First Flight Tapping Techniques

Artist Series Guitar Course from Sarah Longfield

An exclusive, in-depth study of virtuosity on extended range guitars that will challenge and inspire guitarists of all backgrounds. Sarah Longfield teaches rhythm, soloing techniques and musicianship that helped her to build a career doing what she loves.

30 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


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Full Course Breakdown

This course will break down Sarah’s unique tapping style, composition techniques and use of the guitar part by part. It will inspire you to introduce new shapes, rhythms, and finger independence into your playing and compositions. If you’re looking to overcome challenges with speed or dexterity, this course will give you the tools you need to break through that wall and open yourself up to a whole new way of approaching guitar. You will learn how to get a punchy percussive tone out of your fingers when tapping, how to build patterns and chords, what to do when alternating between tapping and using a pick, and more! Players will also get a breakdown (for the first time ever) of some of Sarah’s original work. A JamPlay exclusive!


Series Introduction

Sarah gives you a quick rundown of what to expect from her new course.

3:21 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Basic Tapping Exercise

Sarah shows us a tapping warm up exercise that builds in complexity.

5:06 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Building Tapping Patterns

Sarah shows a tapping exercise that centers on a complex rhythmic motif.

2:06 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Tapping Chords

Sarah builds on the rhythm from the previous lesson, this time applying it to chords.

3:01 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


How to Stash Your Pick

Sarah shows how she stashes her pick for tapping so that she is able to switch back and forth at any time.

2:26 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Legato Tapping Run

Sarah teaches a legato tapping exercise in four parts that takes you up and down the neck of the guitar.

3:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


7-String Tapping

Sarah teaches a 2 pattern motif that starts on the 5th fret of the low b string and ascends to the 12th fret of the high e string. Utilizing string skipping extensively, this piece is a little more challening. Sarah breaks it down note for note and at slow speeds.

4:04 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Odd-count Fingerpicking

In this lesson, Sarah teaches the odd-count fingerpicking patterns that are prevalent in her body of work. She details 3 of her favorite patterns and teaches them using a fun chord progression. While challenging, these fingerpicking patterns are integral to the rest of the course.

3:45 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Paradiddle Tapping

Mixing drumming rudiments and tapped guitar playing, Sarah shows how to take rhythm playing to new heights. First, she teaches the rhythmic concepts and then how to sync both hands for some real guitar gymnastics. While complex, she breaks everything down to individual components to make learning much simpler.

3:47 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Extended Range Tapping with Bass Lines and Chords

Drawing on the same techniques discussed in the previous lesson, Sarah takes a look at tapping while playing bass lines and chords simultaneously. This is a 7 string lesson, but it can be adapted to 6 string if you move the shapes around.

3:07 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Advanced Tapped Arpeggios

In this lesson, Sarah shows advanced tapped arpeggio techniques that are challenging for her to play. These are meant to be used as a warmup as well as technical tapping practice. Be forewarned, these are not for the faint of heart and will take time to get under the fingers.

3:44 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Legato Tapping Run #2

Sequenced legato tapping runs can be played very quickly, but they tend to sound predictable. So in this lesson, Sarah explains how to use the same concepts from the previous lesson sans the patterns. This is great for expansive solo playing.

3:40 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Extended Range Tapping

Sarah likes to take full advantage of the extended range that 7 and 8 stringed guitars provide. Her compositions regularly feature simultaneous bass line, chords and melody playing on one guitar. In this lesson, she explains how to work systematically to achieve this sound.

3:10 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


First Flight Excerpt #1

A slightly more advanced musical piece, Sarah teaches this excerpt to further solidify polyrhythmic tapping techniques. Learn this fun and challenging solo lick by lick while developing percussive dynamics and tapping chops.

5:49 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty



Applying what has been learned so far, Sarah uses an excerpt from her song "Tydes". Using only 2 fingers on each hand, this is a fun and simple way to practice the concepts so far in the course. The concepts in this piece are integral to exploring the fretboard in new ways.

4:31 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Autumn Air

Sarah teaches a 2 pattern motif that starts on the 5th fret of the low b string and ascends to the 12th fret of the high e string. Utilizing string skipping extensively, this piece is a little more challenging. Sarah breaks it down note for note and at slow speeds.

5:09 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Sweep Tapping

This lesson uses one of Sarah's favorite 5-string minor sweep arpeggios. Using 16th note triplets and tapping, this is fun to play yet challenging. Sarah assumes the student has a basic understanding of sweep picking. If not, there are many great lessons on the topic in the member's area.

3:28 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Sweep Picking Cleanup

In this lesson, Sarah teaches how to clean up sweep picking technique. This will help those who are just starting out all the way up to advanced players. Using 3 to 6 string sweeps, she teaches how to practice using only the strumming hand. Once clean sweeping is achieved, the student learns to incorporate the fretting hand.

6:37 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Creativity Boosting Tunings

Alternate tunings on a 7 or 8 string guitar can dramatically alter the tonal possibilites. In this lesson, Sarah explains how to creatively tune extended range guitars to get beyond overused chord shapes. She also explains her favorite tunings and corresponding chord shapes.

3:51 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Quiescent Intro Lesson

Learn the 16th note intro to Sarah's song "Quiescent." The open C tuning and 110 bpm tempo make this a great way to explore tapping melodies. She teaches how to lead with the tapping hand while filling space with the fretting hand.

3:56 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Chords in Open Tuning

Building on the concepts of the last lesson, Sarah shows how to use open tuning chords to full effect. She uses backing tracks, at multiple tempos, to illustrate. She also teaches how to master the chords that have tricky fingerings.

3:42 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Finger Tone

The importance of good finger tone for tapping cannot be overstated. Sarah teaches how to get a pleasant percussive sound without the need to use a compressor. This gives the player much more control over the dynamics of the sound.

4:19 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


On Self Recording

Sarah believes that recording one's self is a great way to improve. Recording allows the student to listen back and hear mistakes clearly. She explains the best way to do this and the techniques she recommends all students start with.

4:38 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Overcoming Technique Obstacles

Getting stuck and hitting plateaus is part of the process of improving at guitar playing. In this lesson, Sarah explains the mindset needed to overcome obstacles and she reveals her go-to tricks to break out of ruts. This is a can't-miss lesson for any guitar player.

2:51 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


First Flight Intro

Learn the tapped intro to Sarah's song "First Flight". One of her favorite tapping parts, this one jumps around the fretboard and has a bouncy, fun feel. Quite fast at 140bpm, Sarah breaks it into sections and provides multiple tempos to learn and practice with.

4:10 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Ambient Fingerpicking

This ambient fingerpicking lick makes use of both multiple simultaneous notes and individual notes to give it a haunting sound. This is useful as an exercise to improve your dexterity with both hands, as well as familiarize yourself with unusual chord changes.

5:42 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Return to Ambient Fingerpicking

Sarah returns with another ambient fingerpicking piece. This features chords that flow and meld into one another creating an almost other-worldly ambient sound. This exercise will improve your dexterity, accuracy and open up alternate musical realities.

3:05 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Brutal Fast Tapping Lick

The tense and aggressive feel of this lick stems from the fact that it was born during a period of frustration and intense musical writer's block. Learn the lick that helped Sarah break out of her creative drought.

2:57 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Ruthless Metal Lick

Sarah Longfield introduces a fast metal lick. This lick is one of her favorites for good reason, it uses all the strings, moves all over the fretboard and offers the flexibility to transition between tapping and picking. Whether you want to use this lick as a ruthless practice tool, or modify it to include in your own music, you won't be disappointed.

4:22 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


The Multi-Instrumentalist

Sarah attributes her unique sound to the fact that she is a multi-instrumentalist. Her rhythmic tapping technique was born from her love of piano and the drums. In this lesson, she explains how learning other instruments will expand your guitar playing.

3:41 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

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  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Playing since 1995
  • 30 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 100/100 with 183 ratings

and I really liked the teacher ;)


Exercises like these are incredibly useful


I am a begginer I hope i understand


I love the uniqueness it’s very inspirational ????


I thought it was really interesting to see multi-finger tapping being used in the first lesson without much attention being brought to it. It made the lesson feel a lot more natural.


She's an excellent communicator. Very clear and concise in her delivery.


True inspiration!!!!!