This is really old footage of Eddie Van Halen performing his landmark Eruption solo from his first tour with Van Halen. Yes, the picture quality is quite bad, but that’s how it goes with almost vintage material. 🙂
The most famous part is the two-hand tapping part towards the end of the solo. Today, tapping is considered a standard playing technique for any semi-serious Rock guitar player, but before Eddie it was (almost) never used.
The piece that would later be named “Eruption” had existed as part of Van Halen’s stage act at least as far back as 1976, when it featured no tapping. “Eruption” popularized the tapping trend of the ’80s. Although one-handed tapping (hammer-ons and pull-offs) had been previously done by many guitarists, “Eruption” introduced two-handed tapping to the mainstream popular rock audience. Previously, Baroque-like tapping had been recorded by Steve Hackett of Genesis in 1971/1972.
The Easiest Part in Eruption
Ironically the tapping is the easiest, most accessible part of the solo. Ok, if you’ve never used tapping before, it might seem overwhelming at first.
All those fast notes…
But once you are comfortable with the basic tapping technique you’ll be surprised how easy it actually is to play. The first part with the more conventional playing techniques is much harder to get right.
Back in the late 70’s Eruption really stopped everybody in their track. How did Eddie achieve that flurry of notes?
It didn’t take too long before other guitarists caught on and soon players everywhere were tapping all over the place. Unfortunately often regardless of whether it fit the song or not.
Definitely try to avoid that mistake and use tapping responsibly. 😉
Do You Tap?
- Have you learned to play Eruption?
- The full solo or just the famous tapping part?
- Do you think of tapping as a cliche to avoid at all cost or have you implemented it in your playing?
Please share your experience in the comment section below.