 100% gadgets.
- For some reason going backwards is just harder. I can descend at about 30% of the speed that I can ascend. This is true not just in tapping for me, but playing solo phrases with more than three descending notes in a line as well.
When performing an ascending phrase I make sure to bring my finger down on the strings with a little force than normal resulting in a little more volume from the note. This is just the standard hammer on technique that everyone learns. But, during a descending phrase I don't have that ability and my riffs often sound weak.
What's the trick? Should I be slightly plucking the string at that first tapped note as I come off it? I can't really discern anything additional when I watch the guitar masters tap speedy phrases.
As, a supplementary question: Is there any way to clean up the harmonics during a tap solo? You can hear what I'm talking about if you tap fretted notes on an electric guitar that isn't plugged in.