I’m sure everyone is familiar with the standard three note ‘Eruption’ style right hand tapping licks. While these always sound great, there are all sorts of other cool and different ways of using two-handed tapping.  For this column I thought I’d show you a few less common tapping ideas. The licks here are some of my personal favourites, and for simplicity’s sake, I’ve kept them all in the key of E minor. These exercises can also be played at any tempo.


For this minor pentatonic lick, instead of tapping different notes above as you normally would, you actually tap the same fret that’s doing the left hand pull-off. In this case, I’m using my left hand third finger and tapping with my right hand middle finger (I prefer to tap this way so I don’t have to adjust the pick). The key here is to quickly move your right hand tapping finger out of the way and replace it with your left hand finger. Once you get both fingers synchronised, you alternate between a tapped pull-off and a regular pull-off – both from the same note. The result is a series of rapid-fire trills that are faster and have a different sound than regular hammer-ons/pull-offs.

Hear Exercise 1


This is another cool little technique I like to do. Slide into a note from below and then immediately tap that same note. Repeat this as many times as you like. This creates phrasing that is quite unique and unconventional. Here I’m tapping and sliding to a B, A, and an E on the first and second strings.

Hear Exercise 2


Note: ‘M’ = Middle finger; ‘R’ = Ring finger. In E Dorian, this lick involves tapping on the first string with your middle finger and then doing a hammer-on and pull-off with your right hand ring finger (keep holding your middle finger down while doing this) before continuing with left hand pull-offs. This is followed by a double tap and pull-offs on the second string. Building up the dexterity in your right hand fingers may take some practice, but it allows you to perform wide interval licks like this that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Hear Exercise 3


One of my favourite things to do is to add quick right hand tapped-slides to fast, alternate picked runs. Also in E Dorian, this lick ascends and upon reaching the first string, your middle finger shifts across and adds a quick slide up and down. This is repeated before moving back down the strings and resolving on the E root note. The accuracy of the slide here isn’t necessarily that important – when done at speed, the overall effect will be the same.

Hear Exercise 4

Check out these licks on the Australian Guitar website. I hope they inspire you to come up with some of your own original tapping ideas.