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From: Guitar Lessons 

Title: S T R I N G   S K I P P I N G
Level: Beginner
Style: Technique
Instructor: Geoff Thorpe          (and laboriously proof read by Dan Brough!)

Hi everyone. This lesson serves as an introduction to the idea of string
skipping. This is by no means an exclusive tool, indeed its best applications
are usually tied in with sweeps, tapping, alternate-picking and loads of other
things. Most of the material here is not intended, in itself, to be used in a
musical sense, but to develop the technique. Although this is a foundation in
skipping, some of the exercises would be considered a handful for most players.
Don't lose hope! Also, if you have any ideas or suggestions to make, or any
queries, e-mail me at:

                     geoff@geoffthorpe.net

                   :--=====================--:

Ok, to start with, I have included some fairly basic warm-ups, that should get
the muscles loosened, and are relevant to the later skipping exercises.

String Skipping exercise 1.
===========================
Theoretically this isn't a 'skip' but it is a good warm-up!

    D  U  D  U  D  U      (D=down stroke, U=up stroke)
e-----------12-------
B--12-13-15----15-13-
G--------------------   keep repeating.
D--------------------
A--------------------
E--------------------

this should be very even and uniform before continuing.


String Skipping exercise 2.
===========================
This is also a warm-up

    U  D  U  D  U  D
e--15-13-12----12-13-
B-----------15-------
G--------------------   keep repeating
D--------------------
A--------------------
E--------------------

both exercise 1 and 2 should be played on all strings with the fretting
structure changed and all finger combinations used.


String Skipping exercise 3.
===========================
This is a natural extension to ex1 for 'real' skipping

    D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U
e-----------------------------12-------
B-----------12-------------------------
G--12-14-16----16-14-12-14-16----16-14-   keep repeating
D--------------------------------------
A--------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------


String Skipping exercise 4.
===========================
Then a further extension for all the strings, (Great warm-up exercise!)
Picking is straight alternate picking as above.

e-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------
B-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------|----------------------------12-------
D----------------------------12-------|----------12-------------------16-14-
A----------12-------------------15-14-|-12-14-15----15-14-12-14-15----------
E-12-14-15----15-14-12-14-15----------|-------------------------------------

e-------------------------------------|----------------------------14-------|
B----------------------------13-------|----------13-------------------17-15-|-17
G----------12-------------------16-14-|-12-14-16----16-14-12-14-16----------|
D-12-14-16----16-14-12-14-16----------|-------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|


String Skipping exercise 5.
===========================
This similarly, is an extension of ex2

    U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D
e--15-14-12----12-14-15-14-12----12-14-
B-----------15-------------------------
G-----------------------------16-------   keep repeating
D--------------------------------------
A--------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------


String Skipping exercise 6.
===========================
This is the converse of ex4

e-15-14-12----12-14-15-14-12----------|-------------------------------------
B----------15-------------------12-13-|-15-13-12----12-13-15-13-12----------
G----------------------------14-------|----------14-------------------11-12-
D-------------------------------------|----------------------------14-------
A-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------

e-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
G-14-12-11----11-12-14-12-11----------|-------------------------------------|
D----------14-------------------10-12-|-14-12-10----10-12-14-12-10----------|
A----------------------------14-------|----------14-------------------10-12-|-14
E-------------------------------------|----------------------------14-------|


right, now we get down to some serious skips!!
The next idea is one that, I must confess, I 'nicked' off Paul Gilbert, though
I've changed it a bit from the one I read of his. He is to my mind the pioneer
of "serious skipping" although others have done it on a smaller 'scale' before.
This lick arpeggiates the E minor chord in the 12th position. This could take a
while to get used to so practise it slow and don't play it any faster than you
can play it confidently.

String Skipping exercise 7.
===========================

    D  p  D  p  D  U  h  U  D  p  D  p  D  U  h  U
e--15-12----------------12-15-12----------------12-
B--------------------------------------------------
G--------16-12----12-16----------16-12----12-16----   keep repeating
D--------------14----------------------------------
A--------------------------------------14----------
E--------------------------------------------------

Note, developing an efficient and almost subconsious technique for picking is
essential with this. If I am not going to pick EVERY note, or I am not tapping
everything, I employ the following technique.
(1) Every time you jump to a new string, pick the first note. (Even if you are
     just jumping to an adjacent string).
(2) If a note is on the same string as the previous note, hammer-on or pull-off
     to it. (Unless the line is too long, then pick a couple of them)
(3) Decide on the rhythmic structure (ie. groups of 3 or 4) and if the picked
     note lies on a "down" beat, use a down stroke, otherwise use an "up"
     stroke.
This will take a while to get used to, but I strongly endorse practising it
religiously! I'm now able to do this whenever I want as a second nature and in
almost all applications of skipping, this proves to be the most efficient and
articulate way of playing. Of course, keep the rut-busters going by making
yourself do things differently now and then. You want this as a skill, not as
master. Aim to get it down, but always have control of it and make sure you are
able to alter things if you wish.

The above idea can be manipulated for different voicings, chord types, strings
and time signatures. Keep reformulating new ones otherwise you will go STALE!

Here is a pentatonic idea which is in the same key and position for the
purposes of consistency, but play around with it to really get to grips with
the idea.

String Skipping exercise 8.
===========================

    D  p  D  p  D  U  D  p    D  p  D  p  D  U  h  D
e--17-12-15-12----12---------------------------------
B-------------------------------------------------12-
G--------------16----14-12---15-12-14-12-------------
D-------------------------------------------12-14----
A----------------------------------------14----------
E----------------------------------------------------
[Note.. The last note is a Down stroke rather than an up-stroke. If you look at
the next note (ie. the first note of the exercise), an up-stroke would involve
a tricky bit of inside picking, so the down allows you to sweep the two
strings. If you prefer, use the up-stroke for the sake of consistency]


To illustrate the possibilities of skipping in a chordal sense, I have
scratched together a little exercise which utilises two-string sweeps (easy), 1
string skips, and open strings. Note that this can easily be constructed for a
sweep picking exercise (that's what I originally created it as) but it's easy
to keep it rhythmic with the skips.

String Skipping exercise 8.
===========================

    B 6/9(no 3)
   D D U h U D p U
e------------------
B----------0-------
G------6-9---9-6---  4 times
D------------------
A----9-----------9-
E--7---------------

similarly, repeat the remaining chords 4 times, with same picking,

   C major 9 (#11)         C# minor 9              D 6/9
e----------------------|----------------------|------------------------
B------------0---------|------------0---------|-------------0----------
G-------7-11---11-7----|----------------------|--------9-11---11-9-----
D----------------------|-------9-13---13-9----|------------------------
A----10-------------10-|----11-------------11-|-----12-------------12--
E--8-------------------|--9-------------------|--10--------------------

keep repeating the whole exercise until you've had enough then do one of those
posey retardando's with the over-dramatised emotional thing on the final D
chord. Great Stuff!


String Skipping exercise 9.
===========================
Ok, if you can get this one working well at even a moderate speed, you're a
certified "Skipper"! It involves some wild left hand stretches and giant
picking! Also, the timing is fairly regular, so concentrate on getting it even,
play it with a metronome if so desire! Either economy pick (as described
above), or pick every note. Either would do, but I would recommend getting both
variations down, and perhaps the ability to interchange at will would be useful
also.

e--------7-----------| R |----------10------------| R |
B--------------------| e |------------------------| e |
G-7-9-12---12-9-7----| p |--9-12-14----14-12-9----| p |
D--------------------| e |------------------------| e |
A-----------------10-| a |---------------------12-| a |
E--------------------| t |------------------------| t |

e----------12-------------| R |-----------15-------------| R |
B-------------------------| e |--------------------------| e |
G-12-14-16----16-14-12----| p |--14-16-19----19-16-14----| p |
D-------------------------| e |--------------------------| e |
A----------------------14-| a |-----------------------17-| a |
E-------------------------| t |--------------------------| t |

Then repeat back down the positions. You can extend this over the whole fret-
board in any key, with all your own special little blues scale modifications.

Happy picking everyone, and I hope to send you some more soon with some other
practical angles to this subject, particularly arpeggiation and tapping.

Au Revoir,
Geoff Thorpe


Symbols: D = down stroke
         U = up stroke
         h = hammer-on
         p = pull-off
             ------------------------------------------------------
            |    Geoff Thorpe     |    e-mail: geoffthorpe.net     |
             ------------------------------------------------------


copyright 1993, G. Thorpe
Redistribution of this article is permitted provided, in part or in full, it
remains unaltered from the original presented here.
==============================================================================
FUTURE LESSONS
--------------
No  Name                           Style               Level         Instructor
 22 Technique from Hell            Technique             b        Tim Fullerton
==============================================================================

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