Week 2 – 12 Notes: String Skipping


This was originally posted on ”12 notes”, a page on this website dedicated to guitar music and lessons.  So, for the more musically inclined, here is my second guitar lesson to you.   A  series of short string skipping exercises.  If you run into any problems, drop me a line and let me know, and thanks for reading!

Enjoy!

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String skipping, when done right, can be an incredibly useful tool in the hands of a serious guitarist.  It can bring flavor to an average piece of music, and make a good piece of music absolutely sing.  But before we get to making the guitar sing, let’s get some string skipping under our belts first, K?

This first bit is going to be a relatively simple string skipping exercise.  I’m only going to use two strings, and just for simplicities sake, do this without any sharps or flats.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – -10 -0 -9 – – – – – -7 -0 -5 – – – – – -4 -0 -2 – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-0 -12 – – – – – – 10-0 -8 – – – – – -7 -0 -5 – – – – – -3 – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

See how simple that was? And you get a free alternate picking exercise in to boot, just play the open A on the 5th string on the down-stroke.

Another simple riff, maybe this time with just a hair more musicality, maybe even just a little bluesy.  Sound good to you?  Sounds good to me.

– – – – – -0 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-0-3-4 – – 4-3-0- – – – – – – 0-2-3-2-0 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –2 – – – – – 2– – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – -0-1-2- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 0-3 – – –3 -0 – – – –

Now this one is actually a bit tricky, at least as far as trying to get it to sound fluid enough. The right way to do this is to hammer on every note in Italics, and slide to the next note, where applicable.

And when done right, it sounds beautiful.

I also like to use fast repetitive riffs when I play, and more often than not, it usually does revolve in some way around string skipping.  Here’s an example.  This bit is easy, fun, and when played fast sounds really good.  Speed pentatonic groovin’, baybee. It might help if you use the palm of your pick hand to mute the strings a bit, otherwise some notes you don’t want ringing out might start ringing out on ya. You can lose the palm mute for section 3.  NOTE:  These three sections are meant to be played together, and are only separated due to the spacing requirements of this page.  My apologies for that.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -0 3-5 3-0 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – -0-3 -5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5-3-0 – – – – – -0-3-5 –
– – – – – – – – – – – – -0-3-5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-0 -3 -5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 0-3-5 – – – – –  continued

_______________________________________________________

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7 -9 –
– – – – – – 0-5 -7 -7 -5 -0 – – – – – – – – – – – – 0-5 -7 – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7 -5 -0 -0 -5 -7 – – – – – -0 -5 -7 – – – – – –
0-5 -7 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

________________________________________________________

– – – – – -5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – -5 – – – – – – – 5-7-5– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – -5 – – – – – – – 5-7-5 – – – – – -5 -7 -8 – – – – – – – – – – 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – -7 – – -0 -5 -7 – – – – – – 5-6 -7 – – – – – – – – 7- – – – – –
-0 -5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5 – – – – – – – –

It’s a fun little exercise, isn’t it? Try it slowed down a bit at first, make sure the notes that are supposed to ring out are ringing out, not any extra notes. 

Well that’s about it from here. One final riff to close things out.  A nice old blues riff, and a classic at that. Slide all over this riff, it’s meant to sound slippery, and let the notes ring out, don’t mute this riff!

– – – – 4- -4 – -4 – -3 – -3 – -3 – – -4-3-2-0 – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-0 -4 – -4 – -4 – -3 – -3 – -3 – – -4-4-3-2-1 – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

See ya next week!

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