Basics and Finger Strengthening

As with any technique, Tapping is something that takes time and practice to get efficient at.

In order to play well and be able to Tap both fluidly and cleanly, you'll need to have strong fingers.

One of the things that I should point out is that, at first, you probably wont have a clean or particularly strong attack or sound. This is due to the fact that you haven't had to develop your finger muscles for this kind of motion or playing before. Your hands will be weak when it comes to getting a good sound (at first), especially when you're learning the Basics.

There are a few ways that you can go about getting stronger fingers (and none of them are dirty) :)

The first thing that you can do to practice this is actually away from your bass. You can practice by drumming and tapping your fingers against a table, practicing on any surface. Practice with each finger, trying to get a sound that rings out through the surface and is clearly audible over a large area.

This will make it so that you have stronger fingers than if you were just practicing on your bass alone. Just be sure not to be slamming your fingers down so that you are actually hurting yourself.

Another thing that you can do is to just practice hammering one finger onto a string at a time. Practice making sure that every note you tap comes out clean and clear and even.

A good exercise in getting good tone is also taking the fingers that you have trouble tapping with and continuously just tapping with that one finger. Focusing on the weakest fingers and strengthening them is important if you want to make sure that every note sounds individual and clear.

You should remember that, in order to be able to tap, you'll need to have fairly low action. If your action is too high, you might not be able to get the strings to hit the bass fretboard.

After you are confident that you are able to get a good tone from each and every finger, practice tapping Scales with each hand separately and together. Don't pluck the strings at all and see if you can get a good sounding major scale from each hand. Remember that it will take time to get good at this due to the fact that we are still dealing with just the basics.

Try moving to Minor and Diminished scales too. You shouldn't have any problem hitting any notes or patterns after a bit of practice.

Practice this with every Arpeggio and Chord you know as well. This is good practice for a few things, least of all your technical knowledge.

Remember to take your time. This takes a while to get good at, but the longer you try to Tap and more focused you are at this, the better you WILL get. It's just a matter of time.

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