Erik Mongrain has developed a technique to perfection which is known as Air Tap. For playing this Air Tap technique the guitar is not played in the normal position but is laid flat in front of the the player and is played simultaneously by both hands.
The left hand produces the tones by hammering down the fingers onto the fretboard and the strings – a technique that has been known for a long tine, but which has mainly been used for playing small ornaments. The possibility of amplification now makes it possible that this technique can be used for playing not just ornaments but complete melodies or even chords just with the left hand alone.
The right hand is used to pick the strings with the traditional fingerpicking patterns, but also to produce a number of percussion effects and harmony tones. By this two-hand technique a full and complex sound is produced which does not sound like a single guitar but almost like a complete guitar ensemble.
In 2004 Erik Mongrain has played the following piece in a Canadian talent show:
Erik Mongrain – Airtap 2004 – Party de Noël
Prestation d’Érik Mongrain au Party de Noël des Pourris de Talent.Décembre 2004
In 2012 he has played “Rewind” from his album “Forward” at the Canadian Guitar Festival:
CGF 2012: Erik Mongrain – “Rewind”
Erik Mongrain – “Rewind” (original).
Live, at the Canadian Guitar Festival 2012
August 4, 2012, Loughborough Lake, Kingston, Ontario
Erik performs an original tune from his 2012 album “Forward”.
Erik Mongrain has first used this technique when busking because it attacted a lot of people. Now he uses this often at the beginning of concerts to get rid of his stage-fright. He is currently working on new compositions for a new album supported by a campaign with indiegogo.
Playlist Erik Mongrain
- youtube channel Erik Mongrain
- Eric Mongrain at indiegogo
- nine questions with: Erik Mongrain Interview
- INTERVIEW: Erik Mongrain
- Article about Erik Mongrain (German): Zitherspieler – Saitenzupfer – Gitarrengott?
- Erik Mongrain moves Forward
Amazon Partnerlinks for the CDs Fates (2007) and Equlibrium (2008) by Erik Mongrain: