Ar-Paul-Ggios From Hell

String Skipping Arpeggios? What are they?

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Ar-Paul-Ggios From Hell
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String Skipping Arpeggios? What are they?

Well, as an alternative to sweep picking, Paul Gilbert very cleverly figured out that a great way to sequence 3 and 4 string arpeggios was to remove the note from the 2nd string of a typical sweep-picking pattern and relocate the same note to the 3rd string, so that an E major for instance that might normally be played like this:

--16--12------------------------

-----------12--------------------

---------------13----------------

-------------------14------------

can also be played as

--16--12------------------------

----------------------------------

-----------16-13----------------

-------------------14------------

 

With the new fingering, some pretty neat sequences can be created with all-picking or a combination of picking and legato. Paul has used a number of different ideas with this fingering, from straight up and down, to more interesting sequences. If you're in standard tuning, you can use this shape on strings 1-4 or 2-5 and the root note is the lower note of the shape.

 

About 25 years ago I practised these shapes along with some of Gilbert's sequences, came up with a little custom combination. Each ascending and descending pattern is like a lick of its own, so take your time because memory and motor skills are the keys. Try learning this study in groups of 8 notes (half a bar in other words). I'm using the same pattern throughout (except for the little tail on the end) and moving through the chords G major, Eb Major, F major, Db major before using G and Db major 2 string triads to finish.

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My pick strokes are based on trying to keep the flow going and keeping the string changes "inside picking" in combination with the legato notes, so try mine for a while before re-tooling if necessary with your own preferences. Once it flows, it really flows and will feel like it is practically playing itself. Enjoy!

 

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    troyofyort
    From trying to learn Paul Gilbert stuff, I know the guys in Protest the Hero do this all the time and I'm glad to have learned these string skipping arpeggios. They just sound so much more clean the rolled finger arpeggios! Cool article!