After seeing that video I was wondering could you be a guitarist that only taps? Would this be good for when you want to play some fugues or something similar on the electric guitar?

What kind of setup would you need if tapping is all that you would want to do? I guess an extended range instrument would be good but what about gain? Is there a certain amount of gain that you need to make the tapping clearer or is it better to have a clean setup?

I'm also curious as to how you would approach transcribing / transposing the classical music to this two-handed tapping technique? Would you just reduce it to two melodies that you are playing together or is it more complicated than that?

  • I was really into this a little while ago. I love Adam Fulara! You should check out Zack Kim youtu.be/Oc0nH3gT3QQ and Darki Jurkovic youtu.be/2DXY2ACqQRs. Also Stanley Jordan I believe was an innovator for this method of playing. People have also developed pure tapping instruments like the Chapman Stick and the Harpeji youtu.be/LQtEElCV2lY. Fun stuff!
    – jomki
    Nov 4 '16 at 18:36
  • 'Touch guitars' seem to be a thing. I saw a guy playing one at South Kensington Underground station intermittently over a period of several years. warrguitars.com Nov 4 '16 at 18:54
  • There are many possibilities for transcribing music I would think. A lot of Bach's music is great because he does have independent lines which can be played by each hand. But I think this technique also lends itself to melody and chordal accompaniment very nicely as well. Just be aware that on a regular guitar you only have 6 notes, which is probably enough for a lot of music. Also you have to be aware of which hand is playing which string because they obviously can't play the same string at the same time.
    – jomki
    Nov 4 '16 at 20:49

Certainly! I've been known to play gigs on bass that way, but that's a much easier job than Bach fugues. Yes, whole pieces can be hammered on, although I wouldn't mind betting there are some plucked notes to make life easier. The point of hammers is that they should sound no different from ordinarily played notes anyway.

Set up could involve a low action, with no fretbuzz. Gain isn't an important asset. A mute (scrunchie) near the nut is a great help, to stop having to bother about the traditional muting methods - with palm, other fingers, etc. Some find it easier to lay the guitar on its back on their lap, so effectively it is a quasi piano.

  • Playing it like "a quasi piano" seems to speak to the transcribing component of the question, no?
    – Yorik
    Nov 4 '16 at 19:52
  • I used a schecter 8 string guitar and put square bits of eraser at the nut between the strings to mute them. It's worked ok.
    – jomki
    Nov 4 '16 at 20:43

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