Bass Lick of the Week #14

This week’s exercise is a two handed tapping line that’s a lot easier to play than it might sound. In fact, if you’ve never tried the technique before, this is a perfect exercise to begin with.

This line opens with two notes that are performed solely by hammering on with your fretting hand: use your first finger for the E at the seventh fret of the A-string and your fourth finger for the B at the ninth fret of the D-string. These two notes are followed by two notes that are tapped with the picking hand - B at the fourteenth fret of the A-string and E at the fourteenth fret of the D-string. I recommend that you anchor your thumb on the top edge of the neck so that you have a point of stability to play from, then tap the B with your first finger and the E with your second. Each beat of the bar now follows this sequence: two notes tapped with the fretting hand, and two tapped with the picking hand. Throughout the rest of bar one, you’ll tap the same notes with your fretting hand, whilst the notes in the picking hand move around, remaining within the E minor scale. Bar 2 is the same as the first bar.

If you can get the first two bars together, the good news is that you’ve completed the majority of the work in this exercise: in bars 3 and 4 the picking hand continues to tap out the same notes, whilst the fretting hand taps C and G in bar 3 and D and A in bar 4.

When playing this exercise, focus on maintaining a solid, consistent rhythm. Take care not to rush - this is a common pitfall when playing lines of this nature as they are quite easy to play at very fast speeds.

This line was recorded on a Kubicki Ex Factor bass.

If you’d like to learn more about the tapping technique, be sure to check out Ultimate Tapping for Bass Guitar, which is available from this website.

To download the backing track and PDF worksheet for this exercise, please visit the Free Stuff section of the website.