Jonas Tamas: chromatic rush

Chromatic rush with tapping

Today we take a look at a chromatic idea, which enables you to produce very quick runs in a relatively easy way. To begin with, click here to download the sound files of this lesson:

The run begins on the 12th fret of the high E string. This note will be the only one, which has to be picked, all the other notes are tapped, or played with hammer-on/pull-off. The first 4 notes are fretted with the four fingers of the left hand (see the numbers under the tablature). So between frets 12 and 15 you have to do three hammer-ons with the left hand fingers.

The right hand takes over at the fifth note (E string, 16th fret). As mentioned in one of my previous licks, I propose the middle finger of the right hand for tapping purposes, so that the thumb and the index finger can hold the pick in the meantime. After playing the G sharp note with tapping, the middle finger of the right hand starts to slide up, right to the 23rd fret (if you have a guitar with only 21 or 22 frets, then the slide should end here).

While doing the slide with the tapping hand, be sure to press down the string firmly. Carry out the movement steadily and smoothly, so that all the frets will be able to produce a quick sound.

At the 23rd fret we reach the top of the one-octave chromatic scale, all the 12 semitones were played from E to D sharp. At this point the slide turns around and goes back to its starting point (16th fret). You don't have to pick while turning around, just simply change direction with the right hand.

When you reach the 16th fret again, the tapping hand makes a pull-off, and the right hand regains the command (the 4 fingers of the right hand should stay put while the tapping-slide section). Finally, the run goes back from the 15th fret (left hand pinky) to the 12th fret (index finger), with three pull-offs.

As you may have noticed, the whole run is perfectly symmetrical so far. Now comes the tricky bit: changing strings. The left hand pinky carries out a "hammer-on from nowhere", in other words, the 15th fret of the B string should be played with a strong hammer-on by the little finger. The other 3 fingers of the left hand can stick on the high E string, in order to avoid string noises.

After playing the first note (D) on the B string in the way described above, a second tapping-slide movement starts, this time on the B string, from the 16th fret, right up the 20th fret, where we reach the end of the whole lick.

This chromatic lick is taken from my song called 'Critical Mass' on the second OSV album. It is a progressive/fusion instrumental project, more information can be found on the homepage of OSV, which is