String Skipping II

Here's an intermediate to advanced lesson on string skipping.

6
String skilling is a very difficult skill to master. If used correctly, you could yield very interesting and original results in solos, especially codenzas. A codenza solo is a solo with just one instrument and no other accompaniment. The most famous codenza is "Eruption," Eddie Van Halen's classic two handed tapping outro has stumped many young-guns for years. It is nearly impossible to talk about string skipping without talking about Paul Gilbert. Here is Paul Gilbert's rendition of "Pachelbel's Conon." Everything is in 16th notes. It is human nature to syncopate things, so this is a challenge to you all. By the way, I still cannot do this as fast a Mr. Gilbert himself, 120 BPM (beats per minute). I stringly suggest practicing with a metronome. I know it's boring as hell, but I force myself to it, it really does help. Slur what you dare.
Exercise 1. "Pachelbel's Conon"

 E B
|-16-12----------------12--------------------------|
|----------------------------------12-16-12--------|
|-------16-13----13-16-----------------------------|
|-------------14-------------13-16----------16-13--|
|-------------------------14-----------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------|

 C#m G#m
|-12-9--------------9----------------------|
|-----------------------------9-12-9-------|
|------13-9----9-13------------------------|
|-----------11-----------9-13--------13-9--|
|---------------------11-------------------|
|------------------------------------------|

 A E
|-9-5-----------5------------------|
|-----9-6---6-9---------5-9-5------|
|----------------------------------|
|---------7---------6-9-------9-6--|
|-----------------7----------------|
|----------------------------------|

 A B
|-9-5-----------5--------7-11-7-------|
|-------------------------------------|
|-----9-6---6-9-----8-11--------11-8--|
|---------7-------9-------------------|
|-------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------|
This next exercise will help you if you just can't get the previous one. I warm up every day with this one, and it's in my codenza solo during gigs. The first half is a C major arpeggio and the second is C minor. Try incorporating one of these into a solo you write. Get familiar with the sound and tonal texture it adds. This is all in 8th notes, play it at any speed. Once again, slur what you dare.
Exercise 2. Arpeggios

 C major C minor
|----------8-12-8-------||----------8-11-8-------|
|o---------------------o||o---------------------o|
|-----9-12--------12-9--||-----8-12--------12-8--|
|--10-------------------||--10-------------------|
|o---------------------o||o---------------------o|
|-----------------------||-----------------------|
This next string stipping exercise is a diminished run that I use in almost all of my solos. Of course, I'll need to find something new, now that you guys know about it. In this example, we are in the key of D. It can be moved all over the fretboard because the diminished scale is pretty symetrical in 1 1/2 steps. Slur the notes, and slide down/up for the notes on the high E string. I count this in 2/4 as "tri-pi-let-2-and." Once again, any speed is fine.
Exercise 3. Diminished Run

|------9-12\9-----6-9\6-----3-6/9-----6-9/12------9-12/15-------12-15/18--|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-9-12--------6-9-------3-6-------6-9--------9-12---------12-15-----------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Attemp to use these examples in creative ways, in codenzas or regular solos. Copy then elaborate, make it your own. For example, take Exercise 2's C major arpeggio. Make the 10 fret, D string and 8th fret E string Cs into Ds by transposing them up 1/2 step. That is now a diminished arpeggio I would use in the keys of either D or F. Totally 8th notes in any speed.
Example 4. Changed Diminished Arpeggio

|----------9-12-9-------|
|o---------------------o|
|-----9-12--------12-9--|
|--11-------------------|
|o---------------------o|
|-----------------------|
I cannot think of any more examples or advice. Have fun with this, and make these your own. String skipping is fun, if you do it creatively. I use diminished scales in almost every one of my solos, so there are a lot of examples in that scale. If I find anymore useful information, I may post a Part 2, but, until then, peace, I'm out.

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    souporman98
    Just so you know, Sweet child 'o mine is a string skipping exercise that got made into a song
    rolandgunner
    Can somebody tell me or fast the first lick really is? Because I can't imagine that there are 120 Bpm and between every beat he plays 16 notes!?!! And on the other hand it's not that fast if he plays 4 notes between every beat. I mean i can do this!!
    Mr Richards3
    Actually there were quite a few mistakes in that, for example, he miss spelt cadenza, and on one of the exercises with Pachelbel's Canon "AE" was wrong. But hey, simple mistakes, the rest was great.
    rokstar666
    the exercises ARE good. i like how you explained a bit on how to incorperate that one part into a solo. not bad overall 7/10...congradulations lol
    i_spaid1988
    To everyone that asked "what is string skipping", It's just an alternative to sweep picking. Instead of playing a normal arpeggio using every string, you take the note off of the B string and move it up to the G and pick/hammer on/pull off instead of sweeping. Play some of these and you'll understand.
    Al of D
    String skipping is explained int he name of the technique. Playing a series of notes on one or more strings. I find paul gilberts music is the best stuff to learn for string skipping although it's ****ing solid.
    Achmoye
    Insane difficult exercises...xD But that's why it's a good lesson x)
    Seither2k
    Great lesson, but in Exercise 1 the "A E" is written wrong (I believe). The 9---6---- should be on the "G" string and not the "B". Overall, good exercises.
    Al of D
    String skipping is explained int he name of the technique. Playing a series of notes on one or more strings. I find paul gilberts music is the best stuff to learn for string skipping although it's ****ing solid.
    funkydunks
    Thanks for this, Ive been playing for years, and only started playing lead a few years ago. This might be relatively simple, but who cares if its generic or not? Its the first time for me. Thanks again dude, keep it up. Peace , jason
    memnomic
    String skipping is self explanitory it means skipping strings! Great lesson though it helped me quite a bit
    metallica592
    its actually when you skip strings believe it or not. i know, string skipping is a really hard term to understand
    Twixted wrote: wat is string skipping
    guitarmaniac88
    Simply, skip a string while sweep picking.And make it sound good. Can't get much harder than that, as long as you know what sweep picking is.
    CobAtr
    String skipping is self explanitory! This has been the hardest part of learning advanced guitar for me. Still to this day I cannot pull off fast, alternate picked runs that involve string skipping. Its very easy to fumble while attempting this at higher BPMs. Doing legato string skipping should be cake for anyone who isnt a great picker!
    TetraHydra
    get better by practicing with a metronome. slowly at first, then try to increase speed by 5 bpm a day or so. practice doesnt make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
    zhille
    Ok...I had enough of Paul Gilbert ...I really don't think he's a good tutor, he is just a great guitarist for me. This does not show the logic behind string skipping This exercise just shows one overused way of string skipping...string skipping is not just arpeggios! you can string-skip scales, wide arpeggios, , complex chords, melodies...and intervals! The best man to show this is Mr. John Petrucci in his "Rock Discipline" video, because he gives mostly non-musical exercises and talks more about technique!
    dirtfoot
    String skipping is a good way to break that usual rut patterns that beginner soloists find themselves in -been there for awhile. It's just a mechanical exercise for the digits. I find this lesson a good refresher for me. Soloing is like going on autopilot and you've got to train those digits to be ready to go all over the place within key or intentionally breaking keys.
    soccerdude3465
    zhille wrote: Ok...I had enough of Paul Gilbert ...I really don't think he's a good tutor, he is just a great guitarist for me. This does not show the logic behind string skipping This exercise just shows one overused way of string skipping...string skipping is not just arpeggios! you can string-skip scales, wide arpeggios, , complex chords, melodies...and intervals! The best man to show this is Mr. John Petrucci in his "Rock Discipline" video, because he gives mostly non-musical exercises and talks more about technique!
    Gilbert isn't teaching the lesson. His piece just happened to be in it. I dare you to watch Intense Rock I (or II) by Gilbert.
    jasonho1987
    it looks like a good lesson but i don't even know what string skipping is? some sort of tapping?
    Antiartist
    Simple lesson for those that want to get into that interesting and useful teqnique.
    fingersofflame
    this lesson wasn't bad, but it was just really generic...you really need to incorporate more complex aspects of string skipping, not just this generic advice that I could pick up anywhere on the net; that's really my only complaint about this episode;
    poge97
    im a 15y/o soloist can u teach me how 2 make a solo in a ordinary chords email me in my friendster acc.shakoh_097@yahoo.com tnx
    davie_gravy
    Cool lesson! Nice examples! I'm going to try to start incorporating some string skipping into my solos. Many Thanks!