logo

“I was aggressively informed, ‘That’s Eddie’s technique; you’re not allowed to play it on the tour – or else’”: Steve Lynch on how Van Halen’s team forbade him from two-handed tapping

“I was pissed that I couldn’t play something I had created.”

Steve Lynch of Autograph and Eddie Van Halen

Image: Scott Dudelson / Lynn Goldsmith / Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

Autograph guitar maestro Steve Lynch has spoken about how Van Halen‘s team once forbade him from using the two-handed tapping technique on tour, a move that left him veritably “pissed”.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Lynch, whose band opened for Van Halen on their 1984 tour, recounts the fateful exchange: “When our tour with Van Halen started, I was asked by their management, ‘Are you Steve Lynch, the one who wrote The Right Touch’ [A 1982 instructional book with the full title The Right Touch: The Art of Hammering Notes with the Right Hand]? I said, ‘Yes, I am,’” Lynch says.

“I was then aggressively informed, ‘That’s Eddie’s technique; you’re not allowed to play it on the tour – or else.’ I was pissed that I couldn’t play something I had created.”

According to Lynch, the issue was eventually resolved after he personally approached the late guitar legend about the supposed restrictions.

“So, later on, I confronted Eddie about it, to which he replied, ‘I had no idea they put those restrictions on you. I’ll call the dogs off.’ I graciously thanked him and played whatever I wanted for the rest of the tour,” he says.

“I’ll never know if he was telling the truth, but I don’t care; we hit it off well after that.”

Also in the chat, Lynch reveals the origins of his two-handed tapping technique, saying: “I first saw Harvey Mandel playing around with it at a soundcheck at a club in downtown Seattle in the early ’70s. That’s what first inspired me. Then I saw a local guy named Steve Buffington experimenting with it, which made me pursue it more.”

“But Emmett Chapman, the inventor of the Stick, made me immerse myself in it.”

“He did a clinic at GIT [Guitar Institute of Technology, now the Musicians Institute], and I was awestruck by the sounds he created. I immediately began to train my hand and began writing the two-hand theory, including arpeggios, triads, chord inversions, scales, intervals, and double-stops.”

logo

The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.