In the last lesson we looked at left hand techniques needed to play Drifting, in this lesson we will look at the right hand techniques. The right hand uses a combination of tapping, streaming and percussive hits.
To tap a note, take the first finger on your right hand and press down quickly and firmly on a string (we will take the F sharp on G string 11th fret as an example, as this is the first tapped note of the song). This is not the same as simply fretting a note – you must bring the finger down with enough force to ensure it causes the string to vibrate, creating the note. Practice this on different strings in different frets to make sure you have a good control of the technique.
After you have tapped the F sharp note, use your ring finger to pick the open small E string from underneath, the middle finger to pick the open B string, and the first finger to pick the open G string. Never flick the string with a nail or finger, always pick from underneath.
We covered this in the last blog, but for the right hand percussion you want to ‘roll’ your fingers on the scratchplate to achieve a slightly different percussive sound. Roll your fingers from your third to your first finger.
Putting it all together
To combine all the right hand techniques together, you must first tap the F sharp, then stream the E, B and G strings, then perform the finger roll on the scratchplate. To combine the left hand and the right hand techniques takes a great deal more time, and you will need to watch the video to get this exactly right. The order of techniques is this: left hand chord tap, right hand note tap, simultaneous left hand percussive hit and E string stream, B string stream, simultaneous left hand chord tap and G string stream, right hand percussive roll, left hand percussive hit. Practice this really slowly and watch the video. Once you have these techniques under your belt, you will be ready to learn the whole song.
If you would like to learn the whole song, you can buy an accurate tab from Andy McKee’s website here: http://www.andymckee.com/store/tabs/.
Please don’t get any other tabs from unofficial sources – they are usually largely inaccurate, but more importantly Andy is making a living from being a musician, and selling sheet music is a big part of that. If you decide you need a tab, please buy the official one and support this man’s amazing talent.
Professional Guitarist and Guitar Tutor