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Shred Academy - Free Guitar Lesson by Thoman Schink
~ String Skipping
and sisters in search of the total wisdom of shred guitar! I welcome
you to my coloumn "Tools of Shred(estruction)",
in which I want to provide you with all the important techniques
for your shredding abilities.
I want to present to you one of the ’beasts’ of shred
guitar: The spicy and tasteful technique of jumping all over the
strings: String Skipping. String Skipping is definetly one of
my all-time favourites: At first sight it seems pretty harmless
but once released - and played with the right tempo - it will
become magic under your fingers.
gain ultimate "String Skipping" – abilities you
have to follow the 3 great rules of shred:
Start slow: Play all these licks with a tempo you feel
comfortable with, as string skipping demands a lot of your right
(and mostly) of your left hand, so don’t hurt yourself and
concentrate to get these licks under your fingers and then you
can set the tempo faster, but you’re just able to do this,
if you can ...
...Play clean: Accentuate all the strong notes (1, 2,
3 and 4) and listen intensively: if there is no string noise and
you are able to hear all your notes. Don’t forget: each
note counts, because if you can’t hear them properly, why
all the work to play so many notes?
Maintain a good tone! It isn’t enough to just play
clean, but you should also get the right tone! Again listen for
the tone you want to hear! Don’t be satisfied with another
tone but head for the tone, you hear in your head! I recommend
to play with a clean tone at first, and after you have achieved
your dream tone, put in the gain, and try to achieve a good tone
don’t try to play these exercises sloopy and as fast as
you can, but follow these rules and you’re on the right
track! Even a guitarist known as one of the speed demons - Yngwie
Malmsteen - focussed on a clean playing before he entered the
realms of light speed: „When I started, I knew that I wanted
my playing to be note-for-note clean. I wasn’t thinking
about what I was doing, but knew what I wanted to hear. And I
worked very hard on it until I got what I wanted.“ (Yngwie
Malmsteen speaks out in Guitar World, Juli 2008).
finally prepare your fingers and get ready for jumping all over
At first I want to demonstrate to you how this technique actually
1 Shows the most common pentatonic position in A-minor,
with the root note on the fifth fret of the low E-string. I think
that all of you probably know that position!
Ex. 2 a) a short run from the b – to the
high e – string is shown. Play it with the 3 rules in your
did we learn so far? Well, to this point we didn’t make
any use of String Skipping at all ... but that will change, when
2 b) appears: To spice up a simple run like Ex. 2 a)
we could use wider intervall steps, so why don’t leave out
that „boring“ b – string and change the notes
with the notes of the g – string of the same position of
the A Minor Pentatonic? Ex. 2 b) shows you how ...
this point you should compare Ex 2 a) with Ex 2 b) to understand
what string skipping really means!
also want to point out that today we won’t do any higher
jumps than over one string.
So, jumps which range from the low E – string to the high
e – string or the A – string to the b – string
will be covered in the following coloumns ... for now it’s
important to just focus on the general idea of string skipping
and that you get a feeling for this technique.
3 a) shows a Paul Gilbert – inspired line: This
sextuplet lick is still in A – minor, but adds the 6 th
(6th fret on the b – string) and the 9 th (7th fret of the
high e – string) to our basic penatonic position.
Accent every strong note of the lick (1, 2, 3 and 4).
You see this lick also does not make any use of string skipping
at all, so to give your fingers a little workout we’ll change
strings again: Ex. 3 b) will show you that I
didn’t mean you to get new strings but to show you a new
want to underline the fact that it is important to experiment
with these licks, so why don’t we play this figure on another
pair of strings (Ex. 4)? Or create a new line
(Ex 5), instead using a 3-finger pentatonic shape
and move this pattern up the fretboard?
Again: Examples 4 and 5 should not be the last word on this theme,
as I just can give you the tools, but you have to use that technique
yourself: Be creative! You’ll not only get your own yoice
and style on the guitar but also all your self-created licks will
truly come from your heart and as they are natural to you they
should be much more easy for you to play! Trust me!
previous examples all had one thing in common: All of them use
strict alternate picking, which is very good as it forces your
right hand to jump over the strings as well. Yet, to get a more
„fluent“ sound, it’s a good idea to do some
6 a) is exactly like example 3 a) but sounds
smooth as it uses hammer on’s and pull of’s.
Example 6 b) is just like example 3 b)! Connect
this approach with all the previous example as well!
As I mentioned before: Create your own licks either picked or
played legato – style.
To conclude today’s lesson I want to show you two runs which
make use either of alternate picking plus string skipping (in
A Harmonic Minor [A, B, C, D, E, F, G#] and legato and string
skipping (Examples 7 and 8)
be creative and we’ll see next month where I want to jump
even wider, present you new runs and introduce you to the fusion
of string skipping, arpeggios and the 7 modes. So stay tuned!
I would also be pleased to get corrections, suggestions or even
insultments by you ... just mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org!
So, yeah have a nice week and ... oh I nearly forgot: As I am
happy about every new lick I can get under my fingers it would
be great if you send me your own created string skipping runs
... the best may be mentioned in the following coloumn (with paying
respect to their authors of course ;-)) ...