Improve your guitar skills with these effective string skipping exercises. Enhance your technique and dexterity while mastering the art of skipping strings.
I love string skipping. Why? It’s a technique that allows us as guitar players to access notes, arpeggios, chords, and phrases that are otherwise difficult to execute.
Afterall, notes overlap on the guitar, and intervals between two adjacent strings (such as the A string to the D string) may be too far apart to play.
That’s where string skipping comes in! And I guarantee these exercises will not only be fun for you, but they’ll also help you to better visualize the fretboard, and see what types of licks string skipping can unlock.
String Skipping Exercises Audio
This is the audio for all 10 string skipping exercises. Listen to it all the way to start, and then figure out which exercises resonate with your style.
From there, just pause it as you work on individual exercises.
Note on string skipping practice
There are 3 ways you can string skip:
- Alternate picking
- All down-strokes, combined with hammer-ons and pull-offs
- Hybrid picking, using your middle finger in particular, combined with hammer-ons and pull-offs
I will suggest a technique for each exercise.
Exercise 1: Easy A Minor Pentatonic Hammer-ons
Exercise 1 is a simple string skipping lick using the A minor pentatonic scale.
You’ll simply play 2-notes-per-string, and use a hammer-on for each string.
Suggested string skipping technique: Hybrid picking (with your middle finger), or using a downstroke on each string
Exercise 2: String Skipped Minor Pentatonic 8’s
Exercise 2 is another pentatonic lick, and primarily uses hammer-ons and pull-offs. You’ll notice that a lot of string skipping licks incorporate legato.
Suggested string skipping technique: Hybrid picking (with your middle finger) throughout the entire exercise.
Exercise 3: Single String Skips in C Major
This is a fun, single-string-skip exercise using the C major scale. You’re playing 3rds on the D string, and root notes on the B string.
Suggested string skipping technique: Hybrid picking (with your middle finger)
Exercise 4: G Major Barre String Skipping
This exercise outlines a typical G major barre chord. You can apply this type of string skipping exercise to any chord shape.
Suggested string skipping technique: Alternate picking or Hybrid picking (with your middle finger)
Here’s the shape when it’s not arpeggiated.
Exercise 5: G Major Scale String Skipping Lick
Suggested string skipping technique: Alternate picking. You could also play this using downstrokes and hammer-ons.
Exercise 6: Ascending Diminished 6’s
This is a simple, easy shred guitar exercise, and moves up in minor 3rds.
Suggested string skipping technique: Hybrid picking (with your middle finger) or downstrokes.
Exercise 7: Two String Skips Pentatonic Lick
Exercise 7 has you jumping 2 strings at a time! I kept this lick in the A minor pentatonic scale to make it easier to remember.
Suggested string skipping technique: Hybrid picking (with your middle or ring finger), or all downstrokes.
Exercise 8: Whole Tone String Skipping Mayhem
“Mayhem” always seems like a fitting word for the whole tone scale because of its outside sound.
You can continue to move this pattern up or down in whole steps.
Suggested string skipping technique: Alternate picking will give you the best “attack” for this one. You could also use downstrokes with hammer-ons.
Exercise 9: Diatonic 7th String Skipping Arpeggios
For this lick, you’re descending in the G Major scale.
CMaj7 – B Min7 – A Min7 – GMaj7
Here’s a lesson on diatonic 7th chord harmony for guitar.
Suggested string skipping technique: This makes for a great alternate picking exercise. You could also hybrid pick the D string with your middle finger and the B string with your ring finger.
Exercise 10: D Harmonic Minor String Skipping Lick
This is a simple, fun string skipping exercise in D harmonic minor. I suggest alternate picking the entire thing, but you could incorporate some hybrid picking as well, especially for that last note.
Suggested string skipping technique: Alternate picking. You could also use hammer-ons and pull-offs where you feel they’re necessary.
String Skipping Exercises PDF
String skipping exercises concluded
There you have it! By practicing string skipping exercises, scales, arpeggios, and other patterns, you’ll strengthen your fretboard knowledge, left and right-hand synchronization, overall speed, and lick vocabulary.
Hybrid picking and string skipping go hand-in-hand, so check out these hybrid picking exercise tabs.
And I mentioned alternate picking a lot, so check out these alternate picking exercises, as alternate picking will strongly contribute to better string skipping accuracy.
Thanks for reading, and rock on!