Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

Today we’re talking tapping! I get a lot of questions about tapping because of Oon, my duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson. I get to play chords, melodies, and grooves – sometimes at the same time. Tapping is a helpful technique to expand the possibilities of the bass, but it must be used with taste! Function comes first.

This lesson will get you started on tapping with a look at tapping on a 6-string versus a 4-string, how to get extra oomph out of your right hand, and how to use both hands to get more notes. We’ll also go over a few cool and accessible things to start on.

Austrian-gone-Californian Ariane Cap is a bassist, educator, blogger and author. In her book Music Theory for the Bass Player and corresponding 20-week online course, she teaches music theory, bass technique, bass line creation and fretboard fitness in a systematic, practical and experiential way. She just released a brand new course on ear training for the bass player: Ear Confidence - 6 Paths to Fearless Ears. Contact her via her blog or website.

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  1. Dave Dickens

    Great lesson! It’s really nice when an instructor steps away from the standard lessons to cover topics that are fun and add color just by virtue of the technique itself. Thank you Ariane!!! You make learnin’ fun!

  2. Mark S Beretta

    Ariane I can’t get my strings low enough for tapping , I play a Fender Jazz bass MIM.
    I tried everything I know to lower the strings and read about shimming the neck but am afraid of taking my neck off. That seems it would mess up the strings close to the nut.
    Great lesson thanks.

  3. Tzalaran

    great lesson. would love to see some more on this technique as i’m not very familiar with it, but this was a very good starting point.