One of the coolest techniques in the electric guitar world is definitely the tapping technique. It sounds cool and looks even cooler with both of your hands on the fretboard playing a fast-paced rock-solid riff.
The tapping technique is utilized by using the tips of the fingers from your picking hand to hammer-on, and pull-off strings just like you would do with your fretting hand. This allows you to use all of your fingers on the fretboard like you are playing the piano.
When we talk about the tapping technique, the first guitarists that come to mind are Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, and Stanley Jordan, who is considered the inventor of the technique in the 1930s. However, many guitarists experimented with this technique in their riffs and solos that we are going to examine in this article.
Easy Tapping Songs
One – Metallica
Released in 1989, One is one of the most famous songs of the thrash metal giants Metallica. The iconic song starts with a clean riff before getting heavy and fast in the mid-section. Furthermore, it tells the story of an injured World War 1 soldier.
The tapping part is in the main solo of Kirk Hammett, where he starts the solo with fast-paced tappings. It is a fast yet easy-to-play part as the fretting hand does not move, and the picking hand taps to the notes close to each other.
Aerodynamic – Daft Punk
The instrumental piece, Aerodynamic by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk is another popular tune with a tapping solo. The 2001 song is one of the rare tracks of the band that feature a guitar solo. It is an exciting song that combines funky grooves with a two-hand heavy metal tapping solo.
The tapping solo is relatively straightforward as the tappings are mainly on the same string, and the notes require comfortable hand positions. You can use high-gain along with a wah pedal to replicate the tone of the recording.
If you are also looking for solos with some other essential techniques, this list might just be for you Top 50 Famous&Easy Guitar Solos For Beginners – Tabs Included
You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi’s famous hit You Give Love A Bad Name from 1986 is another song with an easy yet fantastic-sounding tapping guitar solo. The solo is short but features many cool techniques making it utterly fun to play.
The tapping section is pretty straightforward, with all the notes in the same position on the G string. The solo also features other cool techniques with tremolo bar and double-stop slides.
Paschendale – Iron Maiden
English heavy metal legend IronMaiden’ss 2003 piece Paschendale features an amazing intro riff played with the tapping technique. The song is about a soldier who died in the Battle Of Paschendale during World War 1.
The tapping intro is played on the high E string with three notes in one partition. It is a moderately paced riff, so focus on playing it instead of playing it fast. You can use high-gain to create the tone.
If tapping is a bit hard for you and you want to learn something easier check out my article Top 50 Famous & Easy Electric Guitar Songs For Beginners – Tabs Included
Through The Fire And Flames – Dragonforce
English power metal bandDragonForce’ss most successful song was Through The Fire And Flames, released in 2006. The song is quite challenging to play, but it offers some excellent partitions where you can practice your tapping.
There are many guitar riffs with the tapping technique in the song. Mainly they are pretty easy as you tap a single note and pull-off to another single note before you repeat the process again and again.
Hearts Burst Into Fire – Bullet For My Valentine
Hearts Burst into Fire is the 2008 tune by the heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine. The rock tune was loved by the fans and received positive feedback from most of the music authorities.
The intro solo of the tune features an easy tapping part where the tapping is followed by a double pull-of hammer-on progression. All the action happens on the same string making the part easier to play.
If you are looking for more licks to enrich your rock guitar repertoire, check out my article 50 Famous & Easy Rock Guitar Licks For Beginners
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is the hard rock piece by the Australian heavy metal legend band AC/DC from the year 1976. It is considered one of the greatest metal songs ever written and found itself a place in top rock charts at the time.
The solo of the song features a straightforward tapping part on the high E string. There are repeated triplets that are played 6 times before changing to another position. With the right amount of gain, the part sounds quite amazing, and it is utterly fun to play.
Reapers – Muse
One of the famous tunes of the English alternative rock band Muse is Reapers from their Drones album in 2016. The song features meaty rock riffs along with brutal yet chilling lyrics. It became the highest-charting single of the band in 2016.
The tune starts with MatBellamy’ss fast tapping solo. The tapping section starts with a hammer-on which is followed by another hammer-on before the picking hand comes in for tapping and a pull-off right after. There are 7 sections with the same progression where each progression is repeated 8 times. It is a fast, yet easy part as all of the action is on the same string.
Always With Me Always With You – Joe Satriani
The guitar master and virtuoso JoeSatriani’ss mellow tune Always With Me Always With You is an amazing guitar tune with fantastic melodies with easy parts. It is one of the rare songs of Satriani that can be interpreted as intermediate level.
Towards the end, the song features a great tapping section where you constantly tap to the 12th fret on the B string, which is followed by a pull-off to an open string and a hammer-on to another note that constantly changes and creates the melody.
If you also want to master some mid-to-high-level acoustic guitar pieces, this list has a lot to offer for you 50 Intermediate/Advanced Acoustic Guitar Songs – Tabs Included
Turn Up The Radio – Autograph
Turn Up the Radio is the hit song of American glam metal band Autograph released in 1984. The song got hugely famous and made Autograph famous. However, as there were no other hits created by the band, they are considered a one-hit-wonder.
The solo of the piece features a fun-to-play tapping part where you start on the G string before moving on to the other strings. You can also try to play the bends after the traditional tapping section with your picking hand using the tapping technique without the pull-off afterward.
Invincible – Muse
One of the lesser-known yet fantastic songs of the English alternative rock band Muse is Invincible that was released back in 2007. The slow-paced song was inspired by the iconic song Heroes by David Bowie.
The song’s solo consists mostly of tapping. The picking hand taps different notes while the fretting hand is responsible for hammer-on and pull-offs in different positions. Matt uses a whammy pedal along with high-gain in the solo, and every time the picking hand taps a note, he rocks the whammy forward. On the fretting hand movements, he rocks the whammy back.
My Apocalypse – Escape The Fate
Released in 2006 with their debut album, My Apocalypse is a song by the American rock band Escape The Fate. The song’s guitar solo consists of different parts, all with the tapping technique.
The tapping solo is quite straightforward, with all the notes on the high E string. It starts slow and builds up the speed later. It is a great beginner tapping solo to get familiar with differently paced tappings.
If you want to learn some famous metal riffs along with these tapping partitions, do not forget to take a look at my article Top 60 Famous Easy & Intermediate Metal Riffs Ever – Tabs Included
Power Rangers Theme Song
Surprisingly, one of the most famous tapping sequences is found on the theme song of MightyMorphin’’ Power Rangers. The song was composed by Ron Wasserman in 1994 and was loved by the fans of the show.
The tapping section is right in the intro of the tune. The part consists of taps followed by pull-offs in a three-note repeated sequence. It is also a good practice for the fretting hand stretches. You can add a bit of delay and a big amount of gain to your tone, so the taps are easier and sound better.
Am I Evil – Diamond Head
British heavy metal band DiamondHead’ss famous song Am I Evil from their debut album in 1980 features a fantastic solo with the tapping technique. The piece was inspired by BlackSabbath’ss Symptom Of The Universe and was covered by Metallica later.
The solo has a nice tapping part on the high E string where you tap with your picking hand and pull of with your left hand. It is a high-paced solo, so start slow if you struggle with it.
Lip Gloss And Black – Atreyu
Lip Gloss And Black is the single of American metalcore band Atreyu from their debut album in 2002. It is the song that gave Atreyu its immense reputation, and it is one of their signature songs.
The intro solo of the song has a nice tap-style solo starting on the 3rd fret moving on to the 4th and 5th frets later. By the way, you have to use the drop C tuning to play the tune. And do not forget to add a high amount of distortion to your tone.
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight – Genesis
Released in 1973, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight is considered one of the top songs of the English progressive rock band Genesis. The song has many fantastic parts in a progressive structure, including a tap-style solo.
The tapping part starts on the B string and moves on to the G string before moving back to the B string again at the final of the solo.
Don’t Forget Me – Red Hot Chili Peppers
One of the few songs of Red Hot Chili Pepper that features a tap-style solo is Don’t Forget Me. The piece was released in 2002 with the By The Way album and had amazing lyrics about universal love.
The tapping style guitar riff is played completely on the high E string and is quite easy. You can add a bit of delay to your tone to make the taps sound clear. Also, a bit of gain might help too.
Death In Fire – Amon Amarth
Released in 2002, Death In Fire is the death metal piece of the Swedish metal band Amon Amarth. If you love hardcore metal tunes, solos, along with djent riffs, you will love this one. The song has a lovely tapping part, quite easy and fun to play.
The tap-style guitar riff is played on the D string and is quite straightforward as you tap and pull off to a single note without any fretting hand action repeatedly. It is one of the ideal beginner tap guitar riffs.
Alone – Bullet For My Valentine
The Welsh heavy metal band Bullet For MyValentine’ss Alone is yet another great song with a tap-style guitar solo. The song was released in 2010 with the Fever album and was loved by the fans of the band. It is recorded in drop C tuning, so you will have to adjust your tuning before playing the tune.
The tapping part is right in the intro section. You start with two hammer-ons from the open 2nd string before you tap and pull-off your way back to the starting point. You repeat the same sequence changing the note you are tapping on.
Devil’s Island – Megadeth
Devil’s Island from the thrash metal giants Megadeth features a great tap-style intro solo. The song was released back in 1986 and became one of the signature songs of the band.
The tapping partitions come in sixlets, and they are mainly on the same string. It is a quick-paced yet easy partition to play.
Advanced Tapping Songs
The Stage – Avenged Sevenfold
Released in 2016, The Stage is a progressive metal song by the American metal band Avenged Sevenfold. The tune received massively positive feedback and was nominated to Grammy in the Best Rock Song category.
You will need to use drop D tuning to play the song. The tap-style solo is right at the beginning of the piece and features many quick string changes, which can be quite challenging.
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
The first single of the British legendary heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne was Crazy Train back in 1980. The song immediately became a classic and is considered one of the best heavy metal songs ever written.
The main solo of the piece is very fast, with quick double taps with the picking hand instead of one. You can start with one tap and double it as you progress with the solo. The second tap-style part is also quick but more straightforward with a traditional pull-of, hammer-on section.
Hot For Teacher – Van Halen
The iconic American rock band Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher is one of their greatest songs released in 1984. The piece is remembered with the incredible drum solo in the intro and its distinct extended guitar introduction.
The tap-style guitar solo is in this guitar introduction. The first parts are on the same string and quite easy to play. However, there is a tapped scale walk at the end, which requires quick string changing that can be challenging for some players.
Smile In Your Sleep – Silverstein
Released in 2005, Smile In Your Sleep is a rock tune by the Canadian rock band Silverstein. It is the first single of the band and one of the most successful, with more than 30 000 copies sold in the first week.
The song features an advanced-level tap-style solo in which both hands need to be used for tapping. Any note higher than the 12th fret is tapped with the right hand, while the notes lower than the 12th fret are tapped with the left hand.
Get The Funk Out – Extreme
Released in 1990, Get The Funk Out is the famous single of the American rock band Extreme. The song features the Canadian guitarist Pat Travers. Nuno Bettencourt shows his tapping skills in the solo section of the funk metal tune.
The song features a fantastic tap-style solo where you arpeggiate with the tapping technique. You will need an advanced-level technique to play the notes properly and quickly while changing the string downwards and upwards.
Ocean – John Butler Trio
Ocean by the Australian band John Butler Trio is one of the most beautiful songs written for acoustic guitar. It was released back in 1998 and became one of the classics of the band. John Butler uses many different techniques in the song, including the tapping technique, which is not very common for acoustic guitar players.
John Butler uses both hands in the intro section tapping different notes and using the fretboard like a piano. You will need to tune your guitar to C open tuning to play the song.
Eruption – Van Halen
Eruption, maybe the most famous Van Halen song, is actually a guitar solo performed by Eddie Van Halen. The song popularized the tapping technique widely, which is why it is a special song for this list. It is considered one of the most fantastic guitar solos of all time.
Van Halen uses the two-handed tapping technique starting from the middle of the solo until the end. It is not an easy song to play as the tempo is highly quick, and there are many different positions you will have to change in between.
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind – Mr. Big
Released in 1991, Green Tinted Sixties Mind is one of the lesser-known singles of the American glam metal band Mr. Big. The guitarist of the band Paul Gilbert is one of the greatest virtuosos of our time, and he shows his skills with many techniques on his solo part.
The intro solo does not have a long, tapping part but instead, Gilbert uses the technique individually in some sentences in the solo. It is a great example of how to use the tapping technique pinched around and without shredding long tap sequences.
Roses For The Dead – Funeral for a Friend
Welsh post-hardcore band Funeral For AFriend’ss successful hit Roses For The Dead was released in 2005 and charted in UK Top 50 lists. The tune is remembered with its amazing intro section in which all the notes are tapped.
The fantastic guitar riff in the intro uses four different strings in a drop D flat tuning. All the notes are tapped, and it requires using both hands for tapping. You can add a bit of delay to your tone to make the taps sound better.
For That Second – Rob Scallon
For That Second by the American YouTuber, musician, and multi-instrumentalist Rob Scallon is a lovely song played entirely with the tapping technique. Rob uses his fretboard like a keyboard, tapping with both hands with a clean tone.
You will need to be advanced with the tapping technique to play this tune. It uses many different positions along with fast string changes. Also, it is harder to use the tapping technique with a clean tone as it is harder to make the notes sound properly.
Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee – Extreme
Released in 2010, Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee is a song by the American rock band Extreme. It is inspired by the Flight Of The Bumblebee of Rimsky-Korsakov, and the skillful guitarist Nuno Bettencourt transformed it into a rocking guitar solo.
The song is played with a delay effect which makes the notes sound like they are played twice. The tap-style solo has a quick tempo and uses many different positions along with the large fretting hand stretches.
CAFO – Animals As Leaders
The progressive metal band Animal AsLeaders’’ hit song CAFO from their debut album in 2009 is another song that is played entirely tap-style. You will have to use both of your hands efficiently to play the tune.
The tab sheet shows which notes to play with the right and which ones to play with the left hand. But feel free to adjust it to your comfort. You can add high gain to your tone to sound like the recording.
Midnight – Joe Satriani
The great virtuoso JoeSatriani’ss famous tune Midnight is a great song to learn and master if you want to progress with your tapping technique. The whole song is played tap-style in a clean tone with many changes in the tempo.
Satriani literally uses his guitar like a piano creating amazing melodies. As he uses two fingers at the same time to tap, this one is one of the most advanced-level tapping songs on this list. You can use a clean tone and add a slight bit of gain, so the taps are more clear.
Tooth And Nail – Dokken
Tooth And Nail by the American heavy metal band Dokken was released in 1984 and received positive feedback from music enthusiasts with its distinct sound. The album was certified as a platinum level.
The song has a solo partition which consists of mainly tapped licks. It is a high-tempo song with many string changes, so you will need to practice it patiently to play it.
Crusade – Trivium
Released in 2006, Crusade is the instrumental piece of the American heavy metal band Trivium. The 8-minute song features great guitar riffs for metal players.
There are many great advanced-level parts in the song, from sweep pickings to tap-style riffs. The tapping part is actually not that hard if you get the rhythmic aspect right. You should add a high amount of gain to your tone to play the song like the recording.
The tapping technique is a great way to enrich your lick library and add some variety to playing. It looks extremely cool and sounds no less than that. That is why many guitarists use it live, if not in the studio.
It is not a hard technique to get familiar with using the picking hand, but it takes some time to build the synchronization between the hands. You will also need some time to make your picking hand’s fingertips hard so it becomes less painful and the sound becomes better.
Shortly, you can learn and master these pieces to put this technique into your repertoire to use it with your own compositions or performances. Suppose you struggle to get a good tapping sound to try to add a bit more gain and delay to your tone. It will help greatly.
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