String Skipping III

What you need, how to build skips, simple skips, and a complex skip.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
38
What You Made Need To Know. String skips are fairly complex techniques to go through and you may not reach full speed for a few years, so the main thing you will need is determination. The other thing about string skips is that they are mostly alternate picking. You must be able to alternate pick well to be able to fully play the skips. It also helps to learn sweeps first so that you will be able to make the transition to strings, because the technique is similar. What You Need To See. To be able to grasp the concept of a skip you must be able to know what it sounds like. Look for Paul Gilbert for quality skips, which are what he is really famous as a shredder for doing. The Building Of A Skip. A skip can be designed off of many things. A simple way to write a skip that may not always sound right is to take scales and knock out several lines. This will give you a decent skip. For example, the Ionian scale:
E----------------------------5-7-8------|
B-----------------------5-7-8-----------|
G------------------4-5-7----------------|
D-------------4-5-7---------------------| (Then reverse)
A--------3-5-7--------------------------|
E---3-5-7-------------------------------|

could be:
E----------------------------5-7-8------|
B---------------------------------------|
G------------------4-5-7----------------|
D---------------------------------------|(Then reverse)
A--------3-5-7--------------------------|
E---------------------------------------|
As you can see if you played it, this does not sound very nice. Another way is to use different parts of guitar as building blocks. For example, this:
E------------------9-12-14--------------------|
B---------------------------------------------|
G-------9-11-14------------14-11-9------------|
D---------------------------------------------|
A--12-----------------------------------12----|
E---------------------------------------------|
is supported by the harmony:
G----9----|
D---------|
A---12----|
E---------|
This double should sound very rich and bell like. There are many other ways to build string skips, but since we have covered all we need for our exercises, we don't need to go over any more right now. The biggest thing is to experiment. Use what you know and test what you don't. Music theory knowledge will always help with building any music. The Basics. The picking that you will use will be alternate picking, almost always. You should also always try to choose the easiest way to fret the skip. A basic skip is:
E-----------------------------|
B-----------------------------|
G---------------11-12-16------|
D-----------------------------|
A---10-14-17------------------|
E-----------------------------|
     1  3  4     1  2  4
The numbers underneath are which fingers you use. Once you get quick with this you should try more complicated stuff like the earlier described skip:
E------------------9-12-14--------------------|
B---------------------------------------------|
G-------9-11-14------------14-11-9------------|
D---------------------------------------------|
A--12-----------------------------------12----|
E---------------------------------------------|
    3   1  2  4    1  3  4  4  2 1       3
I usually play this by instead of using my 3rd finger for the a string notes I use my fourth, but this is the proper way to play this. That's it! These are the basics. If you can play all of the above described you can play most skips. Just practice, practice, practice.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    yoa01
    mmm hmmm...nice work. could've used scales though. same thing.
    freemoney
    Earn MONEY while your SURF the INTERNET. just visit this link sign up and download the fiesta bar www.cashfiesta.com/php/join.php?ref=blink182182 it runs at the top of the screen and you get money for it being there 50p an hour (it adds up) plus get money for referrals.
    killtrend
    lycen41 wrote: arrgg!! i cant reach that! farr!! noo help! seiously1 cannot reach too wide. and my picking needs to improve xD :p thx anyways.
    its called practice, and don't force the reach, you'll injure your self, this is string skipping, get your alternate up to par then start slowly to metronome build up and get Paul Gilbert's lesson books or dvds to get better. you'll get it with some effort (john Petrucci has some good lessons to )
    learninclutch
    In guitar lessons, it seems there are hundreds of ways to say the same thing. Use your fret hand in a way that minimizes your finger movement. Keep your head focused on the string you want to strike with your palm rested on the bridge. You don't always have to use your first finger to start every measure. those who want more exercises, create your own.
    Andrew3110
    freemoney wrote: Earn MONEY while your SURF the INTERNET. just visit this link sign up and download the fiesta bar www.cashfiesta.com/php/join.php?ref=blink182182 it runs at the top of the screen and you get money for it being there 50p an hour (it adds up) plus get money for referrals.
    wtf?
    InsomniaRocks
    The main example you give (the one with the bass harmony tab) is just taken from Paul Gilbert's string skipping video on youtube (
    ) which is insanely helpful by the way; I think you really need to see a video of string skipping to appreciate the point of it. For guys who say this is too easy of a technique, you probably haven't seen Paul Gilbert do it. Like sweeping, it's meant to be done extremely fast and fluidly. Also you guys, who want more excercises, just be aware that you can use string skipping as a replacement for sweeping on many shapes, for example this common Dminor sweep shape: -----13---- -----15--15---- -----14-----14-- -- -15-----15- -17-----17- ----- can be played with string skipping in this shape: p's above the tab mean one pick stroke p p p p p p ----- -----15-18p15----- ----- -----15h19-----19p15--- -- --17-----17--- ----- the distinction of where to hammer on and pull off in string skipping is important; in order to get it up to the same or faster speed than with sweeping, you should be picking essentially only once per string, except for times like in this example I just gave where you pick twice at the top on your way back down. athlete1, this being an introductory type lesson, you should be more clear about where to hammer on and pull off in your tabs, because having multiple pick strikes per string defeats the purpose of string skipping, and I know when I was starting out with it, that wasn't so obvious to me. Your tabs make it seem like you are meant to pick every note. 6/10
    InsomniaRocks
    -----13----- -----15-----15----- -----14-----14----- ---- -15-----15----- --17-----17----- ----- D minor sweep shape D minor string skip shape ----- -----15---18p15----- ----- -----15h19----- 19p15----- ---17-----17----- ----- 6 pick strikes total in the string skipping shape
    sTx
    You could've included some more exercises. Nonetheless, good lesson. 4/5
    Led_Zeppelin992
    Speed...and just skipping strings in general, I suppose. Accuracy, hitting the right strings. Stuff like that.
    Macapala
    Good lesson! If anyone is interested you should try a song called "I'm Alright" by Neil Zaza. This song uses a lot of string skipping and isn't too hard.
    sTx
    David_VI wrote: So what is considered hard about string skipping?
    Hitting the right strings. Minimal string/unwanted noise. Perfect accuracy. Smooth, fluid sound. *Hints - Paul Gilbert*
    athlete1
    thanks for the advice.how about i simply start a forum and fill it with exercises?
    lycen41
    arrgg!! i cant reach that! farr!! noo help! seiously1 cannot reach too wide. and my picking needs to improve xD :p thx anyways.
    ledhed0137
    ledhed0137 wrote: David_VI wrote: So what is considered hard about string skipping?
    I agree