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The Black Dahlia Murder: Ryan Knight – Tapping & String-Skipping

July 27th, 2013




 [Ryan’s Ibanez FR custom shop guitar is tuned down 2 whole steps to C Standard: C F Bb Eb G C]

Ryan credits some of his two-hand tapping approaches to guitar Derek Taylor: ‘Anybody that’s into legato playing involving tapping should check him out. If you like Richie Kotzen’s older stuff, it’s like Richie Kotzen on crack.’

In particular, Ryan borrows a concept Derek coined the ‘Spock Technique,’ whereby both the middle and ring fingers of the picking hand are used for tapping, while the thumb and index finger hold on to the pick.

Example 1

Generally, Ryan likes to use this technique to extend his pentatonic tapping runs. First, here’s an example based on the A minor pentatonic scale, using only the middle finger to add one extra note in the right hand.
The Black Dahlia Murder - Ryan Knight - Tapping & String Skipping 1

Example 2

Another approach is to take the fragment on the top two strings of this lick and repeat it in descending octaves, à la Paul Gilbert.
The Black Dahlia Murder - Ryan Knight - Tapping & String Skipping 2

Example 3

Finally, to apply the Spock Technique, Ryan builds on the previous example by adding his ring finger for an additional tapped note in the lick.
The Black Dahlia Murder - Ryan Knight - Tapping & String Skipping 3

Example 4

To expand the line further, Ryan precedes it with an Amin7 tapped arpeggio. Since the notes of the arpeggio (A, C, E, G) also fall into the A minor pentatonic scale (A, C, D, E, G), this entire phrase can simply be thought of in the key of A minor pentatonic.
The Black Dahlia Murder - Ryan Knight - Tapping & String Skipping 4

[Special thanks to Ben Mayer for his excellent camera work and last minute help, Peter Boyle for his impeccable transcription work, and Josh Hofmann for his assistance with this video shoot.]



  • Damian O’Kane

    Fantastic lesson. Thanks.

  • Jason fair

    what chord do they tune the guitar in nocturnal.

    • Sam Elliott

      That’s John Kempanien bruh