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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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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