Practical Applications of Harmonised Scales Part 3 - Tapping



Today we are going to look at some ideas we can use within the harmonized major scale to help us compose tapping ideas. We’ll be looking at the e and B strings.

We are going to be basing these ideas around three shapes:

Major              1 3 5

Minor              1 b3 5

Diminished    1 b3 b5

So, to start off with, let’s out the notes in the following chords:

C major:                     C E G

C minor:                    C Eb G

C diminished:          C Eb Gb

Next, for each of those three chords, we want to map out those notes in ascending order on the second string. The root note, C, is in red:

C major one string arpeggio
C major one string arpeggio

C minor one string arpeggio
C minor one string arpeggio

C diminished one string arpeggio
C diminished one string arpeggio

What we are looking at here are the patterns and the root note. So these patterns will apply along any string (ie we can move the pattern horizontally and the tonality will stay the same) and across strings. Just be careful as to where the root note is!

When it comes to playing these arpeggios by tapping, we want to look at these patterns in groups of three - preferably either the three highest notes or the three lowest. If we take the C major arpeggio, we can play it in two different ways:

Two different ways to tap a one string C major arpeggio.
Two different ways to tap a one string C major arpeggio

Hopefully you can see how we took the one string arpeggio and created two different tapping licks from it. Personally, I prefer the second way of organising the notes, but which one you use is up to you… or use both!

So let’s look at how we can tap the C minor and C diminished arpeggios too:

Two different ways to tap a one string C minor arpeggio.
Two different ways to tap a one string C minor arpeggio

Two different ways to tap a one string C diminished arpeggio.
Two different ways to tap a one string C diminished arpeggio

Again, you want to look at the shape so you can create a general shape for major, minor and diminished arpeggios.

So now we should have three different patterns. Let’s look at the harmonized major scale in the key of C major:

C major scale, harmonized:

Cmaj   Dmin   Emin   Fmaj    Gmaj   Amin   Bdim

So now we know what chords are in this scale, we can work out the chords as a set of tapping arpeggios:

C harmonised major tapping part 1
How to tap C major, D minor, E minor and F major on one string

C harmonised major tapping part 2
How to tap G major, A minor and B diminished on one string

You can create some really cool Eruption-esque licks by taking these different chords from a single style and playing them in any order you like. Give it a go and see what happens, you’ll get some really cool results!