Rock Guitar Lick 21: Lydian Tapping Lick #1

In the previous two lessons, we looked at two lydian mode licks that made extensive use of legato technique. For this lesson, we’re going to continue the legato theme by introducing some tapping into the mix.

Let’s jump right in by checking out the lick…

Rock Guitar Lick 21: Lydian Tapping Lick #1

Rock Guitar Lick 21: Lydian Tapping Lick #1

This lick is another one composed from the notes of A Lydian, and uses a grand total of nine tapped notes. Because I like to tap these notes with the second finger of my picking-hand, I’ve shown these in the TAB with the symbol T2.

The first bar of the lick uses a tapping idea that I’m pretty sure that I ripped off from Steve Vai many years ago. I can’t be 100% sure of this transgression, but this part of the lick definitely sounds very Vai-ish when it’s played insanely fast. :-)

The second bar of the lick uses a very common three note tapping mechanic, which involves having to do this…

  • Tap a note using a picking-hand finger. I prefer to use my second finger, but you’re free to use any finger that you want.
  • Using a flicking motion with your tapping finger, pull-off to a note that’s being fretted by the index finger of your fretting-hand.
  • Hammer-on to a higher sound note.

If you look at the TAB below, you can see I’ve drawn boxes around each repetition of this mechanic…

Rock Guitar Lick 21 Explained

With the exception of the last two notes, the entire lick is played using sixteenth note timing. This means that the first bar should be fairly straightforward to play in time. (All the tapped notes are played when your metronome clicks).

Unfortunately, the second bar of the lick is a bit more challenging to play with the correct timing. Because of the three note tapping mechanic being used, three of the tapped notes don’t fall when your metronome clicks. If you look very closely at the TAB for the second bar, you’ll be able to see this unfortunate thing happening…

  • The first tapped note is played on the first sixteenth note of the beat. (This is when your metronome clicks).
  • The second tapped note is played on the fourth sixteenth note of the beat.
  • The third tapped note is played on the third sixteenth note of the beat.
  • The fourth tapped note is played on the second sixteenth note of the beat.

This rhythmic displacement of the tapped note can be very challenging at first. But like all playing challenges, it can definitely be overcome with large amounts of practice, persistence, and patience. :-)

Have fun!

Return To: Rock Guitar Licks