This week we’re going to look at a 6 finger Tapping lick that is often associated with the likes of Steve Lynch, Nuno Bettencourt. Not to mention more modern players such as Andy James & Rusty Cooley. This tapping lick uses 3 fingers on your right hand and 3 fingers on your left hand.
I find this six finger tapping lick easiest to tap with index, middle and ring fingers on your picking hand. You can then execute hammer-ons and pull-offs on the fretboard hand with index, middle and pinky fingers. I believe in playing however you are most comfortable, so if you find a different finger combination works better for you then go with that.
Six Finger Tapping: Rapid Key Changing For A Unique Sound
This type of tapping lick is particularly versatile because you can start playing this from any position on the fretboard. The mechanics of this lick means that it changes key every time you move either of your hands up or down a position. In this example we’re moving positions chromatically, meaning you move either hand up or down by a half step. This gives you a really exciting unconventional sound.
Example: Csus4 > Cmaj7 > Cmin7
This key changing example starts in Csus4 as shown below. We’e going to focus on moving our tapping hand down chromatically. Move your tapping hand down 1 fret from this position and you then have the notes for Cmaj7. Notice how moving from Csus4 into Cmaj7 works really nicely. What the ear is hearing when you move into Cmajor7 is the sudden inclusion of the 3rd.
If you know your chord theory you’ll know that a sus4 omits the 3rd, thus giving this lick the unique sound. If you now move down one more fret you’re now playing Cmin7 – this is where the key change kicks in.
Tapping: Nailing The Technique
Once you’ve got the technique under control for both hands it then becomes very easy to move this lick around as you see fit. You can then experiment with this idea to move it around different positions to follow a chord progression. Instead of moving it chromatically, why not figure out where you would need to move the positions in order to follow a chord progression or series of riffs.
Inspiration For This Type of Lick
The best example that utilises this type of lick that we’ve seen to date has got to be ‘Hammerhead’ by the incredible Steve Lynch. If you want to see this type of tapping at it’s peak check out the video below: