Greatly Improve Your Technique With String Skipping

String skipping is a technique used when you need to make 2 or more string shift. It is challenging for your right hand and can help greatly improve your picking technique. Even if you don't use string skipping on a regular basis, practicing it will develop your general right hand skills fast.

Greatly Improve Your Technique With String Skipping
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String skipping is a technique used when you need to make 2 or more string shift. It is challenging for your right hand and can help greatly improve your picking technique. Even if you don't use string skipping on a regular basis, practicing it will develop your general right hand skills fast. The things you should remember about while practicing this technique:
  • you need to shift at least 2 strings up or down which means that one string must be skipped. Make sure that you're not going too far away from the string that is skipped (by increasing the distance between the pick and strings). It's very common to do that and it's done subconsciously. If you become aware of that, you can overcome it fast.
  • String skipping is a combination of movements from your elbow and wrist. You use your elbow to shift between the strings and wrist to pick the notes once you reach the string.
  • When you pick 2 or more notes on one string, make sure to minimize the right hand movements. I've prepared an exercise that will help you improve string skipping. It's written in E minor and requires one left hand position shift in the middle of it. Start slowly and when you feel comfortable with the exercise - speed up. You can use either alternate picking or economy picking to play the exercise (personally, I prefer the second option).
    Watch the video below to see the fingering and picking pattern (note that I use economy picking which results in performing 2 down-strokes in a row a couple of times). If you prefer alternate picking - stick to the down-up-down pattern.
    Are you sure you're not making key mistakes that are holding you back? Get free guitar practicing guide and find out! Click here for more guitar lessons and resources. About The Author: Neal Wakefield - guitarist, songwriter and guitar instructor. Currently working on his first solo album. For more information visit NealWakefield.com
  • 12 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      SlayerOfTheHero
      It's actually very helpful - recommend to all who are looking to tighten up their string skipping as it is a technique which is sometimes overlooked by many.
      carnegard
      Really like the sound of this exercise. It's a good riff to repeat, and you can easily make it even more interesting by trying different strings and patterns! Great!
      Neal_Wakefield
      That's right! The exercise is a general idea and based on it you can create your own riffs with different rhythmic patterns, feeling etc. It will be a great way to connect technical exercise with some creative aspects of playing. Best wishes, Neal Wakefield
      5t0rM
      @noahjoejohnson: Well you just go slower and build up speed gradually, as everybody should do. Give it a try with a blues scale in D and E, sounds sweet.
      Flibo
      I thought I was the only one who used economy picking in this kind of licks. Nice lesson!
      johnprs
      thanks for the lesson it was a problem for me as i would miss the correct strings when string skipping, any other lessons in the future would be a great help for all of us newer players thanks Neil
      Neal_Wakefield
      What is the most important in this exercise (especially if you haven't been doing string skipping much in the past) is to start really slowly and learn to target the correct string you're going to. It might be hard at first but it becomes intuitive after some practice. I will publish more lessons soon and in the future there will be more on string skipping. Cheers, Neal Wakefield
      iaceu
      Very helpful for something like this is using a metronome, and set it ridiculously slow at first, like 40 BPM, and build it up from there. It won't take more than a couple of weeks for a beginner, or a couple of hours for someone more experienced to get up to the speed Neal's playing there. Of course, you have to practice correctly, not just all over the place.
      Neal_Wakefield
      iaceu, I totally agree! In order to play fast you need to slow down first and make sure you get it right. It's probably the most often overlooked thing in guitar practicing.