Two-Handed Guitar Tapping Lesson

for Beginners

Two-handed tapping is a non-traditional method of guitar playing that makes running through speedy passages a much easier task than when using picking.

The most comfortable pieces to play with tapping are ones that repeat the same or similar groups of notes many times.

This guy on the video is Eddie Van Halen who popularized tapping back in the 70s.

Of course, first you'll need some practice to start making impressive trills like this, so let's start with the tutorial, and at the end of the page I'll show you a cool guitar tapping lick you'll be able to play today.

Here is how to play guitar tapping in a very simple exercise:

All three notes are located on the B string.

In the guitar tab, tapping can be indicated as a 'T', '+' or a circle around the note.

First let's begin with your picking hand, although in order to play tapping you won't need the plectrum, I suggest you practice while still having it in your hand, so you can effortlessly switch from the tapping to picking technique and back later on. Keep the plectrum between the thumb and index finger as usual.

Step 1
Press the string down at the 10th fret using the index finger on the fretting hand.

Do not stroke the string! you shouldn't get any sound at this step. While playing the whole exercise this finger will press the string down all the time.

Step 2
Use the tip of your middle finger on the picking hand to hammer on the string at the 17th fret, making it sound.

Step 3
Pull off the middle finger out of the string. Now it will make the note at the 10th fret sound because of the step 1.

Step 4
With the tip of the ring finger on the fretting hand, hammer on the string at the 12th fret.

Step 5
Now play all the 4 steps together one by one. In order to get a fast trilling effect you need to repeatedly play the exercise with a pace, begin slowly and gradually increase the speed.

You should get something like this:

You might notice that when you accidentally hit the nearby strings it makes a lot of noise. In order to reduce the noise you can mute the higher E string by leaning the index finger of the fretting hand on it while still pressing the B string.

Muting the nearby string by leaning the finger

You can also mute the nearby G string by putting the side of your picking hand on it.

The image illustrates muting the nearby string by putting the side of the picking hand on it

The Beginners Tapping Lick

OK, now let's play the guitar tapping lick I promised to show you at the beginning. It consists of the same pattern as the exercise above, only this time you'll play the pattern alternately on the B and the G string. Sounds pretty cool, huh ;)

Here is the tab:

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This article was last updated on January 18, 2024