Alun Vaughan

Thrilling Trilling

Hello. The inspiration for this lick came from the kind of high speed runs keyboard players use when they're trying to sound like guitarists ( so you could say it's a bass impersonating a keyboard impersonating a guitar...or something).

The pattern for the whole run is:

Right hand tap
Pull off to left hand fretted note
Left hand hammer on
Left hand pull off

And repeat.

As you are tapping the same note you've just played with your left hand, it can be easy for your fingers to collide so start off slowly. This technique is used a lot by the great Billy Sheehan (listen to the intro of Mr Big's “Addicted To That Rush”)

I've played it on the C string on my six string bass but obviously you can use the same idea on any string and any part of the neck. Experiment with different scales and sequences – this is just a technical example, what you create with it is up to you (but you may want to avoid using in ballads!)

On the audio example, I play it once as 16th notes and then at full speed as 32nd notes.

Alun Vaughan is a freelance bassist from Wales, UK. For more info, please visit