Finger Tapping a different method of playing a guitar. Instead of fretting a string with one hand and plucking or strumming it with the other, finger tappers do what regular guitarists call "hammer-ons" to generate sound. This allows you to use both hands up on the frets and thus play much more complex parts. You can certainly do this with a conventional guitar - Eddie VanHalen is probably the best known finger tapper in rock - but there are instruments specifically made for this style of playing.

The Warr guitar was designed by Mark Warr. Although it loses points for not coming in black, it offers tuning that is similar to ordinary guitar tunings, and those who play them describe it as being very similar to playing a guitar and a bass at the same time. There are many other companies that make guitars in this vein:

Austin Douglas


and Mobius Megatar, to name just a few.

The sound is interesting, but I really hated the looks of these things... until I discovered this:

The Chapman Stick
This is my favorite in this genre. Very clean lines, no extraneous crap, no attempt to make it look like a standard guitar, and naturally, it's black. There are many theories about tunings, and this guitar is able to accept many different modes. The idea here is that it's not really a guitar at all, but a whole new kind of instrument. A modified Stick was used as Gurney Halleck's baliset in the original movie version of Dune.

Seriously, who is cooler than Patrick Stewart?

If you want to learn the ways of serious tapping, be prepared to fork out a minimum of $2000 to get started, and a lot more if your want more strings - you can get 8, 10, 12, or more. To see how these things are played, click here and watch the videos.

For those who are keeping score at home, this isn't really on my wish list per se... more of a curiosity that I found while trying to avoid studying for finals.


born again flocker said...

Picard playing Eruption, sweet.

His Sinfulness said...

That would have been an excellent holodeck episode.

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