Intermediate Level

Bass Lick of the Week #49

Course Duration: | Difficulty Level: 4

This week’s exercise is a two handed tapping line that is a great place to start if you’ve never used the technique before.

If you’re new to the two handed tapping technique, the first thing you’ll need to work on is tapping notes with your picking hand. To do so, rest your thumb on the top edge of the neck, to act as an anchor, then push the string down at the fret indicated. You’ll find this a lot easier to do if you have a low action on your bass. I recommend working on playing notes in this way with the first, second and third fingers of your picking hand.

You’ll also need to be able to tap notes with your fretting hand. This is done by hammering onto the string with the fingers of the fretting hand at the fret indicated. Focus on clear, well-defined notes when doing this, and ensure that you are comfortable playing in this way using all four fingers of your fretting hand.

The opening bar of this exercise outlines a I-V-IV chord progression in the key of G major. First, the fretting hand taps a G at the third fret of the E-string, whilst the picking hand taps the G at the twelfth fret of the G-string. The fretting hand then moves to root notes D and C on the A-string, while the picking hand descends first to F# (the major third of the D chord), then to E (the major third of the C chord). This sequence of three chords is used at the beginning of each two-bar section of this line. The C chord should be allowed to ring into the next bar, where it is followed by a simple figure tapped with the fretting hand. The next time through (bars 3 and 4) this chord is followed by a simple figure tapped with the picking hand. When playing this figure, I recommend tapping the B with the first finger, the E with the second and the F# with the third.

This line was recorded on a Zon Sonus bass and some compression was added digitally. Lines such as this will also sound great with a touch of reverb or chorus.

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