Tapping: Don’t Forget Ace!

July 13, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

ace_1975_red(Note: Check out Ace’s redone website! Sweet!)

Just like every other guitar player playing covers in the 1970s, Eddie Van Halen was familiar with the KISS catalog and thus Ace Frehley’s stuff. So whenever the topic of “did Ed right-hand tap first?” comes up – in my opinion a pointless debate (Ed took all previous guitar techniques and hot-rodded them to the max) – some wonder if Ed got it from Ace.

Ace fans will know that Ace tapped in part of his solo guitar spot, captured on vinyl on KISS Alive II in 1977. Did Ace come up with that himself? Was he also influenced by Billy Gibbons doing it or other people doing it after they saw Billy do it? Or was he maybe influenced, as some have speculated, by Ed doing it – because Van Halen was “discovered” by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons (in that order) in 1976?

Don’t think so when it comes to Ed, because in the following 1975 video Ace is doing right-handed hammer-ons with a pick.

Couldn’t find any footage of Ace right-handed tapping in 1976 so here he is doing his thing in 1977, and he’s “on.” The tapping part starts at about 7:53, again with a pick, thus dispelling again the “influenced by Ed” line of thinking. Love it!

Category: Ace Frehley, Billy Gibbons, Edward Van Halen

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  1. Mincer says:

    You’ll have to go a bit further back to hear tapping from a guitarist in a well known band, though. Steve Hackett in 1972 (?) does it on the Genesis album Foxtrot. I doubt Ace had heard it, though.

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