Guitarists have three elements of technique to focus on. Right hand, Left hand, and the coordination between both.
Today, we'll be looking at ways to push the picking hand to it's limits, and in this case, across strings.
Yes, Ladies and Gents, it's time to tackle string skipping.
In a world of over explained and redundant phrases, string skipping surely holds the crown for most self explanatory. String skipping is simply the ability to pick across non-adjacent strings in a disciplined manner. In plain English, this would translate to picking notes on strings that aren't next to each other. Extremely demanding on the picking hand, it offers unique and fascinating sounds to the guitarist who takes the time to master this essential technique.
In this lesson, as an extra, we'll also include picking on strings that are neighbors.
Without further ado, let's get started. Strict alternate picking is advised, as is the use of a metronome. If you don't have access to one of those gizmos, log on to www.metronomeonline.com and take advantage of their free metronome.
Example 1 provides a fine workout for the right hand. The left isn't excluded from the party, either! Based off an A Harmonic minor scale, this exercise presents the listener with an unusual sound.
Example 2 stays close to home, but still provides a fine run on the E and B strings. Plus, it has a slightly spooky sound, perfect around Halloween!
Example 3, based off the A Mixolydian mode, has a mellow, bluesy sound. Giving both hands a run for their money, it can also serve as a springboard to other licks in this position.
The examples presented in this article are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to picking across strings. Applied properly, they will build right hand dexterity, and ultimately, artistic freedom. They should be practiced at a slow tempo at first, and always alternate picked with a metronome.
Have fun building your right hand chops! And don't forget to take a look at my blog.
I'll see you there!
Until next time, keep on rockin'.
Copyright 2008 Josh Urban - All Rights Reserved
Josh Urban (photo) is a musician with a unique perspective on music. Always a thinker, he gains insight wherever he can find it, be it in the clubs as a working musician, busking on the city streets, or teaching in the classroom. A naturally enthusiastic fellow, Josh is always fired up about bringing the lessons he's learned to his readers. Maintaining a website, a blog, and a monthly newsletter, he aims to make musicians stop, think, and play with a little more intensity, integrity, and inspiration. You never know who's listening.