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Rock Guitar Lesson: String Skipping


One of the most critical elements of the shred guitar aesthetic is the quick and fluid transition from notes in the higher registers to those in the lower register and vice versa. Oftentimes, rock guitarists will execute these transitions through the use of arpeggios, outlining the song’s harmonic progressions through fast melodic lines that feature consecutive ascending or descending chord tones. However, it is also very common for guitars performing in the shred style to jump directly between notes in the higher and lower registers. Executing this properly often requires a deceptively difficult technique called string skipping.


In this online guitar lesson, shred guitar icon, founding member of legendary groups Mr. Big and Racer X, and ArtistWorks rock guitar instructor, Paul Gilbert, teaches how to approach string skipping through a few quintessential shred guitar riffs. These riffs make for not only fantastic exercises through which to practice your string skipping, but they’re also very musical and can be easily incorporated into your performances.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play rock guitar from a master musician like Paul Gilbert? Try some free online guitar lessons now!


“The important thing to focus on when you’re first learning to skip strings is your aim, both in the left and right hand,” Paul explains. “You need both your right and left to land on the same strings, and for them to move together in musical time in order to create a clean melodic run.”


As mentioned above, string skipping seems like a very simple exercise in theory. However, when you’re first learning to string skip, it can feel much more arduous in practice. Our hands will often align on the proper strings at the incorrect right times, and it's sometimes difficult to jump cleanly from a higher to lower or lower to higher string without accidentally sounding a string in between the two. Fortunately, as with most things in music and guitar playing, the more you practice the technique, the easier it will become to execute.


To learn more about how to skip between strings cleanly and fluidly, and begin integrating the technique into your rock and shred guitar playing, dive into this online guitar lesson from Paul Gilbert:


String Skipping with Paul Gilbert:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play rock guitar? Through our comprehensive guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned shred guitar master Paul Gilbert, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Paul’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced rock riffs, shred techniques, improvisation methods, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as guitarists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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