Guitar Finger tapping--What is the best equipment?

by Jarrod

Im a half/beginner electric guitar player,i have also wanted to do finger tapping and some sweep stuff too. My question how do others get the sound,i have some pedals and a small 10 watt amp.

1 How do I get the tapping so loud?

2 What amp is best? or is a LINE 6 amp good for that use?

Thank You-


Hi, Jarrod--

There are a lot of factors which influence you tapping sound.

Finger Technique

This is often overlooked in favor of trying to achieve an ideal sound with bigger amps and more pedals. My advice is to practice tapping with a clean setting on your amp or even with the guitar not amplified. The attack must be fast and solid and performed with the tips of your fingers.

Practice until your tapped notes sound as loud as your picked notes. This is the important thing. When you can achieve this with your guitar NOT amplified, then it is a simple process to add amplification and distortion.

Your Guitar

You don't say what kind of guitar you are playing. Some guitars have better pickups than others. For example, if you are playing a Fender Squire, you will likely NEVER get the sound that you want because the pickups are just not sensitive enough.

Ideally your guitar should have both humbucker and single coil capabilities. I have 2 exposed coil humbuckers on my Les Paul and they sound great. It is really a matter of preference, but you will want to pay close
attention to the pickups and do some research before choosing a guitar.

Your Amp

The wattage of the amp is important for overall volume capability. It is NOT the deciding factor for the sound you get by tapping. If you have mastered the ability to make your tapped notes as loud as your picked notes, then you may want a larger amp to bring up the total volume level.

The "gain" knob will give you good overtones for tapping, but you must be careful to keep notes clean. A good compressor is preferred by some guitarists.

You asked about the Line 6 amps. I think that if you want a modeling amp, the Line 6 amps are some of the very best, especially for beginning-intermediate guitarists. A modeling amp will allow you to choose from the sound of many different types of amps and can be a great tool for deciding what sound you want.

There are other factors, Jarrod, but I think these are the main ones. You will need to decide exactly how much each of these factors weigh into YOUR situation.

Before buying new equipment, try really concentrating on your technique. (Unless you are playing a Squire. If you are, DUMP it and get a GUITAR.)

Here are some resources for you:

Guitar Tapping Exercises

Sweep Arpeggios

Buying Guitar Amplifiers

While you are on the amplifiers page, look at the last amp on the right--The Line 6 Spider III. I think it is a really nice amp for your needs.


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Oct 25, 2020
Stop Taking Things Personally People
by: Anonymous

To the guy that says the author never tried a Japanese Squire; no he probably hasn't, because most people haven't. He is referring to the traditional Chinese Squire, & this article is quite old, so he's referring to 2000-2010's models which were drastically inferior to todays Squire's. Regardless of how far Squire has come, they are still made by machines in China, & if you are an American, it benefits you & your economy to save a little longer & get a Mexican or American Strat. Now, in 2011, you can get an American Strat for $1100, & it is a much finer instrument that the top of the line Squire's that cost as much as $700. If that fact bothers you, don't take it personally. What other people think of your instrument, shouldn't matter to you; only the sound you can make with it matters. If it does bother you; you likely have your priorities mixed up, & need to focus yourself on what matters in life, & what you can do about it. You can't change what people think of your budget guitar, but you might make some headway if you can play the living hell out of it! In fact that's what has happened lately with Squire. Lots of pro's bought the Squire Bass VI too, so things change. You're still better off saving a little bit longer & buying a better graded guitar from the US. I used to have cheaper guitars, but since I made it a priority to own better guitars, my playing has improved immensely.

Oct 26, 2019
What’s with hating on squiers?
by: V

I partly disagree on „dump the Squier" part. Yes pickups must be replaced, but the same goes for all 600-700$ guitars. To be honest I had to replace humbuckers at every American Fender as well, because to me they all sound awful. Cheap Chinese guitars are hit and miss, some new Chinese or Indonesian made Squiers are decent made. Epiphones these days are much better made than they used to be (except for lowest price range Special series), some even will give Gibsons run for the money.

Regarding the modeling amp, I would recommend not to use it if you aiming to be a live guitarist and play in a band. Line6 in my opinion is especially bad for you to learn because it doesn’t have the response of the real amp. I was playing line6 for 7-8 bears before switching to real tube amps, and it was hard, took me long time to adjust. I realized that line6 makes playing much easier, hides your mistakes and stop your progress. What you need better is a tube amp, transparent and unforgiving if you make mistakes. Don’t get upset if it doesn’t sound as you imagine it from the start. Takes patience and practice. Luckily these days there are thousands of great YouTube videos to help you to learn guitar

Aug 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

squire's pickups are really and i mean really crap...i tried a lot of guitars to acomplish the chapman stick touchy and tappy sound.the closest to single coil pickups i was the closer i was.fender strats worked like a harm BUT i fell in love with the sound of tapping on my epiphone dot with gibson 57 pickups,i really liked the muddy and mellow sound so i guess its really up to you what direction you want to go.i would say that the best thing you can do is practice a lot to get your fingers strong and then try whatever guitar is in your way.anyway i hope i helped.

Jul 07, 2012
Squier Guitars, vintage models highly sought after!
by: Anonymous

You might want to visit this site. And learn something about The Fender Brand Squier. Even today Squier Classic Vibes are fantastic guitars with great pickups.

Dec 13, 2008
thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your help,its been awhile since ive been tot his,but i noticed your answer, thank you for yuor help, i have considered those factors and i think right now my promblem is an amp which will be resolved within my few months in the future.

Thank you

Jul 05, 2012
Author's sweeping statements
by: chrisb

I take it the author has never played a Japanese Squier. If they had, they would know what excellent instruments they are.

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